EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING FOR MAM STUDENTS
The MAM is a professional degree program. And we believe a professional master’s degree should incorporate practical application of skills as a major component of the graduate school experience. MAM students blend their classroom experience with real world application of their skills, while they are in school by:
- working on a part-time basis during the school year
- completing the required 10-week full-time internship over the summer
- completing a comprehensive team-based project for an actual client
Students can leverage a series of opportunities to optimize their graduate school experience, providing them with a competitive advantage in the job market upon graduation.
During the School Year
There are a variety of positions, both on- and off-campus for students to pursue.
- The MAM program has established relationships with a number of departments across Carnegie Mellon’s campus that allow our students to work for them as Interns during the academic year to gain experience particular to their professional goals:
- MAM students can work as Research Assistants with our faculty and within our many research centers on topics related to their career goals.
- In their final two semesters at Heinz, MAM students can work as Teaching Assistants for courses at Heinz College related to their career goals.
Apprenticeships in the Region:
U.S. citizens enrolled in the MAM program are able to work part-time (10-12 hours per week) for off-campus organizations while attending school on a full-time basis. Working in the community enables students to put their skills into practice AND have a lasting impact on our community, while enhancing their resume.
Eligible U.S. citizens who work for public and non-profit organizations are often eligible to be paid through the Federal Community Service Work Study program in either their first or second year.
Every MAM student is able to complete an apprenticeship in Pittsburgh during their second year of study with earnings up to $4,000. MAM students are encouraged to undertake an apprenticeship to supplement their classroom work and further enrich their work experience. More than thirty professional cultural organizations are in the region. Apprenticeships feature financial support from either the host institution or the MAM Program.
Some organizations that have hosted MAM apprentices include:
- The Andy Warhol Museum
- Carnegie Museum of Art
- City Theatre Company
- Concept Gallery
- The Mattress Factory
- Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
- Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
- Pittsburgh Children's Museum
- The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
- Pittsburgh Opera
- Pittsburgh Public Theatre
- Pittsburgh Symphony
MAM students are required to complete a summer internship between their second and third semesters. Many of our students choose to stay in Pittsburgh because of the amazing opportunities available in our backyard in fields such as the arts, health care, information technology, non-profit organizations, government, and others. The majority of our students complete their summer internship in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, among others.
Students pursuing internships with organizations unable to pay them for their summer internship can apply for funding from the MAM program and the federal goverment:
You can intern in an organization that best matches your area of interest and career goals. Internship work can include a myriad of responsibilities: developing a marketing plan, creating a donor database, organizing aspects of a summer festival or installing a new exhibition. Throughout the summer, you'll put into practice skills you acquired in your first year, and you'll also make valuable contacts in the arts community.
You'll benefit from this internship in several ways:
- Apply the skills learned in your first year of study.
- Gain experience in your chosen field.
- Decide, based on experience, whether a particular type of job really fits your career goals.
- Make important professional contacts.
- Build your resume.
Capstone/Systems Synthesis Projects
Impacting the region is a top priority for Heinz College. In addition to the part-time work opportunities during the school year and the summer internship, our students use their skills to make a difference through the Capstone or Systems Synthesis Project. In lieu of a traditional master’s thesis, the Heinz College’s full-time master’s degrees require its students to complete a team-based project for an actual client. In many cases, the client organization is based in the region.
This course embraces four educational goals that synthesize the Heinz College experience and apply it to the analysis of complex issues:
- Develop problem structuring and solving skills;
- Develop project management, teamwork, and communication skills;
- Provide a capstone experience that integrates and synthesizes core coursework;
- Provide a real world organizational experience.