Hi Everyone! I am very excited to be able to share with you what a typical day in my life looks like here at MIT Sloan in the Master of Finance program. For some background on me, I am Canadian from British Columbia originally. Prior to Sloan, I did my undergraduate degree in mathematics at McGill University and then worked for two years as a risk and modelling analyst at Thinking Capital, a fintech in Montreal. Throughout a typical day here at Sloan, I am generally going from class to class with a break for lunch, and filling in the gaps with studying or prepping for recruitment. Let me show you a bit more clearly what this looks like.
A typical day starts at either 8:30 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. with Monday and Wednesday being the busiest. Luckily, we have Fridays off which helps with networking or recruitment events that we have.I started off the day in the corporate finance lecture with Professor Thesmar. This is a mandatory class for MFins as it contains core finance techniques that are a part of the tool kit required to be successful in the field. The course facilitates your learning with plenty of group cases and in class discussions on the theory behind it. Today, we had a guest lecture by Piero Novelli the co-President of UBS Investment Bank who came in to discuss mergers and acquisitions.
Occasionally, group meetings have to be set during lunch as that’s the only time everyone is available. Here I am meeting with my proseminar group project where we are discussing a research project on ESG in Corporate Bonds. Professor Mark Kritzman is giving us some insight as to where to start and how to break up the project between us. This is a special course in that the lectures are presentations from the group projects which are set up with companies around the world. We did this project with PIMCO. During the three weeks that you are working on the project it is very busy, however, it gives you a good opportunity to work with industry professionals and gain in depth exposure to a particular topic.
Now that I have a break between meetings and classes, I have to find a study room to do work in and respond to some emails. Unfortunately, you don’t always get a room if you don’t plan in advance. Luckily, the classroom where my next class is held is empty and a couple of my friends and I use it for studying and preparing for the lecture on financial engineering.
With classes, assignments, exams and recruitment, life can get very busy. I like to take breaks as much as I can and try and think about things other than finance/careers. MIT has an amazing location on the Charles River that is just gorgeous pretty much any time of year. Additionally, the Martin Trust Entrepreneur Center has free coffee and tea all day, which is a perfect boost in the middle of a long day.
Back in the classroom, Professor Leonid Kogan is teaching us about Financial Engineering. This is one of those classes you really do not know what is going on until you do 100 practice problems and read the slides twice. However, Prof. Kogan provides lots of analogies and walks us through the material with examples making it easier to comprehend. He even throws in some questionable good jokes every now and then like: “the benefits of being a pessimist are you’re either right or pleasantly surprised."
I head to my next class to learn about machine learning for 3 hours (it’s lengthy but worth it). This is a great class that Sloan offers as it is very practical where a lot of the material would directly be used in industry. Professor Mike Shulman (Mikey) who works at Kencho, walks us through python notebooks and discusses various models that can be used in a tremendous amount of applications such as helping golfers with the decisions they make on the course or natural language processing problems.
For the last meeting for the day, my friend and I head to the investment management club meeting. There are a ton of clubs that Sloanies can join, a lot of them being industry/career specific as well as various hobbies or sports you might be interested in. I am in the Quantitative Finance Club, Investment Management Club, Sloan Women in Management, and the Volleyball Club.
MIT Sloan is the perfect place to help you find your place in the finance industry or where ever you know you’ll thrive. The specialized master’s degree in finance allows you to tweak the program to fit your interests and future career goals from various concentration options (financial engineering, capital markets, corporate finance) to numerous electives and extracurricular activities.