By: Sruthi Vijayakumar
It is now nearing spring, and a whole year is yet again passing by. 2019 holds new promises and achievements. In my case, as of May 2019 I will graduate with my Master of Social Work degree after two full years in the program at the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa. My MSW brought me all the way from the east coast of the United States to Honolulu, Hawaiʻi . Hawaiʻi is a place I only had dreamed about visiting, but somehow I ended up having had the opportunity to live, learn, and grow here. It changed my perception on culture and lifestyle choices, allowing me to truly see another part of the world.
In terms of school, I learned about the social welfare system, counseling approaches, policy, and vulnerable local populations. I became immersed in social work for two full years and it is deeply embedded within me. What I am struggling with currently is labeling myself in terms of career. I live in an era where the lines between jobs are blurring, and career paths can be less structured and fluid depending on the person’s abilities and interests. New jobs are being created even now, and I will be joining a workforce that will have positions that are products of current modernization and societal development. I truly appreciate social work, my bachelor degree was in psychology and I have a heart that yearns to work in group settings and aims to provide benefits for local communities. However, I do not want to go into a direct social work position. Upon completion of my MSW I plan to either pursue an MBA or begin an entry level position with HR or marketing to get my foot into the business world. Why business? After my MSW education I realized I have a passion for macro level practice, dealing with policy and growing community resources. I want to work outside of the system and help progress social equity by stepping into a marketing position that will help profit a corporation and improve quality of life for vulnerable local populations.
These being my short-term career goals, I have no idea where my profession will proceed afterwards. What I do know is, I want to approach social work from a different perspective. I will not be a social worker in title. I want to be a part of the business world and make changes to systems that need to recognize corporate social responsibility. Part of me feels sorrow in leaving behind a piece of myself that is a social worker, but I need to say goodbye to this chapter of my life and continue to grow. For I will always be a social worker at heart.
2018-2019 academic year blog posts are written by Sruthi Vijayakumar & Cynthia Macey. 2017-2018 blog posts were written by Holly Arroyo & Jenalyn Camagong