Fieldwork is the “heart” of the MSP. It is through fieldwork that students try out methods taught in class; where they learn directly from leaders in their fields of interest; where they witness first-hand how an organization or project is part of a bigger dynamic system. The fieldwork is also a critical step in building a professional network. MSP encourages students to pursue fieldwork opportunities that allow them to both practice and connect.
Students design and plan their own fieldwork, in coordination with an MSP advisor or faculty member. All MSP students have the option of working with an MSP partner or finding a new organization or community partner to work with. There is a large degree of flexibility in regards to the location, organization, and focus of a student’s fieldwork. Students interested in going abroad may need to be fluent in the local language.
Learning goals for fieldwork include:
Exposure to the Field
Students will have the opportunity to see and reflect upon multiple aspects of projects and programs, ranging from administration, beneficiary populations and partner organizations, and assessment and evaluation.
Communication Across Sectors
Students are required to acquire the critical knowledge (vocabulary, concepts/methods) relevant to their experience and be able to effectively engage and present their work to diverse people and audiences both within and outside of their specific disciplinary or sectoral background.
Holistic Analysis and Planning
Students will read and reflect upon background information, reports, and proposals related to their project/ program so that they can put their specific work/tasks into the larger integrated context of evaluation and adaptive practice.
"My fieldwork experience gave me much needed clarity about why the program is relevant and how I can apply the skills I’ve learned to the real world. There is often a disconnect between academic study and real world application, and the fieldwork helps bridge the two. Furthermore, the fieldwork increased my professional network, which helped me find employment even before I graduated from the program." -Sam Dorios, class of 2016