Get Real-World Experience

Experiential learning is a hallmark of the Carlson School and a key component of the MS in Finance program. Classroom study comes alive with experiential learning projects that challenge students to apply what they’ve learned for real client companies. The experience deepens student learning while simultaneously building skills employers want to see on a resume. Students often cite experiential learning as their favorite – and most valuable – part of the program.


Carlson Funds Enterprise - Our Purpose

Carlson Funds Enterprise

Real funds, real students, real results.

The Carlson Funds Enterprise (CFE) allows selected number of MS in Finance, MBA, and undergraduate finance students the opportunity to manage over $50 million of real investment money. Guided by the professional director and two academic advisors, student participants take total control of the money management process. Not only does the program allow students to learn about real-word investment management, but participants are able to earn competitive returns as well.

The CFE was one of the first student-managed portfolios in the country. Our students and professional advisors are responsible for a small capitalization growth fund and a fixed income fund that combine for an asset total of over $50 million. That figure puts CFE in the top three student-managed investment funds in the world, based on assets under management. 

Here are examples of other experiential learning projects in the MS in Finance program:

Asset management

Asset Management

  • Investment product analysis
  • Asset/liability study
  • Portfolio risk analysis
Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance

  • Capital structure analysis
  • Retail expansion or market analysis
  • Division profitability analysis
 Risk Management

Risk Management

  • Currency, interest rate, or commodity risk assessment
  • Value at Risk (VaR) analysis

The Experiential Learning Project was one of the most valuable and unique aspect of MS in Finance program at Carlson School of Management. The program secured excellent semester-long projects with premier hedge funds and investment firms in Minneapolis, offering hands-on experience working with seasoned investment professionals. My project with Houlihan Lokey was a contributing factor in pivoting my career search, as I gravitated toward fixed income and distressed investing. 

portrait of Suyog Dahal
– Suyog Dahal, Associate Analyst - High Yield, Columbia Threadneedle
Contact Master of Science in Finance