My second semester in year two is well underway and my time at UNC is more than half over. Hard to believe that in just three days my field options and course schedules need to be finalized for next year. Time is flying so fast!
My classes this semester in evidence-based practice are quite interesting and the instructors not only have a wealth of knowledge and experience, they actually know how to teach. (Yet another reason to love the UNC-MSW program!) This semester in my field placement I have moved into more independent opportunities to therapeutically interact with clients and I am finding it hugely rewarding.
I also find the concurrent field/classroom arrangement offered by the UNC-MSW program to be both challenging and more than a little humorous at times. It’s a strange but delightful dichotomy to have people Monday through Thursday coveting your professional insights only to find yourself on Friday with a cohort of crazy classmates that keep it real and keep you humble!
One day I am putting together a corporate conference. The next day I am editing and electronically distributing the follow up client satisfaction survey using social media. And the next day I’m back in class where we conduct mock research by eating lemon pound cake and taking a survey rating its deliciousness. Yum! (No question – completing that survey was much more fun than my e-survey!)
In the field, one client habitually refers to me as Dr. Keil, no matter how many times I clarify my role. Another client is so excited by her progress with CBT she has begun to refer members of her support group to our agency. The clients hold me in such high regard I can’t help but pinch myself. The voice of doubt in my head says, “Yeah, well, if they only knew you!” But once again, along comes Friday’s class where I join my classmates in seminar and we passionately engage in discussions of how best to respect and serve our clients. It’s one of my highest aspirations as a social work professional to successfully take the safe and inspiring atmosphere we have created in seminar out into the workplace so I can help encourage and facilitate the collaboration and cooperation of my co-workers.
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For all those applying to the program for next year, I know the February 14th deadline is looming large in your lives right about now. I encourage you to press on, dig deep, and work hard to get your stuff in on time. Believe me; it’s worth all the effort you’re putting forth, and more. I hope you all get in, and when you do, I’m sure you won’t regret it!