MS in Finance Experiential Learning

Gain 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 you to apply what you've learned for real client companies. The experience deepens your 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

The Carlson Funds Enterprise (CFE) allows a select number of students the opportunity to fully manage and market over $50 million of real investment money for real clients, with real, competitive returns.

Funds Enterprise Claims #2 Spot in National SMIF Rankings

With $50 million under management, Carlson School's Funds Enterprise proudly secures the 2nd spot among the Top 25 Largest Student-Managed Investment Fund (SMIFs) nationwide.

- Center for Investment Research Ranking, 2023

Experiential Learning Options

If you are interested in investment management, you may apply to join the CFE for the experiential learning component of the MSF program, or may select from a variety of projects with client companies.

Student reading text book
Past experiential learning client companies

Our past experiential learning client companies have included Fortune 500 companies across industry sectors. Investment banks, asset management firms, healthcare providers, retail companies, real estate management companies, and a variety of others have all partnered with our program for experiential learning. You'll work directly with a partner company on a semester-long project with real-world impact for your client company.

portrait of Suyog Dahal

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. 

Suyog Dahal, Analyst - U.S. Bank Loans, Columbia Threadneedle

Experiential Learning Structure 

Working in teams of four to six, you'll work directly with your partner companies using the knowledge, skills, and tools learned in the classroom to derive business value for your clients. Advised by faculty and staff members, you'll run your own projects from start to finish, assessing needs and devising project-specific approaches to the work.

Experiential learning projects take place across the full spring semester, allowing you to finish your MSF degree with real-world experience that'll prepare you for the full-time job market. 


Examples of past experiential learning project topics

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

Advance your career

Contact Master of Science in Finance