AMY GOLDWASSER, MSW
I was really debating whether getting a JD /MSW but then I decided I didn’t want to practice law. So I decided I wanted to come into public policy with a more informed perspective of how social services work and really how to improve them. I really like the social work perspective—understanding the person in environment, the biopsychosocial. I think a lot of public policies don’t recognize that full basis. And many people who get their masters in public policy don’t have that experience, on the ground, with the services that they are writing policy for and I think that is so important.
I will be starting a case management position. I am working with youth in the juvenile justice system, (hopefully, in June). So I am looking to take that back with me to the policy world or programming, and use the knowledge I have gained from that position to really inform whatever I end up doing for my next step. But I think that gives me the breadth of experience in case management and systems to really take it and do something else. It’s so hard to tell the future, so I could end up loving that and staying in that field as well.
It’s a great program. I think one of the biggest assets of the program besides from the faculty and the staff is the macro program. It’s the fact that it is in Washington, D.C. and there are things that are available here, particularly to macro students, that aren’t available anywhere else in the country because you have a wealth of national or nation-wide policy making institutions, international institutions, you have local organizations and there are all of these different things that really combine and meet at the nexus of our nation’s capitol. So that, I think, is a really great opportunity. Aside from the academic strength of the program, and the faculty, which are both very supportive, lastly, I think you have a lot of choice in internships and I think that is a strength that a lot of other programs don’t offer.
It’s easy to say the classroom is the best experience you’re going to have here but for me, really, and I think for many people in the Masters/MSW program, they really find they learn the most in their field placements. I learned a tremendous amount in my first year where I was really doing case management. And I really got a much better understanding of what that means. And then I learned a tremendous amount in my field placement (this year) in my policy work. But really putting those things together. I think for me If I were to say one (special) moment it would be organizing a forum held here at Catholic University on the impact of immigration rates on children. I organized that myself and that was really born out of work I was doing in my field placement but I felt it was so applicable to the work ..clinical practice and macro practice…on the mezzo level that it should really come to Catholic University to our MSW students. I was really impressed by the turn-out and the response that we got from that. And I think that’s a great opportunity for students to really bring and share what they’ve learned at their field placements.
Brandeis University in MA
Latin American Studies and Politics