Beyond the Salary – Endless Opportunities for Exploration as an MFin

I can’t deny that being rich was my very first reason to study finance (my defense – it was back in middle school). I used to enjoy waiting for my father, who used to work at a sell-side company, in his office area so I could see those who worked in financial services companies with their fancy cars and clothes. And dreaming I could someday, become like them.

However……. my narrative about finance has completely changed.

I was 17 years old when I first heard that someone close to me got a death threat because of his loan problem. A few years later, another childhood acquaintance went to jail because of a Ponzi scheme, leaving her kids behind with no certainty of who would be responsible for their education.

Becoming a perpetual indirect witness of these financial problems made me realize that finance is not what I thought it to be. Finance is way more than just a path for rich people to make money.

Finance could be used to help improve the livelihood of families if they are thought how to properly manage it. Finance could help good people avoid a dangerous path of crime. Finance could help create even more great minds in the world by providing affordable education.

“Finance is more than a money machine… Finance can make an impact”

My new paradigm on finance triggered me to make a change with the financial knowledge that I know. It inspired me to initiate a financial empowerment non-profit organization for youths and women called CerdikMapan in 2016. From a simple idea to improve financial literacy in Indonesia, the organization has educated more than 20,000 people in Indonesia on how to utilize basic financial skills to increase their financial well-being.

Those 3 years of educating people on financial literacy were the most meaningful years of my life. I vividly remember one of the workshop participants saying to me, “I’m a poor single mother, but I could send my kids to school thanks to my basic financial skills.”

Her statement further convinced me that improving financial management practices in Indonesia is the path that I would like to undertake. To create a larger impact, I believe combining technology and financial management is the only answer. That was also the moment that brought me to MIT Sloan. MIT Sloan’s MFin program perfectly combines a broad range of modern financial management, technology courses, and entrepreneurship support.

After 4 months in this program, I can proudly say that MIT Sloan’s MFin program has been a transformative journey that is shaping my skills to reach my dream. Never did I imagine that I could form a team with the CEO of an insurance company in Chile, a former CEO of a hardware company in India and a technology investor in Africa, to improve the livelihood of gig workers through a financial technology platform for a class’s project.

Me and my team finishing the business model deck for our FinTech platform.

In the short amount of time that I’ve been here, I’ve met more innovative financial technology companies that solve big problems in finance than I’ve ever met in my whole life.

The guest speaker of the month for my FinTech Venture class – CEO of an insurtech company in New York. The company provides affordable insurance for small and medium enterprises. 

As a member of the FinTech Club at MIT Sloan, I also got the opportunity to visit FinTech companies in New York. It was so amazing to see how this company tried to solve the student debt problem in the US!

This is one of my favorite events! Panel session for women CEOs in Tech 🙂

With only 9 months left in the program, I hope to make the most of it and see what MIT Sloan could offer to help me engineer solutions for financial management problems in developing countries.

If you’re like me and would like to devout yourself to the thrilling task of creating an impact on the financial management landscape in the world, I believe MIT Sloan’s MFin program would be a perfect place for you!

Nadia Amalia

Nadia is an MFIN candidate class of 2020. Prior to MFIN, Nadia worked as an Equity Research Associate at a sell-side company in Indonesia and served as a Co-Founder of Indonesia's financial literacy non-profit organization.

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