Published: July 12, 2013
New MIT Sloan Master of Finance students at an orientation activity earlier this month
Summer may seem like a quieter season on the MIT Sloan campus, but in reality, the pace barely slows, as students in several degree programs matriculate during the summer months.
The 2014 class of the one-year Master of Finance (MFin) program—numbering 127 from 26 different countries—arrived in Cambridge July 1.
The program has grown dramatically since its inception in 2008, when the pilot class had just 26 students, said MFin program director Heidi V. Pickett.
The program has changed and expanded in other ways as well. “The curriculum has substantially evolved over these five years,” Pickett said. “It now includes a robust offering of finance electives, an ethics requirement, and the Finance Research PracticumTM,” she said. The practicum is one of the courses available to MFin students to meet their action learning degree requirement. In the course, students work in teams on outside projects with prominent industry practitioners.
Pickett noted that as the program has developed, MFin students have played an increasingly active role in the MIT Sloan community by serving in leadership roles in the MIT Sloan Senate, the Dean’s Student Advisory Council, and in club leadership positions. In fact, the MFin Class of 2011 founded the Quantitative Finance Club, she noted.
The MFin program attracts students with a passion for finance, but in this incoming class, Pickett said there are now more students interested in some “non-traditional roles,” such as in the public sector and in entrepreneurial organizations, where they can leverage a solid finance foundation. “What is interesting about our class is that five central banks and two sovereign wealth funds are sponsoring their top talent for our program,” she said.
The program continues to be highly selective, receiving 1,583 applications this year, nearly a 10 percent increase over last year, according to Pickett. As John C Head III Dean David Schmittlein remarked at the MFin Class of 2013 Convocation, the program is competitive for a reason. “This is a program which is designed on purpose to be challenging and difficult,” he said.
Indeed, students take classes with renowned finance faculty at a place with “extraordinary history” in the field, Schmittlein added. “If modern finance was invented at any one place, it was invented at MIT.”
When MFin students are not in class, they are participating in all of the activities that MIT Sloan has to offer, attending Red Sox games and enjoying cross-program events such as mixers, C-Functions, and the MIT Sloan Olympics, just to name a few.
Pickett is thrilled to welcome the new class, which is 44 percent women and 56 percent men. “We are very excited about the MFin Class of 2014. It is the most diverse class we have had in terms of nationalities, education, and experiences. We believe they will be a great addition to the MIT Sloan community.”