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Systems Synthesis/Capstone Advisor - Spring 2023


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 master’s students.

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
  • Master’s or PhD degree in relevant fields preferred
  • Experience working with client-based projects (preferred)
  • Demonstrated success in similar positions with positive references
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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