Graduate Student at University of Michigan
Describe your current role:
I am currently in graduate school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, working toward my Master's in social work with a concentration in interpersonal practice and social policy and evaluation. I am a geriatric scholar, which allows me to focus more specifically on aging in families during my time at U-M. I am in a 16-month program, on track to graduate in December of 2017.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of continuing my education is the opportunity to develop skills that will help me become a more impactful agent of change for social justice for the elderly. My current field placement at a Flint area hospice agency has given me the opportunity to be a meaningful part of a palliative care team that provides support for individuals who have a terminal diagnosis. The rewards for delivering this level of care have profoundly shaped both my personal and professional mission. It is a privilege to be present and useful at such an intimately powerful stage of life for my clients.
Which of your skills had the biggest impact on your success?
Developing my written skills has had the biggest impact on my success. The encouragement I received from my instructors to critically think about different topics then organize my thoughts in a tangible, written format were pivotal in my post-bacc accomplishments. I continue to utilize information from my addiction science courses in my MSW classes and field work, and find that the feedback on my written work has helped me develop communication skills that bridge macro, mezzo and micro levels of social work.
What advice would you offer students to help them decide on a career path?
Use each and every course to develop skills that can be applied across multiple disciplines of work. Even core courses that may not have any interest or seemingly applicable value to your future goals have something to offer.