As the semester comes to a close, I am in awe of all I have learned, experienced and gained the past four months. Serendipity is the word that comes to mind regarding the foundation semester at GCSW. This semester has been one of solid preparation, from the classroom to professors to field placement to support through a cohort. How do you describe a first semester graduate school experience that has exceeded your expectations?
When I think of the foundation of a building, I think about the hidden beams, concrete, and partitions in place to make that building strong. The foundation establishes the strength of the structure. Every portion of the Foundation Semester is important to producing a competent, prepared and ethical social worker. The knowledge obtained in textbooks, classroom lectures and activities provided me with the essential tools needed to be effective in my field placement. The support I have received from my peers, in addition to encouraging and readily available professors, provided much needed confidence and strength when questions or weariness arose.
The encouragement, support and knowledge I gleaned from the social workers at my field placement, The Council on Alcohol and Drugs, have been extremely positive. My field supervisor exceeds my expectations as she diligently works to provide me her time, along with opportunities for exposure to a diverse client base, research and the policies affecting the population seeking treatment through the CRADLES program. My desire to work with addiction, women, pregnancy and postpartum depression is being fulfilled through my field placement. Fully aware that not everyone gets their dream field position, I consider myself fortunate to be placed where my interests are fulfilled and knowledge and skills are challenged.
Last, but not least, being an Ambassador for the GCSW has fulfilled one of my dreams to encourage others to pursue graduate school. Addressing the challenges and rewards of this program and the University of Houston, I look forward to another great semester of promoting a career in social work through the GCSW.