“So you’re going to be working with Foster Care?”
“What do you actually DO with Social Work?”
“You know you’re going to be poor, right?”
And my personal favorite: “…I’m sorry.”
These are all responses I’ve recieved upon telling people that I am working towards my Masters in Social Work. And you know what? I love it! Sure, they’re misguided and can sometimes be borderline offensive, but these sorts of responses give me the opportunity to explain to people how awesome and diverse Social Work truly is. It was a challenge at first, but it really made me think about what the roots of this career path are and do a lot of self-reflection about why I’ve chosen it.
I’ve chosen Social Work because it teaches the skills that I believe are valuable in so many different arenas. I believe in the Social Work perspective and the approach we bring to the table. Social Workers can be found in schools, nonprofits, hospitals, human resource departments, political offices, and private practices among so many others.
My current placement is at the United Way of the Greater Triangle in Morrisville, NC. I don’t see clients, I have a cubicle, and I don’t work with one specific population. Doesn’t sound a lot like Social Work right off the cuff, but that’s the beauty of it. I do program evaluation, research, legislative agendas, coalition building, grantwriting, and all other sorts of fun SOCIAL WORK activities! We come in all shapes and sizes, and that’s what makes an MSW so unique.