I chose the Department of Social Work for my undergraduate degree because of the wide variety of opportunities and hands-on learning experiences that the program offers. Through the Department of Social Work, I participated for three consecutive years in a state-wide undergraduate social work conference and served as an officer for Mason’s Social Work Student Association my junior and senior years. I also worked alongside a social work faculty mentor as an Undergraduate Research Scholar to identify housing vulnerabilities for survivors of sex trafficking in the Philippines. The faculty and staff provided individual attention to students, equipping us with leadership skills that enhanced our educational journeys and prepared us to enter the workforce as confident professional social workers. After working in adoption for a year following graduation, I am currently enrolled in an Advanced Standing MSW program, now working with the refugee population on a macro level. Mason’s BSW program exposed me to international social work and greatly enhanced my cross-cultural skills, allowing me to now make a meaningful contribution to refugees from all over the world. The program provided me with tools needed to succeed in my pursuit of international social work, and I strongly recommend this outstanding program to anyone desiring to create positive social change.
Worker Justice Organizer, Many Languages One Voice
I chose to purse my MSW at Mason because I was interested in the social change concentration, and the proximity to DC made it the ideal location to study this area. My first field placement was crucial and helped me learn how to organize. I was also able to develop my expertise in workers’ rights and wage theft through an independent learning class and my thesis. The flexibility in Mason’s learning environment allowed me to develop the expertise that landed me my first job.
National Pathway of Hope Coordinator, The Salvation Army, National Headquarters
I chose the social work program at Mason because I knew I wanted to be in the DC area. I originally planned on becoming a clinical social worker but after learning more about direct practice I realized that was not for me. Fortunately, I found my passion in the “Influencing Social Policy” class. Our semester-long project to advocate for a specific bill provided me with a skill set that would be indispensable at my internship. My concentration year internship gave me extensive hands-on policy experience, which set me up for a promotion into a policy position, followed by a program management position with The Salvation Army.
Director of Health Care Policy & Advocacy, American Speech Language Hearing Association
As a child protective social worker and as a case manager for older adults I had always seen my social work career as a way to provide direct services to individuals and groups who needed support. My experience at George Mason opened my eyes to the full range of opportunities available to me to effect change on a much larger scale. I still view my advocacy role as helping individuals but now, the reality is, that I can help create positive changes for thousands and thousands of individuals at a time.