Objective of Systems Synthesis
Systems Synthesis Projects are a culminating experience for
students in the Master of Science in Public Policy and Management
(MSPPM) 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 (14 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, and final report) and
assigning a grade to each student. The team will consist of 4 – 8
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
- A strong sense of collaboration and enthusiasm for guiding a
student-led team and providing feedback at multiple points in the
- A strong grasp of the challenges within a consulting
Application Instructions Equal Employment Opportunity
Carnegie Mellon University
- Master’s or PhD degree in relevant fields preferred
- Experience working with client-based projects (preferred)
- Demonstrated success in similar positions with positive
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.