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H. John Heinz III College: Where AmeriCorps Service Is Rewarded

December 10, 2012

Today’s post is from our December 2012 Career Newsletter sponsor H. John Heinz III College at Carnegie Mellon University.

Over the past 10 years, the Heinz College has provided over $1.5 million in scholarship support to AmeriCorps alumni pursuing graduate education at our world-renowned institution.  The Heinz College has long been committed to making a top-tier graduate education accessible to talented students.  Heinz College faculty recognize that those who serve through AmeriCorps’ various programs bring a level of experience, skills, and passion that enrich the graduate school experience for all; both inside and outside of the classroom.  Consistently ranked in the top 10 Best Public Affairs Schools by US News & World Report, the Heinz College is proud to be a top choice among corps members who wish to continue their service and commitment to the public good.

Through the Heinz College’s partnership with AmeriCorps, students are awarded a $6,000 to 10,000 per semester minimum scholarship for AmeriCorps alumni enrolling in any of its full-time master’s degree programs.

The Heinz College offers a variety of professional, skills-based management graduate degree programs.  Its aim is to prepare the next generation of leaders for a career with organizations such as local, state or federal government, non-profit organizations, NGO’s, consulting firms or as a social entrepreneur through graduates degree programs in:

To learn more, please create a propsective student account with the Office of Admissions. Read below for Heinz College testimonies from former and current AmeriCorps Alums students.

alanaAlana Cheeks-Lomax
Heinz College
Graduated May 2012
MS, Health Care Policy & Management

I chose to obtain my graduate degree from the Heinz College for a number of reasons. Besides already being an alum of Carnegie Mellon University and knowing the reputation of the school, I knew that Heinz would provide a place for me to learn the basics of policy analysis and the transferable skills needed in the unique health care environment. Heinz was a great fit and it turned out that many of the experiences I had, directly related to my one year as an AmeriCorps fellow.  AmeriCorps focuses on teamwork in order to access the various needs of communities throughout the nation, and I feel Heinz gave me that opportunity as it relates to social and economic policy in health care. I found myself in classes that focused on core competencies, team based learning, and quantitative approaches that needed to be employed in order to solve the health care problems of our nation. The parallels between my year as an AmeriCorps fellow and graduate school provided me a well rounded understanding of the needs of communities while continuing to foster my growth and development as I determined the impact I wanted to have in the world.

Since graduating from Heinz, I have joined Deloitte Consulting in Washington, DC as a strategy & operations consultant in their federal practice. My current work supports the federal government, particularly the Military Health System. I work closely with my team to come up with strategic solutions that address the challenges the MHS faces as a government organization. The Heinz College prepared me for this work by providing a strong foundation of qualitative and quantitative skills that can used to dissect problems and come up with real world solutions, in addition to the management skills needed to work with a team. I am confident the education and skill set I received from the Heinz College will continue to serve me well into the future no matter where my career takes me.

nishaNisha Abraham – (Updated on 12/10/12)
Heinz College
Graduated 2010
MS, Public Policy & Management

I don’t think any two of my grad school friends joined Heinz for the same reason which only enriched my learning environment. I joined because it had a top policy program, offered me the opportunity to finish grad school in three semesters because of a prior fellowship, and it offered me a scholarship because of my participation in Americorps. A number of my classmates had completed some form of service – whether Americorps or Peace Corps, which gave us an instant connection, and many of us were looking to continue to serve in the public sector post graduation.

I served as a quarter time member in an education based Americorps program during undergrad and that experience led me to want to pursue a full year of service. There’s no way, if you put your all into it, that Americorps won’t change you for the better.  I left my service time knowing what it meant to be part of a group creating positive change in my environment. By the time I arrived at Heinz, I knew I wanted to continue work as a public servant. My time in Americorps was work intended to serve my community and my country. Those sorts of opportunities were what I sought at Heinz.

I joined the State Department’s Foreign Service (FS) post grad school. As a Heinz Public Policy student, I learned universal tools of analysis in courses such as Organizational Change, Management Science, and Global Health Policy that I can apply in a variety of situations that arise in my job. Heinz College’s quantitative policy background made me stand out when I applied to internships at the Department of State (DOS) and the UN and the Washington DC track ended up being the perfect way to pave the path for my current work. Additionally, the DC track offered me the chance to work with people at DOS and really examine whether I wanted to pursue the FS. Finally, one of the great benefits of Heinz is the network of people in nearly every sector of work I know I will tap into at some point.

shannonShannon Huang
Heinz College
Class of 2014
Masters, Arts Management

Serving as an AmeriCorps member was deeply rewarding, challenging, and involved much self-motivation.  Working in a small non-profit, I had the opportunity to work in a variety of capacities and to tackle issues that were outside of my skillset.  My year with America SCORES LA further enforced the importance of developing as a person through championing the difficult and the unknown.  I decided to pursue the Arts Management program at Heinz to be challenged and to develop a more quantitative mind.  Though I am not sure how my quantitative mind development is progressing, I can certainly attest that the courses can be rigorous.  AmeriCorps has not only given me invaluable experience to supplement the Heinz curriculum, but has also helped me keep a clear eye on my passions.  Similarly, through a breadth of resources, Heinz continues to help me hone in on my interests, strengths, as well as, shortcomings and has been a natural step after my service year.

kyleKyle Johnson
Heinz College
Graduated, December 2012
Masters, Information Systems Management

The Heinz College was a great financial fit because of the scholarships it provides specifically to AmeriCorps alumni, graduates of local universities (Mine was Grove City College), and those with a demonstrated history of community service. In addition to all those financial benefits, Heinz provided me with a world-class Information Systems Masters Degree that has given me a wonderful set of opportunities to choose from upon graduating in December of 2012. Specifically, I am going to work for IBM starting February 2013

I am so thankful for the year I spent with AmeriCorps. It gave me a great set of experiences and clarity about future plans. I enjoyed the experience so much that I even stayed on at my placement site for a year of full-time work before attending Heinz. Those two years of work at a Pittsburgh area senior citizen center gave me the technical skills and sense of direction I needed to be a successful graduate student. I am still in regular contact with the staff of that non-profit and my former AmeriCorps director. They continue to be great friends and mentors in my life.

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