Man­aging the 360 Hunt­ington Avenue Stu­dent Fund brings the global mar­ket­place into the class­room for more than 40 North­eastern Uni­ver­sity grad­uate stu­dents in the Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion.

The fund, whose port­folio is cur­rently com­prised of about 40 stocks valued at more than $300,000, was raised by donors and is part of the Col­lege of Busi­ness Administration’s dis­cre­tionary hold­ings. Through this expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­nity, stu­dents are charged with main­taining the fund’s health by ana­lyzing and dis­cussing stocks to buy and sell, con­ducting bottom-​​up busi­ness analyses and keeping close tabs on trends in the global economy.

Stu­dents col­lec­tively manage the fund over a two-​​year period of courses. In the first year, stu­dents gain valu­able expe­ri­ence as equity ana­lysts by learning how to select and value stocks and by pre­senting rec­om­men­da­tions for the fund. In the second year, ana­lysts tran­si­tion into man­age­ment roles such as sector man­ager, chief of research and chief risk officer.

Stu­dents, who may grad­uate with a spe­cial­iza­tion in mutual fund man­age­ment, are charged with cap­ital allo­ca­tion respon­si­bility that fos­ters their devel­op­ment into expe­ri­enced mutual fund analysts.

The pro­gram empha­sizes exe­cuting a smart invest­ment strategy that yields long-​​term growth. “What it does is dif­fer­en­tiate North­eastern grad­uate busi­ness stu­dents from the rest of the pack,” said finance pro­fessor Harlan Platt, who super­vises the stu­dent group with Paul Bol­ster, the Donald F. Harding Pro­fessor of Finance and Insurance.

Grad­uate stu­dent Barry Gilbert, the fund’s man­aging director, said, “There’s no sub­sti­tute for real-​​world expe­ri­ence, and that’s what man­aging this fund provides.”

In its first four years, the fund has out­per­formed its bench­mark by 20 per­cent and won sev­eral awards for student-​​managed funds, Gilbert said.

Ear­lier this semester, the group held its annual meeting. Lawrence Rakers, MBA’93, a port­folio man­ager for Fidelity Invest­ments, won the 2011 Investor of the Year Award. Grad­uate stu­dent Derek Archila earned the 2011 Stu­dent Ana­lyst of the Year Award.

Archila, a sector man­ager who covers health care, tech­nology and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions for the fund, said ana­lyzing stocks and being men­tored by more expe­ri­enced stu­dents in his first year pre­pared him well for taking on a bigger role.

Glob­al­iza­tion, Archila said, is con­tin­u­ally chal­lenging busi­ness leaders and investors to think big pic­ture about their invest­ments. This mindset trans­lates to the class­room, he said, where stu­dents dis­cuss invest­ments at the micro– and macro-​​levels.

You must think out­side the box when thinking of invest­ments today,” Archila said. “You have to think glob­ally because every­thing is interconnected.”