Watch as the MSW faculty discuss the best things about being a social worker, their advice for aspiring social workers, and why they think students should choose Regis College for their MSW.
Meet the Regis College Online MSW Faculty
CAPTION: What’s the best thing about being a social worker?
Dr. Ruth Gerritsen-McKane: The best thing about being a social worker is the opportunity to see folks who have overcome insurmountable odds much of the time. I am always in awe of such things. And it’s just such a humble experience to have just a little piece of helping folks realize their potential and being able to then go on and achieve what they desire and so I really appreciate being able to do such a thing.
Dr. Donette Considine: It’s that feeling that you’re contributing to something larger than yourself. Helping another person. There’s a rewarding feeling about that. It’s a pay it forward kind of thing. If I can help someone to stand on their own two feet better or function in a relationship better, I believe then everyone in their path is going to be better off.
Dr. Henry Kronner: One of the best things about being a social worker is the flexibility. One gets a degree in social work and can do a variety of jobs, a variety of different skills because one is taught not just about mental health, one is also taught about how to change policy. One is also taught about how to work in communities and make changes. I think that a degree in social work allows one to be very well rounded and gives a person many more opportunities and options than some other professions.
Dr. Lisa Gray: The best thing about being a social worker is that it offers an opportunity to work with a lot of different populations and clientele. In my own experience, having worked within the school systems, having done hospital social work, having worked with military families, I’ve bounced around to different populations and I always find that I have multiple interests.
Dr. Mimi Sodhi: When you’re in social work, sometimes you don’t see the results of your work. Especially in substance abuse, they’ll come in for treatment and then that tends to be a revolving door because part of recovery is relapse. So that can be a little bit frustrating. So when you have those moments where you really can see that you get a little note from a client that says, 10, 15 years later, I remember what you shared with me and I take this with me. That is very meaningful.
CAPTION: What is a piece of advice you have for aspiring social workers?
Dr. Lisa Gray: Take some time and really explore the different populations there are to work with in social work. Allow yourself to take internships working with different sub-populations. Take some time to really explore and speak with other social workers within the field who work with different populations, so you can have opportunity to learn about what your interests might be. And don’t be afraid to be able to have multiple interests and speak with social workers who are working within different subsets of the field to really learn what your own interest areas are.
Dr. Ruth Gerritsen-McKane: One piece of advice I would give aspiring social workers is the absolute need for self-care. You cannot do this work without being able to ensure that you are living your life in a fashion that permits you to take care of yourself. This profession can be very overwhelming. It can be very taxing. We see the worst and the best of humanity, and not that we’re always perfect at it, but it’s just so incredibly important to take time for ourselves because we also have to be able to teach that to others. And if we’re not practicing it, it becomes evident.
Dr. Henry Kronner: I think the main one for me would be self-care. I think it’s extremely important that social workers know how to take care of themselves. I think we go into this profession because we really do want to help others. Again, it’s a great feeling but it can also be exhausting. It can take a toll on us if we’re not careful. We need to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves so that we can continue to take care of clients.
Dr. Donette Considine: Every experience we have in life shapes who we are. It shapes how we show up in relation to other people. In order to be an effective social worker, I think first you have to tend to whatever your issues are.
Dr. Mimi Sodhi: I remember being a student thinking, “Oh my gosh, there is so much I’m never going to know at all.” And I remember the first time going into my field placement how anxious and scared I was. Am I going to hurt someone? Am I going to say or do the wrong thing? And I would just tell aspiring social workers to take a breath. You will never learn everything when you’re in school. We can provide you the tools. That’s why … They hate research, they hate policy. But those are the things that are going to really help you grow. If you can understand policies and if you can do research, then you have the tools and the skills and then you have the basic understanding of human behavior and developmental theories and you have really good listening skills and engagement skills. Things will come together, not to feel panicked if you feel unprepared when you graduate, we all felt that way, and to realize you’ve got the tools to be able to learn and grow and it’s a lifelong learning process.
CAPTION: Why Choose Regis for your MSW?
Dr. Mimi Sodhi: Regis’ mission talks about social justice, about service to others. And that’s of course what our mission is too, so our mission closely aligns with Regis’s mission.
Dr. Donette Considine in social work and in social work education. More than half of us are still actively engaged in clinical practice. And I think that brings just a wealth of information and knowledge into our classes that we teach.
Dr. Henry Kronner: We are a clinical program. For those who are interested in doing direct practice, that’s what you’re going to be learning within our program.
Dr. Donette Considine: I think another thing is that students have said to us that they feel like they’re a part of a family. And that’s unusual to hear for an online program. Students are not numbers to us. We know every student by name. We could mention a student’s name and all the faculty are going to know who that is. We probably all know a little something about the student because we actually spend time getting to know our students. And so I think it’s really unique that we have this community.
Dr. Mimi Sodhi: It’s an online program and you have to have a certain type of skillset to be a successful online student. Yet we all understand that our online students also have other … Many other demands, work family, all kinds of things, caregiving of older adults, younger children, and we’re very open to being able to be attentive to that and ensuring that students have everything they need in place to be successful.
Dr. Henry Kronner: We are very student centered. I know we talk about that in different places, but at Regis we really are. The faculty are highly invested in students being successful. We will meet with you via video, phone, text. We will talk with you if you are struggling. We will work with you to solve those challenges and help you get past them.
Dr. Ruth Gerritsen-McKane: We will cheer, we will encourage, we will set important examples so that others can move forward and have incredible lives as well.