1. Work History and Experiences
My desire to work as a social worker had been a childhood dream founded and based on several successful instances when my commitment and expertise were put to work. Tracing this from my childhood background, I found that people in my country, Armenia, constantly require the assistance of social workers. I started doing social work when I was in elementary and high school, and while this does not appear as formal, it further enhanced my motivation to become a social worker.
There are several instances where I have worked as a social worker. I would like to highlight these areas in this statement as supporting information for my master’s degree application. First, while I was in Armenia, I worked as a provider of social work advice to several community-based organizations (CBOs). In most cases, my work entailed providing a detailed analysis of the scope of work as outlined by organizations. Other than this, I personally took part in planning, development, and implementation of most of social work projects of CBOs. By working in this faculty, I was able to acquire a lot of social skills, particularly related to problem-solving. Consequently, as a social worker, I had the privilege of directly providing services to people. Due to this, I closely bonded and identified with them and their needs. I, therefore, consider this early earned experience as a boost to my social work master’s degree application.
My second line of work was directly related to social work. For the first time, I worked in a Home-Based Health Care Center. I was skeptical for not being able to perform or even blend with the other team members, but I soon got encouraged by the nature of work done and could not wait for my work duties to expand. I started in this position soon after I graduated from CSUN with a sociology degree in the year 2010. The main aspect learned in this position that will directly impact my master’s studies in this institution is that of appreciating teamwork. This is because most activities at the center were done in teams of people with diverse individual skills. From this, I learned to appreciate individual diversity and abilities as an essential component of growth. I intend to focus on this aspect also in my studies to benefit from communicating with my tutors and fellow classmates.
Third, I got a job as a librarian at Los Angeles City College. While working for this institution, I got the opportunity to access numerous reading materials related to the advancement of social work knowledge to a large scale. The position also helped me improve my reading skills and made me able to search for and integrate information about various subjects related to social work effectively.
Finally, when working as a social worker, I will definitely consider my current work position as an office manager/human resources manager to a Home Health Care center as a great source of preparation for my master’s degree. Working for this institution has put me in a position to direct and delegate social work to other fellow employees, whose job is to come up with care programs for the organization.
Additionally, I have a task to ensure that people working in the organization meet the minimum required threshold for social work. During the time that I have worked in this place, I have also had an opportunity to help clients, who are mostly older people, with the stipulation of ideas regarding solving the challenges faced. Therefore, I would like to note that the experience gained in this sphere of work greatly served to improve my chances for performing highly in my master’s studies. This is because I am more acquainted with the issues that relate to social work and would thus identify the same and recommend possible solutions or models that can be applied for addressing challenges within a short period of time.
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2. Personal Characteristics
A reflection on my personal characteristics and their influence on my development as a social worker can be seen in the following discussion. First, I am a hardworking and dedicated individual, motivated by the aspiration to improve the environment around me. Second, I am always eager to acquire new skills and learn ways of doing things. I also greatly respected all my clients that I have dealt with and treated them without disregard of any nature. I also stay non-judgmental in any situation but at the same time, I am culturally competent to thrive in diverse environments. Additionally, I am always concerned with preserving the personal integrity of all individuals as it forms the basis of my interest in social work. Working in a team of like-minded persons motivates me and enhances my prowess. Subsequently, I am a flexible individual, decisive, with adequate communication and administrative skills, and always attentive to detail.
However, I am also constrained in a few areas that I consider to be my limitations. First, my constraint in professional expertise in social work, which greatly limits my ability to attend certain special cases. Second, there are few instances when I am emotionally involved in hard situations that I would consider as beyond what would be deemed appropriate. Finally, I may sometimes be demoralized by negative and destructive criticisms but I greatly welcome positive criticisms.
1. Justification to Pursue a Career in Social Work
My aspiration to study for a master’s degree in social work has been a long-term dream that was inspired by the need to offer advanced professional services to the community. While being a freshman at my bachelor's program, I had a passion for nursing but I lost it and took up social work. This was due to the flexibility with which it would enable me to serve diverse people and communities. I am mostly motivated by the dedication and selflessness of social workers despite lacking professional skills, and as such, I want to enhance my knowledge in that area and be able to advise others in it.
At this particular time, I consider the constant growth in humanitarian work in various parts of the world, particularly in my country Armenia as well as Los Angeles, to be in need of professional directives, which is an area I intend to fill. This would be interrelated with the 2004 standard nationalized study about certified social workers. In the study, information relating to the roles of social workers and their work environment is provided, which also adds to my current desire for professional certification in social work.
In the realm of social work, there are certain experiences that have always motivated me to continue pursuing education in this field. The most recent one is the challenge presented by the director of the organization I work for currently. The challenge is that I needed to develop an organizational plan that would model contributions from diverse entities and professionals, and the realization that I was constrained in doing so made me want to continue my education. While working as a librarian at Los Angeles City College, I was challenged by the enormous amount of information published in this field and wanted to contribute to it in the future. This was enhanced by the support received from the Head Librarian, who noted that he would love to read a book in the field of social work authored by me in the near future. These two experiences have formed the basis for my motivation to focus on social work.
2. Goals and Specific Objectives
To become a professional in the social work field, my main objective is to attain a Ph.D. degree in the same and be able to write various research papers. These are most likely to be about children's care, hospice, and palliative care. Second, I aim at improving the lives of other people as much as I can and at emphasizing the need for people to change their attitudes towards social work given the fact that social workers can offer a lot more than they currently do. Eventually, I have a goal to set up a non-profit organization that will seek to promote social work in society, especially focusing on meeting the needs of children, who are more vulnerable in situations of humanitarian crises.
To accomplish these goals and objectives mentioned above effectively, I am required to attain professional educational background, which I am seeking in my master’s program with a view to proceed to higher levels. Consequently, I am required to build more networks of individuals, who will help me in modeling and developing the same to suit societal needs.
The graduate program I seek to pursue in CSULA School of Social Work will help me attain these goals as it will equip me with the required skills and knowledge to progress to a Ph.D. level. Besides, while at CSULA, I will have the opportunity to interact with people with diverse minds and personalities, including my tutors and classmates, hence, build stronger networks with them. I will also have a chance to meet partners with whom we can set up non-profit organizations in the future.
3. Client Population
My clients base in the field of social work has over time increased because I was able to help meet their needs and alleviate various forms of suffering. However, in my advanced level of studying, I seek to focus on children as my main clients. This is because the needs of children always change when they grow up. This will provide me with the prospect of engaging in modeling of programs that serve their needs constantly. I have also had compassion for children since childhood considering the fact that in cases of humanitarian crises or other situations children are likely to suffer most given that they rely on support from parents, guardians, and social workers like me to help them overcome such difficulties. Therefore, working with children will provide me with the opportunity to understand their needs and provide necessary support directly to them.
4. Cross-Cultural Orientation
In relation to the characteristics that I possess, I would consider myself a multi-cultural person. This would greatly enrich the school’s cross-cultural orientation. For one, I’m an Armenian national who was born and brought up there. As such, I am richly endowed with the cultural practices that I would be eager to share with others. Second, I have had an opportunity to travel to the wider Asian continent during various vocational studies that have once in a while were organized by a local community group to which I belong. Consequently, I have been able to live in Los Angeles ever since I moved there in the year 2006. For the time that I have been around, I have interacted closely with people from diverse backgrounds, which has enormously enhanced my cultural prowess. I am able to identify and relate to a cultural aspect due to my frequent travels.
A notable instance was when I worked at Los Angeles City College. My experience with the Head Librarian was amazing taking into account that he was Mexican and I am Asian. I managed to learn a lot about his culture as well as he learned a lot about mine. Currently, in the organization I work in, the composition of other employees is diverse. They come from different cultural backgrounds. I am lucky to be the office manager since I relate and acquire much from people culturally. I much encourage a multicultural environment at work as I have always done in my appointments at the workplace. Due to this, my worldview is that of accepting everyone for who they are with their own unique characteristics or their culture since this is what makes them important.
As a plan to manage my responsibilities and keep up with the educational plan, I intend to engage more in the evening and weekend classes, which will enable me to catch up with the missed class activities. Another more appropriate option for managing my time and finances would be to enroll in an open-distance learning program. In this way, I would be able to cater to my educational and work responsibilities.
The situation of Ethical Conflict
In relation to confrontation and ethical conflicts, I can refer to the case that took place at my former place of work. At that time, my responsibility was to manage the healthcare of patients. In this particular case, my belief was that a patient was in urgent need of additional treatment of his mental health problem. However, my supervisors did not consent to the situation. The situation presented me with two options: either to choose to be a good and obedient employee who follows directives from supervisors and let the patient suffer, or to be a good clinician and social worker and advocate for patient’s medical attention with my supervisors at the detriment of my professional career.
To resolve this difficultly, I constructively discussed the situation with my supervisors and took it upon myself to monitor the patient for any weird behaviors that were feared by the management. The main factor I considered in making the decision was demanding to meet the medical needs of the client as well as calling to serve as a social worker, which is non-discriminatory. The client received medical attention as was required, while the supervisors acknowledged the urgency of the matter and welcomed my actions.
A Dangerous Situation
The situation entailed attending Mexican elderly woman who could not speak English well. Hence, there was a language barrier between me and her while we communicated. It took a lot of effort to get a translator, and as a response to that, I have enrolled in Mexican classes to be acquainted with the language. I expect to gain advanced training in social work that will impart additional skills in care management, especially related to working with elderly people.