No Experience -- Getting into an MSW program?

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Comments (15)

Queenie in Lawrenceville, Georgia

63 months ago

*Bump*

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Natasha in Raleigh, North Carolina

62 months ago

I am currently applying for MSW. A lot of schools focus on experience because a lot of Social Workers are working directly with people. Grades are fine but I really do not think getting an "A" equals having a great rapport with people. I am guessing you are trying to get in next fall 2010(?). The deadlines are probably in January/ February. I know a lot of Social Workers and you may want get some human service experience. Volunteer about 10 hours a week if you can. The longer you volunteer the better. When you are in the Social Work program you have to perform a practicum (more than likely 3). While the non-profit is interviewing you they will probably ask if you have some experience. Also while filling out your application you have write some pretty lengthy essays. You have to put more than just you have passion to help people. I hope this helps.

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Queenie in Woodstock, Georgia

62 months ago

Natasha, thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate it. Good luck applying to MSW programs. :D

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Queenie in Suwanee, Georgia

60 months ago

katherine, such a comment was incredibly unhelpful and rude. I hope that one day you learn to treat others the way you want to be treated.

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LMSW in Birmingham, Alabama

58 months ago

I think that it is great that you want to become a Social Worker. We need dedicated individuals that are willing to take on the risks and important positions that Social Workers hold.

As for your lack of experience, I would volunteer. In addition, you may be able to find an internship that will provide you with experience. Did you complete an internship for your Bachelor's Degree? If not, life experience may help you if you can express yourself clearly. Were you in Girl Scouts as a child? Did you have an abusive childhood and feel compelled to help others? All of these things count as experience.

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Queenie in Lawrenceville, Georgia

58 months ago

Thank you so much for your help. I just found out that I have been accepted to at least one program so far, so I have accomplished my goal. :D

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Queenie in Lawrenceville, Georgia

58 months ago

Thank you, Natasha. I really appreciate your words.

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divya pandhi in Mumbai, India

35 months ago

hellow sir/madam:) .. i m doing bcom nd this my last year nd i wnt to join msw course.wht should i do .some are telling that u have to give entrance exam .is it neccessary ? i really feel bad that i didint join bsw. bcoz i dont had any idea about this course,but nw aftr knowing about this msw course i m so excited to do something for the society.
i want to earn money for the needy person so that i can help them.
plz suggest me . what should i do in future related to social wrk.will i get job related to social wrk like rural development etc. ??

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Ahsilat in Atlanta, Georgia

33 months ago

Hi Queenie!
The chances of you seeing this are probably slim as this post is a few years old, but I am hopeful that I will get a reply. I am in the exact same situation and I am wondering how this all turned out for you. which course of action did you take? Please email me at queenahsilat@aol.com if you see this.

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Ahsilat in Atlanta, Georgia

33 months ago

Hi Queenie!
The chances of you seeing this are probably slim as this post is a few years old, but I am hopeful that I will get a reply. I am in the exact same situation and I am wondering how this all turned out for you. which course of action did you take? Please email me at queenahsilat@aol.com if you see this.

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Ahsilat in Atlanta, Georgia

33 months ago

Hi Queenie!
The chances of you seeing this are probably slim as this post is a few years old, but I am hopeful that I will get a reply. I am in the exact same situation and I am wondering how this all turned out for you. which course of action did you take? Please email me at queenahsilat@aol.com if you see this.

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X in Peterborough, Ontario

30 months ago

For anyone going in to social work I would really recommend getting volunteer experience in a crisis setting.It is much more challenging than you may think. It is easy to think that you want to help people, but being able to do it is very different. If someone calls you wanting to commit suicide, are you confident in your skills to make the call that they will or won't and if they will are going to be okay to contact emergency services for them. Are you going to be able to hear experiences of children being sexually abused by family members and subsequently take them away from their families despite the fact that they don't want to be taken away. Are you comfortable dealing with death and helping family members grieve over the loss of someone who was once your client. You are going to be there for your client's darkest moments. It is very important work do not get me wrong. However, once your there and hear the tragic experiences of some of these people it is depressing. 50% of social service workers burn out in the first 1-2 years. Another 15% are unhappy with their work. Another 15% have outside activities to help make them happy. Being a social worker also takes a large toll on your personal relationships. Imagine you just heard the most tragic thing you have ever heard happening to a human being. Can you leave that at work and not talk to your spouse about it, because you have to keep your client's information confidential. The divorce rate among social workers is higher than that of the average population. Make sure you get experience. There is much more to social work than helping people, you have to learn when to say no to your clients and when you can't take anymore.

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NeverGivingUpHope in San Diego, California

29 months ago

Hello Ahsilat or anyone thinking of attending graduate school,

This may be 3 months too late, but I can share with you my own experience after having recently graduated an MSW program 2 months ago. Unfortunately, I never took a break from school and went straight into a graduate program with no prior social work/mental health related experience. The good thing is that you don't necessarily need much experience to get into an MSW program, however, once you get out into the job market prior experience would help a great deal. During my program I gained some experience in counseling and health education by completing 2 different internships for my foundation and concentration years. As of now, these internships and some volunteering for non-profits have been my only experience in the field (all prior work experience before starting the program was in sales/retail). This has made it difficult to find jobs. It is not really until you get your license that many doors will open or you know someone who can personally recommend you a position since simply sending in applications and resumes alone does not cut it. Based on my experiences I would recommend taking some time between your bachelor's and master's degrees to at least gain 6 months to 1 year of exposure to the field to not only gain some experience but to also see what you like and don't like. This would probably help give you more clear direction and help you out in the long run. Again, I know it is difficult to find a job in this field with only a bachelor's but that is where volunteering for a non-profit or other organization may come in handy. You can always get a part-time job and volunteer for 6 months or longer before applying to an MSW program and that way you also have time to really research the programs you want to apply for and request informational interviews from alumni. Amazon.com has a great list of books on the topic of pursuing an MSW and social work career development too. Best of luck.

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MswHopefulStudent in Los Angeles, California

25 months ago

Hello NeverGivingUpHope,

I am currently researching what MSW program will be best for me, and I have already started the application process in a couple Grad schools. I am very curious to know, and ask recent MSW graduate students how are they doing in the current job market. Were you able to find a job quickly? If so, for what type of organization?

I am super nervous to see if the Grad school I will apply for will accept, as I do not have any social work experience I can add to my resume. I am also worried to know, after lots of research online, that it is tough to find work at this time, even with a MSW.

Hope you respond!

Thanks!

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Natasha in Raleigh, North Carolina

25 months ago

Queenie,

Thanks for the update. Sorry Social Work was not your calling. At least you know one career you do not want to do. Knowing what you do not want gets you one step closer to your calling.

Good luck!

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