I never saw myself going back to graduate school after being in the workforce for several years. I assumed it would simply be too inconvenient to travel to a school from where I lived in Montgomery County. I thought I’d have to move if I ever wanted to get an advanced degree. Several years ago, I was working at the White House when I met my now wife who was getting her Masters in Social Work (MSW) degree at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). I had never realized that there was such a convenient and accessible campus right in my backyard that offered such a wide variety of degrees from different schools around the state. In fact, I had never heard of such a campus existing anywhere and was shocked to find out that there was a centralized location offering so many programs from so many institutions. This completely changed my view of graduate school being a hurdle that would cause me to uproot my life and opened the door for any number of possibilities for my second career.
Just like my wife, I decided to pursue an MSW degree from UMB because clinical social work is a quickly evolving field with limitless career possibilities. Taking care of our mental health is a critical consideration for people of all ages and the stigma surrounding seeking treatment is dissipating day by day. For me personally, I care deeply about making mental health services as accessible as possible and I have seen first-hand how rewarding a career in clinical social work can be. UMB School of Social Work is a prestigious institution and having the opportunity to complete the program right here in Montgomery County is an opportunity that can’t be missed! It doesn’t hurt that social work runs in my family; aside from my wife, my mom and a cousin are also social workers and my grandfather, Daniel Thursz, is a former dean at UMB SSW!
There is so much opportunity to be involved at the USG campus and meet other students! I have loved learning about all the groups on campus, especially for graduate students, and can’t wait to get involved with the Student Government. I am also quite impressed with how many student resources are available, including a gym, counseling center, library, and much more. All of this has helped reinforce my decision to go back to school to earn my graduate degree.