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Alison Wood

Social Work

Why did you decide to study social work?

I have been interested in social work since I was about 14 years old. The courses that I chose to study at college increased my interest in social work both through the topics covered and work experience opportunities, where I was able to observe a variety of health and social care professionals in older people and respite settings. I particularly admired the role of the social workers that I worked with. I felt that social work would be a highly satisfying and interesting career path. It was from this that I decided to study BSc Social Work.

Why did you choose Northumbria to study at?

I chose Northumbria University because my tutors at college informed me about the high-quality reputation it has for health, education and community studies. My partner studied at Newcastle University and told me how amazing Newcastle is as a city, the culture and the night life. I decided Northumbria was ideal as it is far enough away from home so that I can enjoy my independence, but close enough to return home whenever I want. Northumbria was the only university that I applied to and after attending my interview I knew that I had made the right decision.

What has been your best/most memorable experience of the course so far?

I have had so many brilliant experiences it is hard to pick just one. Both of my placements that I have had so far have been great, however I feel that the second was my favourite. This was because it was interesting, enjoyable and challenging at times. I feel that I learnt so much about the service user group, social work practice and myself. The experience improved my confidence and skills which I have carried forward to my second year.

What has been your most challenging moment so far?

My most challenging moment has been during my first placement where I worked closely with an ethnic minority group. I had to challenge my personal values and beliefs as well as personal prejudices’ which I had not realised I held. However this experience gave me greater self awareness which is important for social work practitioners.

What piece of advice would you give to students thinking about coming onto your course?

My advice to possible students would be do not leave assignments to the last minute as it causes unnecessary stress and panic. Also I would advise students to read widely not just the books and journals that are on reading lists but other related material as well because this shows greater knowledge and understanding.

What do you hope to do upon graduation?

After graduation I hope to find employment in the area that I wish to specialise in. I would also hope that I am able to stay in the Newcastle area as I would like to complete post graduate courses at Northumbria.

Where do you see your career in five years time?

In five years I hope that I have a successful career and a job that I love. I also would like to have either completed or be in the process of completing a masters degree.


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