There are several ways to learn about the experience the students have at the School of Social Work, one of which is information sessions (which I hope you will attend one if you haven’t already). A student panel made up of ambassadors is present to answer questions from the audience at the end of the session. A few times I have been asked from the audience “Why macro?” It seems like the clear path for a Masters in Social Work is studying the skill of direct practice work and after graduating taking the licensure exam. I entered the program with the idea that most likely I would pursue direct practice as a concentration. Throughout our first year we all take foundation classes that are a combination of both direct and macro work. We also are encouraged to experience both worlds through our field placement. It was during that time that I realized that the work I want to do most is more on a systems level than on an individual level. As a macro practitioner, I believe it is imperative to understand the complexities of the issues our direct practice counterparts are experiencing. After all, decisions made on the macro level ultimately impact the work that clinicians do, how they do it, and the ease (or difficulty) they have in helping their clients.
With a concentration in macro work (also known as Community Management and Policy Practice or CMPP for short), I have been able to tailor my classes around the areas that I most want to grow in: leadership, management, community engagement, financial management, and health policy (just to name a few). The skills I am learning will translate into a variety of arenas from legislative work to community outreach to nonprofit management.
So if you’re still wondering if macro is right for you, I would say… ask yourself if you want to work one-on-one with individuals to create change or do you want to work with lawmakers, citizen groups, communities, coalitions, etc to create change on an even larger scale?