SMF students have a lot more flexibility/choice in the second semester since we’re done with all but one core class (Finance Consulting Practicum). There are a variety of electives one can choose from within the finance department but also from other departments like Management, Accounting, etc. The following three classes are my electives for the first session of this semester:
Fintech (BUSFIN 7234) : The course provides an overview of the most recent technological advances that are radically changing the financial services industry. Technological breakthroughs offer new ways for people to save, invest, borrow, and transact. We analyze how new technologies create value in the financial industry, from reducing unit cost, increasing transparency, increasing competition, creating network effects, leveraging economies of scales, and lowering asymmetric information. We also study the competitive landscape and the market opportunities and threats for incumbents and new entrants*.
This class is taught by Professor Shams, and has two sections, one in the morning (8:30am) and the other in the afternoon (4:30pm). My section (the 4:30pm one obviously) has about 35 students. The class is a mix of lectures and case discussions.
Data Analysis and Visualization (BUSMGT 7257) : Designed to equip students with competencies in translating real-world problems into forms that such technologies can assist with, to portray/visualize these translations in ways that enhance the understanding of the dynamics of these problems, to structure mechanisms that derive suggested solutions, to clearly convey the justification and practicality of final solutions to others*.
This class is taught by Professor Greco, and has one section (6:15pm). It is a semester-long class. We’re about 60 -65 students (it’s a very popular class!). We will be learning to use Tableau, R and Excel to analyze our data sets.
Derivatives Valuation (BUSFIN 7232) : In this course, we will first start in valuation of derivatives products. There are large number of literatures on option valuation. While the theory might at first look advanced and difficult, it is in fact quite accessible. The purpose of this course is to give you an overview of pricing methods on option contracts. During the course we will examine different types of option contracts and how they are priced. Most of the pricing will be done in the context of the binomial option pricing model. This is a simple but powerful approach to valuing a wide variety of derivative. Then we will talk about famous Black and Scholes formula and applications to various derivatives products. And then we will cover Option Greeks and delta-gamma hedging. Last, we will end this course with Exotic Options*.
This class is taught by Professor Pirim, and has one section (10:15am). We’re a class of 14 students. I think this is my favorite class so far for two reasons – it reminds me of my undergrad (small liberal arts college) classes’ size, and it’s quite math/quant heavy.
Since we have all the freedom to choose this semester’s classes, one’s classes will reflect what they like/enjoy studying!
* Course descriptions have been taken from the classes’ syllabi.