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Pursuing a MSW

I am really interested in pursuing a MSW. I am finishing up a graduate certificate in Sociology, but I don’t have a lot of recent, relevant work experience. I understand that most MSW programs require work (or at least volunteer) experience. What are some good strategies for networking and finding opportunities to gain that experience? #gradschool #socialwork #msw

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Sarah’s Answer

Hi there! Great that you want to pursue an MSW. I would look for a local nonprofit organization that works with a specific population or cause that you care about, and see if they have any volunteer needs. Maybe you can help them around their office or help staff one of their programs - consistency for a time period would be most attractive to social work schools, however the cause itself should be something you really care about personally! I've seen people come into MSW programs from all sorts of career tracks, but they have one thing in common - a clear passion about who and what they desire to help. Good luck!!

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Melissa’s Answer

I came to social work as a career in mid-life, so anyone can do it if they have the desire and the drive. I was working in jobs where there were social workers on site, and I got to see what they were doing and I thought, "I think I like what they are doing more than what I am doing!" So I would say look at volunteer or paid positions in places that are likely to have social workers onsite, and are related to an area of social work in which you might like to practice one day: schools, health care, mental health, non-profits, law, advocacy organizations, etc. If you know what kind of social work you would like to do, it will really help narrow the field. Examples from my life: volunteering with in-school tutoring organization, working at vocational training program with homeless adults, volunteering at a nursing home.
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