Perspective of an Advanced Standing Student

Written by D.M. Millay, current MSW Advanced Standing student
January 31, 2022

Mount Rainier with a tree in the foreground

Howdy, I’m D.M. Millay, I am an Advanced Standing MSW student here at Seattle University (SU).This month was pretty busy, to say the least, but so far it has been my favorite quarter of the entire program because I learned so much and my views on how I understood the social work profession were radically challenged.

Come fall quarter, me and my 6 other classmates merged with the rest of the 2022 MSW cohort who had a year under their belts already at SU. Me being a socially awkward introvert, this merge was pretty difficult. My group of friends I had made over the summer got split into two different sections and the rest of the cohort already had a year of friendship and familiarity with one another. I don’t know if you know this but making friends as an adult can be incredibly challenging! Nonetheless as the quarter went on, I started to get to know the rest of the cohort and learn from all their incredible experiences from their life experiences, their practicum placements, and previous jobs. We were all able to connect through our courses and practicum sites and just being a support to one another through this unique experience of being an MSW student during a pandemic.

The most rewarding part of this program for me has been my practicum placement. I am an intern with the Institute for Family Development working as a Homebuilder’s Therapist. I work with families who are involved with Child Protective Services (CPS) and are at risk of having their children placed out of their care. I am on-call 24/7 for these families and provide in-home services. This internship is easily the hardest position I’ve had, but I have been able to also reflect on how much I have learned and grown as a social worker so far and I’m only halfway through the program!

When I think about why I chose Seattle University’s MSW program two things come to mind. I applied pretty last minute because I was waiting to hear back from a couple other universities. I worked almost a full day right before the deadline to gather all of the needed documents and wrote the application essay and submitted my application that same day— I do not recommend this method. I heard back later that same week and was accepted! From there on out, working with Seattle University has made me feel really cared for and appreciated as a student. Their support in the beginning helped me navigate how to be a student again and assisted me in transitioning in and out of remote learning— this made me feel seen and supported. From my experience this level of support is not very common, so I appreciated this aspect of the process.

The other thing that came to mind was visiting the campus for the first time right before summer quarter started. This might be random, but the campus landscape crew is AMAZING! I worked previous jobs in parks departments and landscaping, and I could not get over how tranquil and beautiful this campus was. There were so many little passageways and hideaway spots to study or read. As someone who finds a lot of healing in nature, it brought me peace knowing I had this beautiful campus to comfort me throughout a challenging year ahead.

Learn more about Seattle University’s Advanced Standing MSW Program here>