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The Bottom Line Is, Are We Having an Impact?

Master's in Public Administration

The Bottom Line Is, Are We Having an Impact?

MPA Program at CCNY

MPA students develop their skills through group work

This spring, our first-year students developed their management skills by working as strategic consultants for leading social enterprise startups.

The month-long projects, led by Professor Anusuya Banerjee (pictured lower right), were the final assignment for Strategic Management, a required course that teaches how organizations can align their social mission with a sustainable financial model while effectively engaging stakeholders and allies.

After learning in class about management techniques such as SWOT analysis, stakeholder mapping, and logical frameworks of impact assessment, students applied these skills to real-life situations.

"Hands-on learning is central to our program's pedagogical approach," said Acting Director Natalia Trujillo. "Real-world experience teaches students to find innovative solutions to complex social problems."

Kevin Mason worked with STEAM 16, which uses hip-hop music to increase youth engagement with science and technology. “This project gave me the opportunity to build on my pre-existing skill set in music with new skills that I am cultivating in the program, which include marketing, program development, and organizational problem solving”, said Kevin.

Students were assigned to assess the organization's strengths and areas of opportunity, interview its managers, and research the marketplace and competitors. The project culminated with an oral presentation and written report in which students delivered their insights and recommendations.

"Working with a startup meant that the impact of our work would be long-term," said Ashley Reyes, whose team worked with Among Allies, an organization dedicated to eradicating workplace sexual harrassment. "Their appreciation made the project totally worth it”.

Among Allies got its start in the Zahn Innovation Center, CCNY's startup incubator and one of the MPA program's partners.

Other teams worked with Grades of Green, which helps schools instill environmental awareness by integrating creative children's activities into the curriculum, and Braceletote, which created a wearable tote bag made of recycled plastic.

Professor Anusuya Banerjee, an experienced social impact consultant and Harvard graduate with United Nations experience, brought a highly interactive, practical curriculum to the course.