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Student Profiles: Morales on Group Work

Vanessa Morales, a MSW student with a concentration in Group Work, chose the School of Social Work because it fit her individually and professionally.

Bachelor’s Degree: Eastern Connecticut State University, Major in Social Work

The School of Social Work and I were meant for each other. I say this in a humorous tone for those of you who don’t know me…I am quite the funny person. I would like to give a very sophisticated answer as to why I chose the UConn School of Social Work but there isn’t one. I chose the School of Social Work because it fit me individually and professionally. From the moment I picked my courses to now, I have had nothing but great experiences with staff and colleagues. It cannot get much better than this. The School of Social Work has staff that is willing to listen to the thoughts and concerns of the students and my colleagues are willing to support each other. So, all in all, the School of Social Work was the right choice for me because in my opinion, it is founded on the basis of team work and collaboration with others in order to provide the best results.

My experience as a first year student was awesome. I came into UConn with a Bachelor in Social Work (BSW) degree where I had taken some of my foundation courses in my undergraduate career. I find that having my BSW has helped me to understand that there are many different theories and walks of life that I should be receptive to and open to those ideas. During my first year, I had remarkable professors who were supportive and were able to provide a classroom that was full of learning experiences, support, and fun. My field practice experience is one that has made me so humble. In field I have learned so many different things, met so many wonderful people, and many inspirational clients that make me realize that life is meant to be lived and enjoyed to the fullest. Words cannot do my field practice justice, but I will say that I welcomed my field practice with open arms as something I knew nothing about. I am learning so many different things about the field of social work as I work with community members, clients, agencies, funders, and many other key components of communities. The one thing that I have learned from class, field practice, and school staff is the #1 rule: build a relationship in any aspect of your practice because it will help you grow professionally and personally.

During my first year of graduate school I participated in a focus group, spoke on a panel, and attended various events. I enjoyed my interactions with my fellow colleagues, professors, and the student organization leaders. This year I am the Chair of the student sub-organization PRIDE. I am very excited to take on this new role.

I was asked to provide advice to new and prospective students. Every time I see a question like this, I honestly am hesitant to respond in giving advice because I know what it feels like to be a new and prospective student and sometimes the advice doesn’t always help. So, I am going to keep it real…My advice would be to enjoy life because it goes by too quickly. Also, sometimes we need to buck up and do what we have to in order to make it. Lastly, network with everyone because this is a chance to branch out and learn so much about the different aspects of the MSW field, yourself, and the School of Social Work.