Matt Snyder ’19MSW: Simmons Created This Perfect Storm of Opportunities
Simmons created this perfect storm of opportunities for me. Each step of my professional development came at exactly the right time.
What the job entails
Matt Snyder ’19MSW is a clinical social worker at Home Base, a nonprofit partnership of the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital that offers clinical care and other support to active service members, veterans, and their families. Working in the outpatient clinic, Matt provides clinical case management and leads several substance-focused treatment groups. He also counsels clients in the SOAR (Skills-Based Outpatient Addiction and Recovery) Program, an intensive recovery initiative for veterans facing substance use and co-occurring mental health conditions.
“My passion is working in substance use,” says Matt. “So I feel incredibly fortunate to start my career in this area with members of this community.”
What brought him to Simmons
Matt, who came to the program as a career-changer, chose Simmons, he says, for its “intense clinical focus.” A 2013 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in political science, he also appreciated the small, discussion-based classes and the diverse backgrounds of faculty and students.
“There was a richness to the program that made it stand out,” he says.
How Simmons prepared him
The combination of rigorous coursework and supportive mentoring, reports Matt, allowed him to achieve his goals, as well as to discover new interests. In his first placement at the Justice Resource Institute in Boston, he worked in the Youth Harbors Program, which helps homeless, unaccompanied young adults secure housing, finish high school, and develop postgraduate plans.
His second placement was at Home Base in the outpatient and intensive clinical programs. As a dean’s fellow, Matt assisted Professor Jennifer Putney with substance use research and addiction-focused curriculum development. He also spent three “life-changing” weeks in Uganda, he adds, as part of a social action course with Professor Hugo Kamya. Matt plans to ultimately pursue a Ph.D., with the long-term goal of balancing clinical practice, substance use research, and teaching.
“Simmons created this perfect storm of opportunities for me,” he says. “Each step of my professional development came at exactly the right time.”