"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - Allen Saunders (and later popularized by John Lennon)
So now my answer to the same question is, that I would love to be a professor teaching clinical social workers how to use adventure and natural spaces as an innovative alternative to traditional talk therapy to help clients with a variety of treatment needs. Additionally, this dream job would include opportunities to further research these interventions, both in urban settings and in rugged wilderness environments, to improve their ability to provide a positive catalyst for change in mental health treatment.
- Plan ahead! Get a BSW at an accredited school and earn your advanced standing MSW in a year! I wish I would've known to do this, as I would've saved a year of school (and a year of student loans)!
- I hear many people say, “I would consider social work but I would get burnt out!” However, many of these folks do not know how diverse the opportunities provided by a social work education are. As a social worker (with either a macro or a clinical degree) people provide therapy, case management, grant writing, management, political advocacy, lobbying, teaching, training, hold public office, policy writing, and more. Sure, you probably won't become a millionaire with a social work degree, but the number of ways that you can make a difference in the lives of others are endless. I think that it's really pretty cool that you can get a degree that allows you to entirely switch your job mid-career if you decide you want to! This will also allow social workers to enter the field knowing that if they get burnt out where they are, that there are opportunities they can switch to.
Eddie was one of Morrison's founding members of its Queer Service Provider resource group (QSP). He used the QSP to increase our organization's capacity to be inclusive and supportive of LGBTQ identified clients, employees, and community partners. His work on this group was not mandated by his job however, Eddie saw a need in the organization and community and answered the call. This is but just one example of the type of work that this inspiring individual does throughout his work. I have watched Eddie take on extracurricular projects to advocate for the needs of folks diagnosed with developmental disabilities, those struggling with suicidal thoughts, sexually exploited youth, LGBTQ youth and families, AIDS patients, and more. I am always impressed to watch how Eddie uses his professionalism, intellect, and compassion to advocate for the needs of marginalized populations. He is a perfect example of the type of person new social workers should model their careers after.
Just kidding, the study abroad program in Finland was the highlight of my MSW experience. This program provided an amazing opportunity to experience how social welfare policy and clinical social work practice function in a nation with progressive social welfare laws. This experiential course was inspirational and invigorating. Plus, the little field trip to Tallinn, Estonia wasn't bad either! I would highly recommend any MSW student that reads this to seriously consider the wonderful study abroad programs that are available through the Michigan State School of Social Work!