Director of the MIT Sloan Office of International Programs Stuart Krusell
When a business in Latin America forms a partnership with one of MIT Sloan’s Action Learning programs, both the company and the students in the program emerge as winners.
A small team of students is assigned to work with the company. Most of the participants are second-year MBA students, who already had considerable work experience before starting their graduate studies. For the previous year or longer, the students have been gaining core management knowledge and skills in Sloan classrooms.
The company typically wants help considering the merits of a business initiative, such as entering a new market or launching a product. Many of the initiatives have an important technology component.
The Global Entrepreneurship Lab or G-Lab is the Sloan School’s largest Action Learning program, and it has a strong presence in Latin America. G-Lab participants spend three months studying the company remotely from MIT, learning about the business and its industry. Then, for three weeks, the students go to the company’s site, meeting with top executives and getting an up-close look at the operation. At the conclusion of the project, the team presents its recommendations.
After a fun and rigorous core semester, it’s finally winter break, but I’m not hitting the slopes or soaking up the sun on a beach somewhere warm. Instead, I signed up to go to Seattle with 17 other MIT Sloan students on a technology career trek. While this may sound like an unusual way to spend our vacation time, it’s actually a great opportunity for MBA students to learn more about the technology industry and what it would be like to work for a tech company.
Launched in 2009, the MSMS Program offers top MBA or master’s degree students from non-U.S. business schools an opportunity to enhance their expertise in specific management concentrations. Students can customize their curriculum by enrolling in MIT Sloan elective classes or electives in other MIT departments. They also can register for electives at Harvard University.
How has the 2011 European sovereign credit crisis changed the pricing relationship between sovereign bonds and credit default swaps written on those bonds? Why do 401(k) investment options offer daily liquidity when such liquidity is expensive and unnecessary? If one wants to back-test a long-short investment process, how should the fall of 2008 – when shorting in many stocks was banned – be treated in the back-test?
These are just a few of the many fascinating questions our Master of Finance students will study in the 2012 Finance Research Practicum. The Practicum is an action learning course in which students work on research questions posed by external clients, clients for whom an answer to the question is a key element of an important business decision.
In the last few months, the Occupy Wall Street movement has brought a lot of attention to the finance industry. However, MIT’s Sloan School of Management has been focused on this area for over 40 years. Our finance faculty have been conducting cutting-edge research, and rigorously teaching our students, ensuring that our finance students are prepared—both in theory and practice—to take on the types of leadership roles required in this area, particularly in light of the recent economic crisis.