Full-Time MBA Students

Application Process

First Year Students

First-year Full-Time MBA students must submit an application preferencing an enterprise choice during the B-Term of the first semester of the program. Visit the Carlson Funds Enterprise (CFE) open house events during the fall semester to meet our Managing Director and speak with current students to gain a full understanding of CFE and explore if it is a good fit for you and your goals. Learn more about upcoming events by looking at our events page.

Second Year Students

Second-year MBA students who are interested in completing a third semester with CFE are encouraged to apply below. All students will be notified of a decision before the end of the fall semester.

Third Semester Application


Program Curriculum

CFE students participate in an intensive 8-credit, 2-semester course in which they gain hands-on experience with the management and marketing of a live portfolio from investments made by several area companies.

  • 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

(pending MFAC approval)

  • Evaluating existing performance and act as our clients' advocate in considering investment opportunities and portfolio management decisions
  • Managing the business operations of the fund
  • Acting as the primary point of contact for the funds' clients
  • Developing strategy informed by market trends
  • Incorporating ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) risks and opportunities into investment strategy

Participation Requirements

All students are expected to actively participate in each class during the term - all portfolio decisions are made in a group setting, and every student analyst needs to come prepared to discuss the markets and the companies being researched. Expect a significant non-classroom workload.

Unlike Carlson’s project-based Enterprise Programs, the CFE is a year round commitment. Students are responsible for portfolio management activities on an ongoing basis, including during breaks and summer. The Financial Markets do not take breaks, and our clients expect and deserve vigilance.

At the same time, we recognize the importance of other activities including internships and global experiences. We know everyone needs to recharge and refresh. That’s why we employ a team-based approach to research and portfolio management. It is each team’s responsibility to ensure that all companies are covered and that monthly performance reports are produced and distributed. We encourage students to work remotely when needed and collaborate actively with their teams even when traveling. That’s part of the real-world experience!

Ethics in Practice

The Carlson Funds Enterprise embraces the notion that businesses that do well over the long term behave ethically in the short term. While it can be a challenge to draw a straight line from the business’s core values to its long-term performance, we encourage students to explore these topics in a disciplined, thoughtful way. Prior to starting the programs, all students are required to complete specific modules covering these topics through the CFA Society and Principals of Responsible Investing (PRI).

Recommended Coursework

  • FINA 6121: Debt Markets (all participants)
  • FINA 6322: Financial Modeling (all participants) 
  • FINA 6323: Advanced Financial Modeling (all participants)
  • FINA 6321: Portfolio Analysis (all participants - encouraged but not required)