Where did their MSW degree take them?

July 12, 2016

Ilana Zablow

Alumna Ilana Zablow '15SW is working as an Individual and Group Therapist.

You have been working as a Clinical Fellow at the Brookline Community Mental Health Center. What does this job entail?

As a Clinical Fellow at the Brookline Community Mental Health Center, I provide one-on-one therapy sessions for both adults and teens facing a wide variety of challenges. I also facilitates an interpersonal process group for adults suffering from anxiety and depression so they have a safe space in which to talk and interact. Between sessions, I work closely with other clinicians and providers to give my clients the care they need.

What brought you to Simmons?

I had experience working in a variety of human service roles: teaching GED classes, providing foreclosure prevention counseling, and aiding justice-involved women through a small re-entry program. I knew I wanted to pursue an advanced degree, and I applied to a program with the intention of teaching adult English language learners, but I soon realized it wasn’t the right fit for me. I felt boxed in. I came to realize that I enjoyed being able to engage with people, not just within education, but in all areas of their lives. I came across a book on social work and decided to switch paths. I was relieved to see how many different kinds of things a social worker can do, including case management, advocacy, and group and individual therapy, that freedom meant a lot to me.

How did Simmons prepare you?

As a Simmons student, I took an active role in strengthening the program’s community. My classes were taught by authentic and passionate professors, all of whom are not only outstanding teachers, but gifted clinicians as well. Through a Dean’s fellowship, I worked with Dr. Dana Leeman to create, market, and facilitate a support group for both online and on-campus MSW students. As a mentor, Dana challenged me to take risks and try new things. Dana and the faculty in the field department encouraged me to apply to the Brookline Center for an internship, which led to me current position.

Do you find this position rewarding? What makes it rewarding?

At the Brookline Community Mental Health Center, I have found a supportive environment to begin my social work career. I love working with the clients, and I can give them my all because I know that my supervisors and the agency as a whole are behind me 100 percent. The Brookline Center nurtures me professionally, allowing me to grow in ways that directly and positively impact my clients.