Joshua Clark
Joshua Clark, MSW - 2017
Why did you choose social work? MSU?

I love Michigan State University. I always told myself that if I ever go back to school for my masters degree, it will be at Michigan State. I work a full-time job at the Department of Health and Human Services; I am a motivational speaker that speaks monthly around the state of Michigan so with that being said: I don’t have a lot of free time. If it were not for the MSW Weekend Program at Michigan State University, I wouldn’t be furthering my education like I am right now.

Joshua Clark

If you ask a student majoring in social work as to why they are pursuing a degree in the field, the popular answer is because they want to make change in our world and help people in the process. My answer to that question is, if I have the ability to aid a multitude of individuals through the creation of programs or policy at one time, why not? At my job right now, I have over six-hundred clients. I feel as though I am helping these clients one by one and don’t get me wrong: It’s a great feeling. Upon receiving my Masters degree in the MSW program and attaining my goal to become a policy maker for the Department of Health and Human Services, I will be in a position that holds a resplendent degree of responsibility toward improving the lives and strengthening the communities that each of us call home. My vision is to implement policy that empowers individuals to move toward greater independence. I am excited about my vision and goals as I aspire once again, to represent Michigan State University with the heart and dedication of a Spartan.

Do you have a favorite quote about social work or something else?

Martin Luther King Jr. was quoted as saying “Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?”

I believe when it comes to living life, at the end of the day: Life is not about everything that you have necessarily experienced, but rather what you instill in others. You never know how a simple gesture such as a smile or asking someone how they are doing may change their lives for the better. After speaking at an Impact Panel for Drinking and Driving a gentlemen approached me and said that he just got back from Afghanistan. I thanked him for serving our country. His response to me was something I will never forget, he said: thank you for saving my life.

Do you have any advice for students currently enrolled in a social work program?

If you have made it this far in the process of pursuing a Masters degree in the social work program, you understand that the field of social work is not for everyone. No doubt you have developed tough skin through whatever experiences that you have endured to get to the point of you wanting to better yourself by getting your MSW. As you are enrolled in this program, realize that you are on the brink of greatness at the end of the road that is graduation. Enjoy this journey. Think of this cohort as your family because that is what they become. You and members of your cohort will experience the same struggles, but you will also experience the same tribulations. Life will happen during this journey in which you may experience the lows of a loved one making their transition. However, you may also experience the birth of a child.

Give yourself credit, you were accepted into this program for a reason. At this point in time, that reason may not be clear to you. But I promise one day that light bulb will light up.