I currently work as a policy analyst at the National Governors Association (NGA) in the research and policy development branch of the organization, the Center for Best Practices. I work directly with Governors’ teams to complete high-level technical assistance, write policy briefs, and make recommendations on emerging best practices related to health and human services needs. I also oversee multi-state and territory networks focused specifically on emerging policy topics like trauma-informed care, healthcare workforce, and health equity.
Right after graduating with my BSW, I was a caseworker for Dauphin County Social Services for Children and Youth. This helped me recognize a strong passion for advocacy on behalf of children and families at the macro level. I completed my MSW internship at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I worked in the Office of Early Childhood Development which focuses on policy and program development for children birth to five.
The Social Work Department helped me identify barriers and gaps in my professionalism and helped to strengthen my portfolio through field experience and coursework.
Courses outside of Social Work were immensely helpful in working across systems. Courses where I studied psychology, biology, sociology, criminal justice, etc. helped me to work with clients across multiple systems, and recognize where macro change was possible.
The basic principle of my faith is loving God, and loving people. It is critically important to me that the Jesus I know is reflected in my character both in and out of the field. This looks like advocating for underrepresented communities, calling out injustice, and working alongside underprivileged people.
Invest in your Social Work toolbox. Gather resources, theories, best-practices, etc. and start to compile a list. There will be countless times in the field where you will want to apply something you learned in the classroom to a real life situation. You will never regret being overprepared.
The most impactful experiences were always in the field. Learning from different field instructors and gaining lived experience helped me best understand where my passion fit in the world of social work.
I absolutely recommend the Social Work Program. It will challenge and stretch you in both your personal and professional life, however you will be overprepared to enter the field when you graduate.