Elizabeth Cameron, MSW ’12 with a Concentration in Group Work, found balance between work, family and graduate study with flexible study option at UConn SSW
Bachelor’s Degree: St. Michael’s College, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
I did not always know I wanted to be a social worker. After college I tried on many different possible careers like teaching and counseling and I worked in a variety of places from schools to hospitals. What I did know is that people fascinated me and I had a passion for working with children and those in need. I decided to take a Credit Extension class at UConn to see if this was the University and field for me. My first class, I immediately experienced the small class size which was a positive. I also loved the diverse population, methods based practice, different concentrations and experiences that everyone shared including the professor. I went on to take three more Credit Extension classes while working, getting married and having a child! While my life was pretty full, I had made the decision to apply because now was the time for me to continue to further myself, and become a master in the field I grew to respect and believed to be so crucial in this world. The day I received the acceptance letter from UConn, I also found out I was pregnant with my second child…what a day! I knew school would be a huge commitment, and one I was ready to tackle. What I was unsure of was how to juggle life, family, work, school and still be sane.
With the support from my advisor and several professors, I jumped into the UConn School of Social Work extended year program. Eight months pregnant and all, I sat down with my advisor and planned out my life for four years. I was able to juggle family, work, school and me with the help of the school’s flexible class schedule and being able to take my time with two classes a semester.
I can honestly say that the best parts of being a matriculated student are the relationships I have built with fellow students and faculty. As well in the classes, although grueling at times, to be able to collaborate, and challenge each other, argue and push each other for a common goal is thrilling. I am able to apply what I have learned to where I work and the world around me. I am so excited that I have so much more to learn and there are many opportunities to be involved with that the school offers, I have yet to explore!
My advice to students, there is never a perfect time to apply to graduate school; something always comes up…life gets in the way. When you feel strong, confident and ready for the challenge there are people at UConn to support you. Take a Credit Extension class, talk with students and faculty and you will see!