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Student Profiles: Bocarsly on Casework

Naomi Bocarsly, a MSW Student with a concentration in Casework, has the desire to pursue a career that enables her to work closely with people, by supporting and empowering individuals to better their lives.

Bachelor’s Degree: Drew University, New Jersey, Major in Psychology

I have always had the desire to pursue a career that enables me to work closely with people, by supporting and empowering individuals to better their lives. With these goals in mind, I began my pursuit of an MSW at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work (SSW) in the fall of 2011. The program has, again, validated my passion to pursue a career in social work. Academically, the University of Connecticut is ideal for me because it is allowing me to complete a well-respected clinical degree by engaging in the casework method while exposing me to social work on a broader spectrum.

A few years ago, I had the life changing opportunity to go on a two-week earthquake relief trip to Haiti. This trip left an indelible mark on me and prompted my desire to go into social work because I witnessed firsthand the level of need in a poverty stricken country and saw that even one person can make a difference in many lives. During my foundation year at the SSW, my desire to continue in the field of social work was strengthened and further exposed as I was pushed and encouraged by professors in the classroom and supervisors in the field.

Although the classroom experience at the school has been invaluable, I have always been someone who enjoys learning in a hands-on manner. My foundation year fieldwork placement in a New Haven public school was a wonderful experience that offered me a safe environment where I was given very consistent supervision. I was also given enough freedom that I could explore my own abilities and emerging skills. Throughout my first year in the field, administratively, UConn SSW did an exceptional job of supporting me, while academically the faculty managed to seamlessly integrate classroom lessons with real life fieldwork experiences. This was instrumental in helping me learn how to effectively apply theories and techniques in real life situations.

One of the most beneficial (and optional) experiences I have had came in the form of becoming involved with a school committee; the Disaster Response Committee. By becoming part of this committee, I have been able to meet and build relationships with many students, faculty and staff outside of the classroom. Furthermore, this opportunity has exposed me to a broader application of social work globally and locally.

To new and prospective students: I strongly encourage you to explore the many academic and extracurricular options that UConn SSW offers. Try out student organizations and become fully integrated into the strong community, as it will open doors for you. Use this time to explore your skills and interests so that you can look back at your experience and know exactly how it will apply to your future.