Saturday, January 1
With the beginning of a new semester in January, I am beginning to reflect on my experiences as an MSW student and to focus on my anticipated graduation in six short months. Throughout my time as a student, I have gained an immeasurable amount of learning from experiences in the classroom and through my internships. At the same time, I am looking forward to re-entering the work world. I am not a typical student because I received my undergraduate degree five years ago in marketing. Working in the field of social services is a new experience for me as all of my previous work experience was in sales, marketing and the insurance industry.
When I graduated from the University of Dayton in 1999 with a B.S. in business administration, I would have never guessed that I would be receiving an MSW degree six years later from Loyola University. At that time, I was looking forward to a career in the business field. However, over the next four years, I never seemed to find quite what I was looking for in a job. There always seemed to be a piece missing that left me feeling unfulfilled. Even if my job was challenging, it left me feeling there was something more I could be doing. I have found this sense of fulfillment I had been searching for in the field of social work, and it comes from the values of the social work profession.
In the preamble to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers, the core values of the social work profession include service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence. Also, according to the Code of Ethics, the essential goals of professional social workers are to “enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people” while promoting “social justice and social change” for clients. Looking back on the last three semesters, I realize the personal values that are significant in my life parallel the values of the social work profession. This was the “missing piece” for me. I am looking forward to beginning my career as a social worker next year while challenging myself to maintain these values and goals throughout my professional life.