MBA Program Overview

The Carlson Funds Enterprise (CFE) is designed for students who are interested in pursuing careers in investment management, corporate finance, and investment banking.

Program Benefits include:

  • Increased job placement opportunities within the Financial Services Industry
  • Stronger network of financial professionals
  • Opportunity to connect with CFE alumni and current graduate students
  • Better understanding of how to use the same online market data tools as investment professionals, such as Bloomberg and FactSet
  • Exercising comprehensive decision making over fund recommendations and applying academic rigor to real world financial management
  • Familiarity with unique business and investment roles

Visit our Student FAQ page for more information.

Program Curriculum

Students in both the Fixed Income Fund and Growth Fund go through an intensive ten credit, three-semester course in which they help manage a live portfolio with investments made by several area companies. Examples of student involvement in the program include the following:

  • Discussing the economy, the markets and their impact on the portfolio
  • Monitoring the fund's existing holdings
  • Researching asset classes to make buy/sell recommendations according to investment guidelines
  • Presenting portfolio recommendations to the Investment Oversight Committee, a panel of industry professionals and faculty advisors
  • Overseeing all operational aspects of their respective fund, including portfolio management, marketing, client relations, media relations and performance reporting

MBA 6501 - Growth Fund

Students gain experience by completing comprehensive analyses of firms, their management, strategies, business processes and performance, the industries in which they operate, their competitive positions within those industries, and the attributes of the securities they issue.

MBA 6502 - Fixed Income Fund

Students gain experience by assuming analyst responsibilities for various sectors within the fixed income market, such as Treasuries, Agencies, Mortgage-Backed Securities, Asset-Backed Securities, and Corporates.

Visit our fund comparison page for a more comprehensive look at the differences and similarities between the two funds.


Required for all CFE Students

  • FINA 6241 Corporate Finance Analysis and Decisions (4 credits)
  • FINA 6322 Introductory Financial Modeling (2 credits)
  • Either FINA 6321 Portfolio Analysis & Management (2 credits) or FINA 6323 Advanced Financial Modeling (2 credits)
  • FINA 6121 Debt Markets, Interest Rates, and Hedging (2 credits)

Required for all Growth Fund Students

  • FINA 6242 Advanced Corporate Financial Statement Analysis (4 credits)

Please view our MBA Suggested Course Timeline (175.22 KB) for a detailed schedule.


Year 1

  • Mid October: Open House and Information sessions for MBA students interested in learning more about the Funds Enterprise Program
  • Early November: First year MBA students submit their enterprise preferencing choice. Students are notified of a decision before the end of their first semester.
  • Mid January: Introductory interviews are scheduled with first year MBA students to determine which fund they will be working in.
  • B Term - Mid March: Class officially starts for incoming MBA students accepted into the CFE. Attendance is mandatory.
  • Late April: Students sit in on spring pitches
  • Summer Session: Students are required to attend weekly meetings to review portfolio performance. Students who cannot attend in person must call in to the conference call. Connect with mentors to establish rapport and review career goals.

Year 2

  • Early September: Class begins. Class meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:00 - 9:40 a.m.
  • Mid October: Travel around the Twin Cities for the Fall Client Roadshow
  • Late November: Students present fall stock or bond pitches to Investment Committee
  • Late April: Students present spring stock or bond pitches to Investment Committee

Additional Opportunities

Student analysts learn from experienced professionals by being involved in our additional learning opportunities:

  • Mentor program in which each student is partnered with a money management professional who counsels the student, evaluates his or her investment proposals, and provides helpful feedback
  • Numerous lectures and seminars featuring financial industry speakers
  • Field trips to see fund management, research, trading, and other industry professionals in action in the Twin Cities and in Wall Street

Meet Our MBA Analysts

Reach out to graduate students currently in the program to hear, first hand, about their experience in the CFE.

Read More

Alum Perspective

"There's no doubt that having been through the Funds Enterprise program helped me do my job better and faster.

The financial curriculum at Carlson was strong and the Funds Enterprise made it that much stronger. We did deep, hard core analysis - everything a Wall Street analyst would do to research a company, including talking with management."

Dave Rust, MBA '05
Senior Finance Manager
Delta Airlines