Explain your career path

I graduated from Southeast in May 2020 with my bachelors degree in social work. In my senior year I started applying to graduate schools and was accepted to the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis; the number 2 masters of social work program in the country. I deferred enrollment for one year to work as a case manager in St. Louis to save up money before getting my masters degree. Since I got my bachelors degree in social work, I was able to have advanced standing status and finished my MSW program from Wash U in just 12 months. I did my MSW practicum at Youth In Need doing school based therapy at an elementary school in Ritenour School District and absolutely loved it so I decided to stay full time.

What was your major at Southeast and how would you characterize the quality of that program to prospective students?

I was a social work major, and I found the social work program to be rigorous enough to help prepare me for practicum, working as a full time professional in the field, and for preparing me for graduate school. While the program was intensive, the faculty wanted you to succeed and made sure that they supported students the best way they could. I also created close bonds with my classmates who were great resources for learning and support.

Why did you choose to attend Southeast?

A lot of family members -including both of my parents- attended Southeast and often talked about how much they loved it. I knew I wanted to attend a public university far enough from my home in St. Louis in order to go away but still close enough to visit home whenever I wanted. I toured different schools my senior year and just fell in love with SEMO and felt like that was where I was meant to be.

Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?

My professors Ms. Kathy Miller and Dr. Dana Branson. Both of these women were dedicated to the success of all students in the social work program and challenged us in order to prepare us for field while also building on our strengths as students and future social work professionals.

Share your best college memory.

Attending the Center for Strategic and International Studies foreign policy and leadership seminar during spring break my junior year. SEMO is the only school that is able to attend CSIS for an entire week and it was an incredible experience being able to learn about global issues from various world leaders.

If you were in Greek Life, the Honors Program or any other student organization, please tell us about that experience and how it impacted you.

All four years at Southeast I was a color guard member in the Southeast Marching Band and a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma Service Sorority. During marching band I was able to continue doing the activity that I was dedicated to in high school while also positively representing Southeast during football games. I met lots of incredible people in the band and enjoyed the game day experience getting to do what I love.

Gamma Sigma Sigma allowed for me to serve my community doing various service projects while also meeting lots of amazing friends. Gamma Sig is an inclusive organization that allows for any student to join which I really loved since it allowed for me to meet and become close friends with lots of different people.

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?

Life and college is what you make it! College is a time for growth and learning, so make the most of the experience and see where it takes you in life.

Describe Southeast in three words.

Incredible, spacious, hilly

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

Do what you are passionate about. Burnout happens when you are doing work you don’t care about and you don’t feel fulfilled about what you are doing. There’s so much you can do in the social work field, so find your niche and grow from there.