Community, Management, and Policy Practice in the Real World

Before I started the Master’s program at the School of Social Work, I was doing Direct Practice at a Child Advocacy Center. However, in applying to school I made the decision to concentrate in Community, Management, and Policy Practice (CMPP). I never thought I would fall in love with it like I have. A large part of management is anticipating people’s reactions and adjusting your strategies accordingly- basically, applied psychology (if you will allow me the liberty of putting it that way). The combination of my Administration and Management: Theory and Practice class together with my field placement played a crucial role in the development of my understanding about management. I do a good deal of observing at my field placement, especially being a part of so many meetings. We have staff meetings, program meetings, networking meetings, etc. As someone who is half-outside observer and half-active participant I have the best of both worlds. What I learn in Admin. class on Tuesday I can see worked out in field Wednesday-Friday. Its interesting to analyze group dynamics, speculate on why this particular group is not working together, and techniques my supervisor uses to motivate another group. At the same time, field provides a safe place to start trying out some of the strategies I’m learning in class and in other workshops. For example, at a workshop on racial equity, there was a focus on story telling and the impact story telling has on breaking down all kinds of barriers. I am excited to use this technique in field with a Task Force group I am a part of, after observing its fragmented nature. This is what I love about my program: having great professors teach in a way that connects theory to reality and then being able to practice it in a real world setting.

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About Liz Leon

After attending UNCG for my BSW and spending some time in the field, I am excited to be part of the Advanced Standing MSW class of 2013. My concentration is Community, Management and Policy Practice and I am doing my internship in Greensboro, working with refugees and immigrants. Besides academics, I always make time for the extracurriculars and enjoy just about anything as long as it involves my favorite people. Please don't hesitate to contact me at lizblizz@live.unc.edu if you have any questions about the Advanced Standing Program or UNC's School of Social Work in general.
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