Why did you choose to pursue an MSW degree?
While an undergraduate I had set my sites on research and teaching and planned to pursue a doctorate degree in one of the behavioral sciences. As I became more intrigued with human behavior, I realized that I wanted to work in the trenches as a clinician. I found a Master Degree in Social Work to fit my goals at that time. The degree is widely accepted and multifaceted creating vast employment opportunities.
What are your thoughts on BYU's focus on a spiritually strengthening educational experience?
At the time of enrollment, I needed this aspect of the program for my own personal growth and development of my relationship with the Savior. It was constantly comforting to know that I was being educated on hallowed ground. I found the spiritually strengthening educational experience to be complementary to my individual and professional development.
What are your thoughts on the family experience at BYU?
I made some great friends that I will always remain in contact with. I believe that our class developed a supportive non-competitive atmosphere; it was necessary to survive some of the “growth opportunities” the program provides.
Why did you choose BYU's Social Work program?
There were several qualities of the MSW program at BYU that I found attractive; specifically the clinical preparation, stipend internships, proximity to where I lived, and post graduate job placement, in addition the challenge of getting into a reputable program. I found that compared to many other MSW programs around the country, this was the most complete program to prepare me as a clinician. Seeing clients at the clinic and receiving professional supervision was top notch. Financially the stipend internships were attractive to my need to continue to provide for my family. I felt confident that I would have a job after graduation; I had three great offers before I had my diploma.
What are your career goals?
I feel blessed with getting to where I am now career wise, but lets face it, moss does not gather on a rolling stone. I have a strong interest to continue working in the adoption field, specifically with adopted adolescents and their families. I enjoy program/treatment development for this population and would like to parlay that into a doctorate degree some day. I enjoy presenting on this topic I would like to be recognized as a knowledgeable expert in this arena.
Tell us about your BYU internship experience(s):
Bottom line this is the best part of the program. This is where the rubber met the road and I believe where my confidence to do this awesome work developed. My first internship was with the Utah County Division of Substance Abuse; loved it. I draw on that experience everyday in the work that I am doing now. I received a comprehensive education on substance abuse, was able to contribute to program development, co-facilitated therapy groups, got my first taste of marriage counseling, learned about funding and gained humility and respect in a way that no other training could have provided. I continue to maintain contact with my clinical supervisor from that internship and consider him an influential mentor.My second internship was with The Adoption Center of Choice. Because of my interest in adoption work, I was stoked when I found out I was going to intern at the ACC. Again this was another great opportunity to learn. I was able to develop and run a group for birth mothers, prepare families for adoption, and gain empathy for the adoption experience. Being adopted myself it gave me great opportunity to gain an educational awareness of counter- transference. My experience at the ACC will never leave me.