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Student Profiles: Krikorian on Casework

Aaron Krikorian, a UConn MSW student with a concentration in Casework, chose the UConn School of Social Work because it offers a perfect balance of classes, which impart the expansive breadth of knowledge that comes with social work.

Bachelor’s Degree: University of Connecticut; BA in Psychology

My undergraduate experience was tumultuous to say the least. I attended three different undergraduate universities, and after five years, including breaks in my learning, I graduated from UConn with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. During my time at UConn, I invested my energies into completing my psychology degree with a focus on substance abuse and with a substantial interest in neuropsychology. I applied to doctoral programs in clinical psychology and felt so certain that clinical psychology and addiction research was what I was destined to do. However, during my time at UConn, I also took several women’s studies courses, which opened my eyes to the social injustices that plague the world. I was not accepted into any of the doctoral programs, and though disappointing at the time, I have come to see what a blessing that was. I devoted the next year of my life to studying the issues that women’s studies had brought to my attention: sexism, racism, socioeconomic injustices, and multicultural perspectives. It was one of the most enriching periods of my life, and it led me to the perfect counterpart in my intellectual and professional exploration: the UConn School of Social Work.

The UConn School of Social Work has provided me with a space to continue my exploration in social justice, and it has been wonderful. As a student in the casework track I was nervous that I might not be involved in classes and discussions relevant to larger, systemic issues. But that fear was quashed quickly in my first semester. UConn offers a perfect balance of classes, which impart the expansive breadth of knowledge that comes with social work. My macro-based classes provided me with powerful class discussions about systemic inequalities and taught me tactics for creating paradigmatic societal shifts. My micro-classes sharpened my skills in one-on-one practice and challenged me to become an ever-improving practitioner. Additionally, I can say that the professor who taught my micro-foundations course and my first casework course was the best teacher I’ve ever had.

My classes were the perfect complement to my field work. My first year in field was at a high school where I conducted one-on-one weekly sessions, ran groups, carried out crisis interventions, and communicated with other social service agencies. My learning in the classroom supported my field work, and vice-versa. The two were further enhanced by the support and guidance I received from my teachers and advisor.

My only regret so far is that I have not participated in more school-based organizations and functions. I have pushed myself to do so in this upcoming year, and I would strongly suggest to any new incoming students to get involved. This school is an exceptional place and an inspiring community; all you have to do is join us. I hope to see you around campus and I hope your experience at UConn is as wonderful as mine has been.