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11 tips for making the most of your MSW experience

Professor Daniyal Zuberi presented the annual Heart, Mind, and Science of Social Work lecture at this year’s Orientation event for new Master of Social Work students at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. At the close of his lecture, he offered 11 tips for making the most of your MSW experience. For those who may have missed it, we have compiled them here:

  1. Challenge yourself (in and out of school, try new things, travel and/or study abroad if you can).
  2. Be professional – good communication is key.
  3. Seek out mentors.
  4. Be a kid in a intellectual candy shop.
  5. Aim to have what Princeton University Economist Alan Blinder calls a “Hard head and soft heart”.
  6. Practice self-care, try not to over-commit, balance, stay on top of your assignments.
  7. Practice what you learn in the classroom, and be reflexive (especially when things don’t go as expected).
  8. Remember it’s about more than good intentions; learn about the history of harm caused by the profession, work to avoid repeating mistakes, and repair relationships moving forward.
  9. Don’t shy away from hard problems, but prepare to be uncomfortable and challenged at times.
  10. Remember evidence and research is important, but rarely enough. Social change often requires advocacy and mobilization, campaigns and coalitions. Get involved and learn by taking action as a leader and participant.
  11. Have fun and make friends, and as BC provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reminds us, “Be kind, be calm, be safe”!

Looking for more words of wisdom? Read some advice that faculty and second year students shared last year:

> Back to school: 3 questions for students and faculty