Practicum Project                             
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Practicum Project


After the students have completed 16 eBusiness team tasks, they are highly skilled consultants. To prove that to themselves and the faculty, the students are once again divided into teams to work on real problems of current interest furnished by actual industrial sponsors. These Practicum problems are tackled by teams of six students with the aid of two faculty advisors.

The projects usually involve the design and implementation of an eBusiness system at least at the level of a prototype. This involves a requirements analysis, selection of a technology and consideration of alterative designs. The students must negotiate the scope of the project, achieve agreement on deliverables, and secure sponsor approval of interim deliverables.  The last half of the Practicum is occupied with implementation, completion of written work product and refining presentations.

The Practicum differs from the first 16 tasks in that it is much longer (9 weeks) and each team works on a different project. There main grading criterion is sponsor satisfaction, which is the ultimate goal of a consulting company.  The sponsor has presented a problem; nothing less than an effective solution is acceptable.

In addition to producing deliverables and providing an extensive briefing to the sponsor, each team makes a public presentation explaining the problem and its recommended solution, including a demonstration of a required software artifact.  As an extra incentive, the presentations are judged by an independent panel of outside eBusiness experts. Each team is judged on the significance of its problem and the quality of its solution. The winning team divides a cash prize of $10,000 among its members.

The Practicum provides an opportunity for students to work closely with a company on a problem of genuine importance. The company, in turn, has a chance to observe the students in a work situation, which may lead to a subsequent employment offer. Past Practicum sponsors have included Alcoa, American Eagle Outfitters, Johnson & Johnson, PNCBank, the Port of Pittsburgh and Wells Fargo. The results of several projects have been developed by sponsors into working eBusiness systems.

Many students consider the Practicum to be the most useful and rewarding college experience of their lives. By the time they have completed this 17th and capstone project, the students are ready to face any challenge in the eBusiness sector.

Participate in the Practicum

Please read the full description of our Practicum opportunity.  We will work with potential sponsors to develop a one-page project description by May 31.   If you have a project idea, please contact the Program Director, Prof. Michael Shamos, at

Some of our practicum sponsors:

Project SponsorCompany Profile
AlcoaAlcoa is the world's leading integrated aluminum company, providing jobs to 59,000 employees across 31 countries. Since inventing the modern-day aluminum industry more than 120 years ago, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets. Aluminum is infinitely recyclable and 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today.
American Eagle OutfittersAmerican Eagle (AE) Outfitters (NASDAQ: AEOS) is a leading lifestyle retailer that designs, markets, and sells its own brand of casual, fashion-right clothing for 15 to 25 year-olds, providing high-quality merchandise at affordable prices. AE's collection includes modern basics like jeans, surplus, and graphic Ts as well as a stylish assortment of cool accessories, outerwear, footwear and swimwear. America Eagle Outfitters currently operates 777 AE stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and 70 AE stores in Canada. AE also operates via its Web business, which offers additional sizes and styles of favorite AE merchandise. They are known for its strong brand name recognition and customer loyalty.
American Express
American Express provides innovative payment, travel and expense management solutions for individuals and businesses of all sizes.
Bank of New York MellonEstablished in 2007 from the merger of Mellon Financial Corporation and The Bank of New York Company, Inc., BNY Mellon is a leading investment management and investment services company, uniquely focused to help clients manage and move their financial assets and succeed in the rapidly changing global marketplace. Headquartered in New York, BNY Mellon has $26.3 trillion in assets under custody or administration and $1.3 trillion under management.
Blue HouseBlue House (commonly syllabicated Cheong Wa Dae) is the executive office and official residence of the South Korean head of state, the President of the Republic of Korea.
CapcoCapco is a global business and technology consultancy dedicated solely to the financial services industry. We deliver innovative solutions in banking, capital markets, wealth and investment management and finance, risk and compliance. As the pressures of regulation, cost reduction, and customer expectation grow, we design, build and operate technology for specific operations and entire organizations.
Carnegie Mellon - Red TeamThe Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Red Team, under the leadership of William “Red” Whittaker, is world famous for its entry in the 2004 and 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge race of autonomous robots across rugged desert terrain. To organizing a large, collaborative effort like the Red Team was a massive undertaking, involving a diverse group of stakeholders, including engineers, Carnegie Mellon University, corporate sponsors, university advancement personnel and foundations. All of the participants and supports must have access to current data and status information concerning their particular field of interest.
CivicScienceVisitors to can search for hundreds of brands, celebrities, political figures, and other topics, gaining access to real-time data about consumer attitudes and trends. The site also allows users to analyze and cross-tabulate responses by demographic segments, and thousands of other population attributes. With as many as 50,000 answers for each topic, results are deep and reliable.
COMBANK MedicalThe mission of COMBANK Medical is to serve as an advocate of the osteopathic medical student by providing excellence in board preparation. We maintain our commitment to the osteopathic community by providing an effective learning platform, consistent with current osteopathic philosophy, principles, and practice. We aspire to help the osteopathic medical student achieve their fullest potential in standardized testing and promote the advancement of osteopathic education nationwide.
Global ParadigmzGlobal Paradigmz is a for-profit Pittsburgh based startup that is founded on the principle of leveraging innovation to forge new paradigms in defying the global challenges of our time.
Korea Intl. Trade Assoc.Korea International Trade Association (KITA) is a representative economic organization with over 66,000 member companies, largely consisting of trading and manufacturing enterprises. KITA was established in 1946 with the mission of promoting trade and contributing to the national economy by building trade infrastructure and devising national trade policy.

In particular, KITA focused on supporting its members through dispatching trade delegations, promoting trade and investment, organizing participation in international trade delegation in international exhibitions, carrying out trade research, providing trade information, fostering trade professionals and expanding e-Trade infrastructure.

Moreover, in this era of globalization, KITA aims to strengthen bilateral cooperation with international organizations and major trading countries, in order to expand its members’ trade and investment, helping the members to overcome today’s challenges in the global market.

With this in mind, KITA will relentlessly strive to develop professional skills of its staffs and improve the overall management efficiency to provide the most effective solutions and services in support for all trade activities.
Korea Trade NetworkKTNET has been playing a driving-engine role for the enhancement of Korea's trade competitiveness for the past 10 years through trade automation. Since its foundation in 1991, KTNET has been providing EDI-style trade automation services to reduce trade processing time and expenses significantly for trade business circles, leading to productivity enhancement and subsequent reinforcement of competitiveness.

KTNET is also strengthening its business potential in order to realize one-stop e-trade service for domestic and overseas trade communities, including establishment of e-trade infrastructure and development of solutions, and global e-trade networking projects. Specifically, KTNET is leading various global projects regarding trade automation with many countries like Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Dominica, and so on. And global networks like PAA, ASEM, and G-SCM link with trade automation systems of the world’s major countries such as the United States, Europe, Japan, and East Asia.

While leading e-documents revolution in trade sector of Korea, KTNET is seeking another way to lead the world with the vision of Paperless Korea. With the state-of-the-art technology and knowledge in paperless process using electronic data, KTNET is changing various paper-based processes in business into e-document basis. As the world’s first CEDA(Certified e-Document Authority) appointed by Korean government, KTNET provides various solutions for paperless office. KTNET CEDA provides security, integrity, and confidentiality during life-cycle of e-documents from creation to discard.
Leff Financial Group Inc.Leff Financial Group is a venturepreneurial company that offers strategic and business consulting for start-ups and established organizations, as well as occasional companies in turn-around. In addition, we invest creative, experience-driven intellectual property in ideas and entrepreneurs that intrigue us. Just ask.

Scott Leff, President of Leff Financial Group, Inc. is a 2000 graduation of the Carnegie Mellon University Masters of Science in Electronic Commerce (MSEC) program
LG ElectronicsFounded in 1958, we’ve led the way in bringing advanced digital products and applied technologies to our customers. With our commitment to innovation and assertive global business policies we aim to become a worldwide leader in advanced digital technology.
ModClothWhen ModCloth founder Susan Gregg Koger was in high school, she spent weekends thrift shopping for unique vintage finds. She found herself snatching up great pieces that weren't necessarily her size, but that she couldn't pass up. When she went away to college at Carnegie Mellon University, she had a dorm room full of amazing clothes and accessories. So, at 17-years old, she decided to start an online shop with her boyfriend-turned-husband, Eric Koger. Susan quickly realized there were many girls like her who wanted to express their personal style with one-of-a-kind and unique apparel. When her small dorm room was bursting at the seams with retro garb, Susan and Eric decided to set up shop in a house that doubled as their living space and office. They increased their inventory to feed their customers' hunger for retro clothing, selling vintage-inspired items from indie designers, as well as continuing to provide shoppers with one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. Today, ModCloth has grown into a thriving business of over 100 employees, yet the small-business feel remains. Susan can still be found out on the road finding the most unique pieces possible for ModShoppers, and she's still encouraging women everywhere to express their personal style!
PNC BankPNC offers a wide range of services for all our customers, from individuals and small businesses, to corporations and government entities. No matter how simple or complicated your needs, we're sure to have the products, knowledge and resources necessary for financial success.
Port of Pittsburgh CommissionCreated by the Legislature under Law 1992-133, the Board consists of four legislative appointees representing the four major political caucuses and eleven gubernatorial appointees. The gubernatorial appointees include four citizens at large, three from nominees of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC), one from nominees of the county commissioners jointly representing non-SPC counties in the Port of Pittsburgh District, and one each from industry nominees from DINAMO, the Waterways Association, and the River Terminal Operator's Association.
VivisimoAt Vivisimo we are passionate about Information Optimization. We have seen organizations that embrace Information Optimization solve critical business challenges to drive greater revenue, improve business processes and reduce risk associated with their information. As such, we are constantly pursuing and delivering innovation in information access and discovery technology that gives our clients information connectivity and contextual intelligence which then enable organizational capabilities.
Wells FargoWells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores and 12,000 ATMs and the Internet ( and across North America and internationally