What are the duties and responsibilities of your work?
I’m responsible for conducting casework with a number of clients, ages 5-18. My main duties in this role are: counselling and service facilitation. This means I provide individual, clinical counselling, all while ensuring that services within and across departments are being effectively coordinated in the best interest of my client. Some secondary—but super enjoyable—duties in my current position include: conducting intake assessments, and participating in both the regional Horizon Recovery Committee, as well as a youth-led Recovery Group.

How can students prepare themselves at STU to work in your field? (eg. volunteer work, internships, extra-curricular activities, specific courses)
In order to prepare for social work practice, I would encourage people to seek out related experience in their work, in their volunteering, and in any extra-curricular activities on campus. Whether it's directly related to your specific area of interest, or in the general human service field, it all helps. It's not enough just to have the degree—you need to be well rounded. In any case, activities like volunteering are their own reward. Nothing will prepare you 100% for practice. You'll start, you'll have lots of questions, and that's OK. What I found helpful during this period was asking about 5,000 questions, seeking out mentors, and refusing to be hard on myself.

How has STU and your liberal arts education helped you in your career?
I really do believe a liberal arts education is the single most versatile degree out there. The most important gift that a liberal arts education offers is "critical thinking." With solid critical thinking skills, you have an extra "lens" through which you can interpret the world around you—regardless of what you do with your career. In my current job as a social worker, critical thinking skills allow me to problem solve, and to ask the big questions on "how can we best serve our clients," as opposed to "how have we always done things." I started my undergrad at the University of King's College in their Foundation Year Program, and I followed that up with my Social Work degree at St. Thomas University. I'm so grateful for my educational background in the liberal arts.