Mireille Maquis, MSW student with a concentration in Administration, chooses International Issues in Social Work as her focused area of study
Bachelor’s Degree: Western Connecticut State University, Bachelors of Social Work
When I graduated from Western Connecticut State University five years ago I knew then that I wanted to attend the UConn School of Social Work. UConn was my first choice because of the design of the curriculum in offering five different areas of specialization and the option of complimenting that with a focused area of study. I had to build my confidence to apply because it was five years since I have been in school and I was concerned that I may not be accepted into the program. Once I overcame this fear I applied and hoped for the best. Once I was accepted to the School was when I realized that I was closer to achieving my goal of becoming an administrator and managing a non-profit organization.
When I entered my first year as an administration concentration student I did not know what to expect. I quickly found that my professors were there to assist me in any way possible to ensure that my questions and concerns were answered. My internship gave me the foundation needed to prepare me for my second year placement. My advisor was another form of support. She helped me decide what type of internships would benefit me and my future goals of becoming an administrator. The School is a place where someone is always there to help you find a solution to your problem.
As a Co-Chair of the International Students & Company during my first year I was able to broaden my interest in the area of international affairs. I assisted with the planning and implementation of events and throughout this process was able to meet different international figures who provided me with new knowledge. This direct experience complimented the international class that I was taking for my focused area of study in International Social Work.
I am currently the Co-Chair of the Student Organization and I look forward to enhancing and gaining new skills in the area of leadership, budgeting, overseeing an organization, facilitating meetings, public speaking, and mobilizing students. One of my goals as Co-Chair is to try to build a healthier community among the student body by organizing events that promote the importance of health and wellness in our daily lives. I truly enjoy working with my peers who are striving to achieve the same goals.
My advice to incoming and future students is to view the School of Social Work as an opportunity to build your professional community. The School is a setting where you will meet many people from different backgrounds and cultures which will help you build on your life experiences. As a result of becoming involved in the School community and talking with other people, I have built a network that is beneficial to me now and will be in the future. I have people to turn to for professional advice or even to just catch up with about life events. I know we all have other obligations such as work, and being parents, but you would be surprised as to how many people you meet with similar stories and experiences. In turn, these are the people who turn out to be great support systems that help you go through this journey.