I recently published a note about how I wish I’d learned more about skills for entrepreneurship while pursuing my degrees in Social Work. I shared my post in some of the Social Work groups I belong to on LinkedIn, and wanted to share some of the things others wish they had learned with you.
Vikki Brewster, MSW • “I wish I had been given the opportunity for more internship experience in various social work fields and different segments of the population. I believe social work students should spend each year of their education working with different segments of the population (youth one year, adults another). Too often the focus is on the student being supervised and gaining experience, but it may not be the right fit for the student or supervisor.
When it comes down to skills taught and learned I would imagine that this has changed over the years and hopefully with the modern area of social media/internet, social work students are gaining the experience they need/desire.”
Rosaura Torres • More about “..Internships in Companies and Justice fields…”
Chasity Lovely, MSW, CSW • “How to transition into different types of social work careers and how to start a private practice.”
Claude Devillier • “I agree ….professional development, even if just presentations on this would be great idea.”
Rachel West, MSW, LMSW • “Grant writing, fund-raising, more options that focused on macro practice.”
Rachel is also one of my social justice blogging colleagues. You can find her website over at The Political Social Worker.
Donna Hunter, LCSW, CADC • “That private practice is a business and we deserve to make money.”
Emily Blake, MSW • “Public speaking, innovative fundraising strategies for nonprofits, a course on benefit corporations and service delivery in that business model, international NGO’s, grant management, as well as a general business and marketing class. UCLA was an incredible school in that it did provide classes on grant writing, nonprofit leadership, opening a nonprofit, international social work, general fundraising strategies, and that the school provided workshops on opening a private practice and professional development.”
genevieve curio • “grant writing, community and leadership classes”
Beth LaFontaine, MSW, LCSW Behavioral Health • “Grant writing was a good one to mention. As I have transitioned from community MH (mental health) clinician to Behavioral Health clinician for Insurance company I would also say…. Healthcare systems and huge governing bodies like CMS etc.
There is a growing need for LCSW’s in insurance/medical world to address BH needs and ensure continuity of care amongst patients and all their healthcare providers. So many medical dx have symptoms that mimic depression, anxiety, etc like thyroid that need to be addressed. Boston College GSSW did impress upon us importance of systems and policy.”
Gerald Myers • “The writings of Bertha Capen Reynolds would have been an important addition to my social work education. When I learned of her, I felt something lost had been found:) She is a pillar of social work as are Mary Richmond and Jane Adams.“
Robin Unruh • “I completed an employment based practicum with a child welfare agency which served a purpose at the time. However, as my career has progressed I wish I would have participated in a practicum experience beyond child welfare as there are so many options available in the social work field.”
Deona Hooper, MSW • “I wished that social work programs offered a project management certification as an option!”
Deona is another one of my social justice blogging colleagues. You can find more of her work on socialworkhelper.com’s blog.
DeAnna K. Hall, MSW, GCDF • “I agree with Deona and Rachel”
Steven Graddick III • “I’m a new student and can always use more knowledge about current changes in the field.”
Linda Grobman, MSW, LSW, CMP • “I think there are a couple of areas that are not covered widely in schools of social work. One is the topic of self care, burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. (We will be publishing an article about this in an upcoming issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER, and have published articles about it before, as well.) When I hear people talk about this (or write about it), it is usually in the context of, “We weren’t taught this in school….” I know it wasn’t covered when I got my MSW. Countertransference was addressed in supervision in my field placement…I was fortunate to have a supervisor who was tuned in to such issues.
Another area is that of writing skills. Writing is important in social work, whether writing for publication or writing “everyday” documents like progress notes. Social workers need to be able to communicate clearly and professionally in writing.”
Those were some responses, but what about yours? Is there anything you’d wish you’d learned? It’s never too late to start.
Grace & Peace,
From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW
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