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Adjunct Position: Systems Synthesis Advisor Spring 2023

Carnegie Mellon University
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Aug 31, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Business & Management, Other Business & Management, Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Technology Administration/Other, Student Affairs, Academic Advising & Academic Support Services, Admissions, Enrollment, Retention & Registrar, Disabled Student Services
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Objective of Systems Synthesis

Systems Synthesis Projects are a culminating experience for students in the Master of Arts Management (MAM) program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College. These projects, conducted in lieu of a thesis, provide students with hands-on experiences that parallel the activities and issues they will encounter in the workplace. Working with a client organization, groups of students spend a full semester (15 weeks) addressing an issue of importance to the client.

Under the guidance of a systems synthesis advisor, the students identify the issue, gather and analyze data, and prepare findings and recommendations for the client. It also allows students to integrate the skills learned from their coursework at Heinz--including economics, statistics, management science, financial analysis, organizational management, policy analysis, database management, oral and written communication skills and others—as they tackle important policy and management problems. The project provides students with “real-world” experience in teamwork, analysis, project management and client relations.

General role of project advisors:

The project advisor’s role consists of providing guidance to the project team, assisting in resolving student disputes, providing feedback from peer evaluations, guidance on project deliverables (i.e. presentations to an advisory committee, final report, and poster board) and assigning a grade to each student. The team will consist of 4 – 7 master’s students.

As an advisor you are tasked with providing guidance, but not control of the project. Allow students the room to lead the direction of the project; however, be available to provide guidance if students are struggling with a component of the project. A good time to intervene is if students struggle with defining the scope after the second week. Avoid the two extremes in advising projects—the micromanaging advisor that provides constant direction or the laissez-faire advisor who provides no guidance when the students need it.

At times students may encounter conflict within the team. Part of your role is to assist students in resolving team conflicts they are unable to manage on their own. Some teams establish “communication” rules early in the semester as a means to get students on the same page. Managing the budget, finances and reporting obligations.

Timeline for Project:

Students are enrolled in Systems Synthesis during the Spring semester from January – May. Each Systems project meets twice per week throughout the semesters. There is midterm and final presentations given to the project sponsor and members of the CMU community. The final project deliverable is a paper and final presentation.

You should demonstrate:
  • Effective, engaging, and compelling communication, with the capacity to guide students and engage with clients as needed.
  • Innovation, integrity, and expertise in consulting and/or project management.
  • A strong sense of collaboration and enthusiasm for guiding a student-led team and providing feedback at multiple points in the project
  • A strong grasp of the challenges within a consulting project
  • Experience with nonprofit business structures and nonprofit management hierarchies
  • Master’s or PhD degree in relevant fields preferred
  • Experience in engagement with students
  • Experience working with client-based projects
  • Demonstrated success in similar positions with positive references
  • Strong familiarity with the arts and culture industry, best practices and related issues locally, statewide, nationwide and globally
Application Instructions Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Carnegie Mellon University shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR §§ 60-1.4(a), 60-300.5(a) and 60-741.5(a). These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities, and prohibit discrimination against all individuals based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Moreover, these regulations require that covered prime contractors and subcontractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, protected veteran status or disability.

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