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Experiential Learning

Ideas to Action

From client projects to industry events, practical experience is a cornerstone of your Heinz College education.

Effective leaders and managers must know how to deliver on their ideas in a measurable way, clearly communicate with all stakeholders, and understand how their roles and decisions fit into the broader landscape of the field. To achieve these competencies, there is no substitute for meaningful hands-on learning experiences that bridge learned theories and best practices.

At Heinz, you will:

  • Move beyond the classroom and gain tangible skills through work opportunities both on- and off-campus, including research and teaching assistantships alongside our faculty experts.
  • Solve a real-world problem for a real-world client in your team-based Capstone Project, collaborating with our top industry and government partners.
  • Make meaningful connections through internships and apprenticeships, many of which lead to jobs—60% convert into full-time offers.
  • Apply your newly earned knowledge from class to immersive activities, workshops, events, and student clubs.

Not only do these opportunities crystallize concepts and strategies learned in coursework, they add highly marketable industry experience to your résumé prior to graduation. In fact, 99% of MISM graduates have full-time job offers within three months of graduating—more than three quarters secure an offer prior to graduation.

Capstone Projects

Heinz College MISM students complete a team-based project, working in close collaboration with a real-world client. These projects fulfill an actual business or operational need for our partners, giving students an opportunity to have a measurable impact while still in school.

Recent MISM Capstone clients include:

  • Hershey's
  • BBC Worldwide
  • Uber
  • Disney
  • PwC
  • Deloitte
  • IBM
  • Sony Music
  • Legendary Entertainment
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Token Dynamics
  • Allegheny Health Network
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • The New York Mets
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • New Orleans Police Department
  • Pittsburgh International Airport
  • Headstorm LLC
  • GE Transportation
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • Capital One
  • Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Harvard Management Company
  • Cohen Veterans Network
  • Federated Hermes
  • PayPal


Most Heinz College master’s students are required to complete an internship during the summer between the first and second years. Students in MISM: 16-MONTH, BIDA: 16-MONTH, and GLOBAL pathways all complete required internships.

Internships present you with the chance to apply what you’ve learned in your first year to real-life situations, gain exposure to your future field, build your résumé, and make lasting professional contacts.

From dissecting the intricacies of a Fortune 100 company to crafting strategies that were implemented on the spot, every moment was an amalgamation of challenge, growth and fulfillment. Abhishek Shah | Strategy Intern, Slalom | MISM '23


Our students stay busy in the summer, and gain invaluable industry experience. We caught up with a few of them on site as they completed internships with some amazing organizations.

Recent internships:

  • Adobe Systems
  • Alibaba Group
  • Amazon
  • American Airlines
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Ansys
  • Apple
  • Barclays
  • BlackRock
  • ByteDance
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • comScore
  • Credit Suisse
  • Deloitte
  • Dolby
  • DoorDash
  • DSW
  • Edge AI
  • Express Scripts
  • EY
  • Forest Devices
  • Global AI Corporation
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Google
  • Half Moon Tech
  • The Hershey Company
  • Highmark Health
  • Honeywell
  • Huntington National Bank
  • IBM
  • Intuit
  • Idea Foundry
  • KeyBank
  • LinkedIn
  • Meta/Facebook
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Oracle
  • Pandora Media
  • PayPal
  • PwC
  • Ripple
  • Salesforce
  • Samsung Research America
  • Seagate Technology
  • Skycision
  • Slalom
  • Splunk
  • Tesla
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • Uber
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)
  • Visa
  • Walmart
  • Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Wounded Warrior Project

Work directly with Faculty

Our faculty are more than researchers and instructors. They are innovators and mentors who work to solve major problems facing companies, governments, and society. Most importantly, our faculty are uncommonly accessible and include students in their groundbreaking work.

As a Heinz College student, you have many opportunities to enrich your grad school experience by working closely with world-renowned faculty.


Many classes focus on experiential projects, such as Measuring Social (see video), in which students learn to analyze social media data and solve problems for partner organizations from industry, government, and the media.

In Technology Consulting in the Community, students are paired up with community-based non-profits in Pittsburgh, collaborating with their client partners to solve an IT problem for the organization. Students gain real-world IT consulting experience working with clients such as Pittsburgh Community Services, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, and Pittsburgh Women's Alliance.

Also, for many years, Heinz College has welcomed colleagues from the U.S. Army War College to campus to conduct an International Strategic Crisis Negotiation Exercise with our students, providing an invaluable experience in leadership and international diplomacy.

A Home Run for the Pittsburgh Pirates

A group of Heinz students from Ari Lightman's Measuring Social class collaborated with the Pittsburgh Pirates to help the stalwart MLB franchise find new ways to engage fans on social media.


Students participate in a crisis exercise as part of an experiential course taught in collaboration with the U.S. Army War College.

  • Heinz College students participate in an exercise with the U.S. Army War College.
  • Heinz College students participate in an exercise with the U.S. Army War College.
  • Heinz College students participate in an exercise with the U.S. Army War College.

The U.S. Army War Colleges serves as a finishing school for military leaders in the arena of land-based warfare. Founded in 1901, the Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based institution produces graduates schooled not only in military theory but in leadership, strategy and communication.

Each year, representatives from the War College visit Heinz College for a strategic negotiation exercise. This introductory course is designed to increase your understanding of international conflicts and negotiation processes, and improve your effectiveness as a team leader, team member and negotiator. 


Heinz College, our programs, and our student organizations host a wide variety of speakers and guest panels representing all sectors. These speakers provide valuable industry insight and networking opportunities as they lead riveting discussions on current topics, trends, and issues relevant to MISM students both academically and professionally.

  • Research Assistantships pair students with faculty and research centers to pursue topics of interest.
  • Teaching Assistantships are available to students in the final two semesters of their program.


U.S. Citizens enrolled in the MISM program can work part-time for organizations in the Pittsburgh region, and work for public and non-profit firms is often eligible for Federal Community Service Work Study.

See the MISM Student Finances page for more information about work study and fellowship opportunities.


Many Heinz College students complement their education with involvement in immersive student activities and clubs. In some cases these activities are purely recreational or centered on community-building, but in many others they can be direct extensions of, or supplements to, coursework.


There are many opportunities for MISM students to enter competitive showcases with other students both at Heinz College and other departments on campus, such as the Keith Block Entrepreneurship Competition, founded by Keith Block (HNZ '84), President and Vice-Chairman of, a competition that encourages new business ideas in the IT space.

Students Presenting a Project Poster