Are you interested in the field of social work? Hear from some of CUW's hardworking social work students and graduates tell why they chose to pursue this sometimes challenging but always gratifying career.
Courtney Herriges, BSW
CLASS OF 2020
If someone would have asked me four years ago what I wanted to do when I grew up, I would have said I wanted to help people and thought that was simply it. I will be eternally grateful for the social work department at Concordia University for helping me find my true vocation and “why.”
As cliché as it sounds, choosing to attend Concordia University and picking social work as one of my majors was one of the best decisions in my college career. From the moment I added the major, I was connected with a competent and caring group of professors (both full-time and adjunct) who prioritized both mine and my classmates’ academic and personal well-beings. The professors have a rich history of advocacy and fieldwork, and were able to offer their experiences and insight, guiding me to my own path in the field. During times of challenging schoolwork or decisions, I always felt welcomed to pick their brains and was shown genuine concern.
As a person with strong faith, I was encouraged to share it as an active part of our class. I was shown how to live out my beliefs without being overbearing. The social work department helped me find my passion for advocacy and gave me countless opportunities to live it out. Thanks to my time at Concordia University Wisconsin, I have never felt more proud or ready to call myself a Social Worker.
Travis Stanczyk, BSW
CLASS OF 2020, MSW CANDIDATE
What do you search for most when trying to choose a career path or major curriculum? If you are searching for professors who genuinely care about students, courses that are fun, learning content that can change your life, and hope to inspire those surrounding you; social work is the profession you should pursue.
The professors in the social work program at Concordia are unlike any others. They genuinely cared about my success in the classroom while also demonstrating the importance of human relationships and self-worth. Grades are important, but learning and understanding the material is much more significant. I received emails regularly from my professors simply checking in on me. Self-care is consistently discussed and instituted. These professors understood that if we were not at the correct mental state then we would not fully absorb or understand the content being covered.
They also brought forth their own personal experiences to the classroom to help teach students the chapter material. As students, we were engaged in the classroom, challenged both personally and professionally, and cared for by the department. They were my mentors, my advisors, my friends, and provided me with much more than education. I am grateful!
Samantha Duffield, BSW
CLASS OF 2019, ACCELERATED BSW BROWN COUNTY HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES CHILD PROTECTION INTAKE
In 2017, I began the accelerated social work program and it was one of the best decisions. This program fit into my busy, and sometimes chaotic, life. However, I was able to attend school one night a week and still be an involved, working mom. It wasn’t easy. Life didn’t stop just because I was in school. However, the professors and staff at Concordia University Wisconsin were flexible through some very tough life transitions—births, deaths, and supporting loved ones. I have never felt as supported as I was then. This was especially true as I worked my eight month, 16 hour a week internship. It was hard but nothing that is worth it comes easy and it was so worth it!
Two days after graduation, I began a full-time social work position with my internship site. Through all of it, I received unmatched support from my professors. Their knowledge and experience helped me create my path of success. CUW truly cared about my success and I am beyond proud to tell people that I am graduate of Concordia’s accelerated social work program!
CLASS OF 2022
I chose to pursue social work because of my father’s passing. He died in a car accident and it changed my life. It has affected my twin brother the most and throughout the years I have seen how he has struggled with it. He motivates me to help people that may be struggling the same way he is. I hope to have a positive impact on people and their lives, and I truly believe social work is the way to do that.
The social work program here at Concordia is filled with individuals that all have a similar passion – we all want to have an impact on people in some way, shape, or form. I think that is what makes this program so great. The faculty is always willing to guide us and advise us when we are not sure about things, or simply just want to talk about something. The students are all so kind-hearted, and easily some of the most amazing people I have met. The social work program here is definitely a little community, and I am incredibly grateful for it.
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— Madelyne Arrigoni is a senior studying English, Mass Communications, and Photography. She plans to graduate in 2022.
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