We caught up with 2010-2011 Psychology Club President Jessica Streit to see what she is up to.  Jess is currently in a Social Work program, but was a Psych student here at UNI (and she was a social work student too).

This is a great example of how you can use your psychology degrees in areas related to, but are not necessarily psychology.

For more information on what social work is, refer to the ever so trusty Wikipedia!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_work 
If Jess's blog and other things you find while researching piques your interest in social work, consider looking into a double major or minor here at UNI  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_work 


So I'm in graduate school for my Master's in Social Work at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (yes - where the Big House is). I double majored in undergrad in both Social Work and Psych so I was admitted into the advance standing program, which is 12 months (Sept - August). There are two programs for those who did not receive their Bachelor's in Social Work (as long as you have an undergrad degree - no matter what it is in - you can apply for your master's in Social Work). The two programs are a 16th month (Sept - Dec of the following year), and 20th month (summer off). 

When you apply you select your method and concentration areas (which you can always change). Mine is interpersonal practice with an emphasis on children & youth. I also chose to get the School Social Work Certificate, which will allow me to be a School Social Worker as well. (Others are mental health, community org, policy, etc).

Since I was in advanced standing, I started my field placement ASAP. The spring before I started I selected my top 7 choices for placement and then was placed from there (I am placed in a school setting). My stand point from here on out will be from advanced standing perspective. If people are more interested about the other programs they can always go to 
http://ssw.umich.edu/ and look around or email me questions. In the fall I started with 3 classes (3 hour once a week classes), my placement (full 3 days a week), and one mini course (a 5 hour course that only met 4 or 5 times in the semester).  

Homework is always the big question. I can honestly say it is NOT as bad as people make it out to be. Yes there are a lot of readings, but after a week or two in class you can figure out what you need to do. Typically I pick one or two articles to read for each class so I can talk about them. The rest we usually don't get to in class or the teacher will talk about anyway. In other classes the readings really had nothing to do with what we did in class so I quit reading for them.  In most of my classes the only assignments are papers and presentations. Therefore, the articles can help with your papers, but if you know what topics you are interested in and want to write about you can just stick to those articles. Make sense??

Yes - there will still be hectic weeks like in undergrad where you have 3 large papers due - so my advice plan ahead! Do I always plan ahead - no... so you can still get it done it may just take away your Saturday and Sunday. Also - almost all of my professors are flexible and willing to work with you - meaning they will give extensions or will honestly tell you they do not care when you turn the paper in, as long as you turn it in before the last two week of the semester.

I know it sounds like I'm a slacker - but I promise I still received all A's and one A-. This semester is close to the same as last, but in the summer I will have no field and 5 classes... so it will probably be a hectic last semester!

There are always a ton of lectures, conferences, trainings, etc. to go to for FREE as a student. I have learned sooooooooo much from these (and usually you can use them for a paper for class as well). There are still a lot of student groups in grad. school; both in your own school and with other grad. schools. I'm only involved in one, but show my support at others when they do fundraisers and what not.

Pretty much everyone is awarded work-study so you can always apply for jobs or get a side waitressing job. I know students who don't work at all and others who work 25 hours a week. Personally I feel that around 8-12 hrs. a week is perfect for me. Any more and I get burnt out really easily.

*Get to know your professors and other students. The professors are experts at whatever they are teaching, practicing, or doing research in. They all care about their students and may serve as a future reference. The students will be there with you everyday to complain about assignments, loans, and weather. The school ends up seeming pretty small once you get comfortable.

*Explore campus! Don't get stuck in one spot/building. Study in different places (especially if you have to get work done - in the Social Work building you run into everyone you know).

*Have a side interest? Sports, Advocacy, etc.... incorporate projects, ideas, passions into your school papers! I'm currently working on a proposal to the NFL in my policy class for children and youth.

*Have fun - it goes by SO fast. Especially if you are advanced standing. "Self-care" is a word I do not go a day without hearing due to the field we are working in. Save a night (Friday/Sat) where you can meet up with your friends to go out, go eat, go to a movie or whatever.... SELF CARE is critical!

*LOVE your field experience.... you will learn the most from wherever you are placed. Get to know the staff, go extra days if they are doing an extra training, evaluation, etc. You will not regret it!

The other thing I would bring up whether it's related to psych/Social work is the fact that you can work in any field.... Management, office, community, schools, courts, jails, grassroot efforts, family therapy/counseling, any private practice, sports, hospitals.... I mean the list literally goes on and on. And most people don't think social workers can work/are hired at all of these places but they are.... As soon as a MSW person obtains their license, they can open a private practice!

I feel like I could ramble on forever because I love talking about this stuff!!! So I guess if you have questions just email me - jestreit22@gmail.com                                                                                                                           Also - I didn't proof this so sorry in advance for the errors!