A few weeks ago I presented in a day-long conference called Social Work Forum 2011. This was a day designed for current BSW students and others thinking about getting their MSW. There were representatives from several different MSW programs as well as presenters from a lot of different social work agencies. The idea was to talk about all of the many opportunities that are available to MSW students after graduation. I was really proud to be there from GSSW as I was reminded of the ways that students can specialize in our program both in our tracks and certificates as well as in the field. No other school that was there had such an innovate, specialized program. My mother would have told me that it is not good to be boastful but that is how I felt…….maybe proud is a better word. Our students have so many choices that sometimes the biggest challenge is to narrow down the focus.
This is really true in field and we are so aware of it this time of year. In anticipation of students beginning their search for next year’s internship we are working fast and furiously to update our data base. We are also opening lots of new agencies that want to partner with us for internships. This week we opened agencies dealing with conservation social work, animal-assisted social work, and cutting-edge substance abuse treatment.
The other really exciting thing is that several of our students have been accepted to participate in Project Bosnia, a summer-long internship working in post-war Bosnia, specifically Sarajevo. The students are interested in social justice, conflict resolution, restorative justice, human rights and trauma. I am working on setting up their internships so I am in touch with the United Nations, the International Red Cross, and some of the War Crimes Tribunals. In case you’re curious, here are some pictures of Sarajevo.
While some students intern in Bosnia, China or elsewhere around the globe, many others look for placements in rural Colorado, downtown Denver and everyplace in between. Some students live north of Denver in Boulder and look for internships there while others live about an hour south in Colorado Springs so they want to find an internship down there. That way they only have to drive into Denver for classes and can intern closer to home.
As we gear up for our incoming and continuing students to start searching for next year’s internship, it is a busy, hectic, and exciting time in the field education program.