Carolyn Burke '15SW on Growing With Her Clients

What are you studying at Simmons?

I am an advanced standing masters in social work student. I graduate in August 2015!

What's your favorite part of your program?

My favorite aspect of the School of Social Work is the professors and staff. Every single person is committed to their students and will do anything to see their students succeed. Their efforts have meant a lot to me throughout my education at Simmons.

What made you come to school at Simmons?

I learned about the MSW program at Simmons at a National Association of Social Workers (NASW) conference in Connecticut. Dr. Gary Bailey was the keynote speaker and after hearing his lecture, I was immediately inspired to apply to this program.

How is Simmons helping to prepare you for your career?

Through a demanding curriculum and field practicum, I have learned to think clinically with greater ease. Through multiple career events, I have also felt prepared for applying and interviewing for jobs.

What kind of field work are you doing over the summer?

This summer, I am interning at the North Shore Physicians Group in Peabody. This office has adopted an integrated care model meaning that social workers are on site in order to meet with patients who are presenting with psycho-social concerns. I get referred to the patients I work with by their primary care doctors and I meet with them both in the office or on the phone, after their appointment. I am the first intern that this office has had. I really enjoy this work and would definitely like to continue in the field of health care as a result.

What's the most rewarding part of your work?

Being able to bear witness to the stories of my clients -- as well as watch their growth throughout the treatment process. With each client, I learn and grow with them, so the collaboration that I partake in in my work is really powerful and rewarding.

What are some challenges you've faced during your field work?

Taking my work home with me. It's difficult not to do this in graduate school because you pull from your experience in the field to complete your course work.  I have really had to practice the amount of information I bring home and trust that everything will be okay until the next day.

What's your Simmons moment?

There have been many moments that have defined my year at Simmons. However, something that I am always very proud of is when I tell people where I go to school, the response is always “that’s a great school!” and to them I get to say, “it sure is.” My classmates and I have worked hard for our degrees but it was worth it to be able to say that we graduated from such a well-known school.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I hope to be more acclimated to the field of social work. I would also eventually like to live somewhere warmer and have a family. It's exciting to think of all the future has in store, especially now that I'm getting my MSW.

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