Maggie Carmen ’21 will enter the NYU Silver School of Social Work after graduation. Here, the psychology major tells of her interest in social work, and how her classes and experiences at Hamilton have broadened her awareness.
What drew you to the NYU Silver School of Social Work?
NYU’s Social Work program caught my eye in large part because of the location. While I have loved the small, rural feel of Hamilton over the past four years, I wanted to throw myself into a completely different environment. Plus, because I want to learn more about the intersectionality of mental health among different populations and demographics, I believe that the diversity of New York City is a great location.
What Hamilton experiences helped prepare you for this endeavor?
I knew early on that I was interested in psychology, and although I enjoyed conducting research in a lab setting and reading other research papers and findings, I realized how much I really wanted to apply my growing knowledge to real-world, in-person settings. With classes such as Psychological Bias in the Justice System, Adult Psychopathology, and Developmental Psychology, I became more aware of how much work there is to be done for those who struggle with mental health issues as a result of societal injustices or individual differences.
Hometown: DeWitt, N.Y.
High School: Manlius Pebble Hill
I’ve also had several tutoring and teaching experiences during my time on campus, as a peer advisor at the Career Center and as an English tutor for a student in France, and these opportunities have deepened my passion for helping and working with others.
What are your plans after you complete your graduate program in psychology?
I’d ideally like to earn my license in social work so that I can be a mental health counselor or therapist. That said, I am also hoping to go into this program with an open mind, because I may discover that my skills in supporting and working with others could be applicable in a different setting other than clinical therapy.
What aspects of the program are you looking forward to most?
I will have two field placements [over the course of the two-year program] somewhere in the city where I can observe and practice various forms of social work in a hands-on setting. I am really happy I chose NYU for this reason, because the city is filled with opportunities where social workers can make a real difference in people’s lives.
What advice would you give to students interested in pursuing psychology/social work graduate programs?
Although I’m heading right into this next stage of my life, I would encourage others not to rush their decision to get their graduate degree. Because I wanted to practice social work and clinical therapy in such a way that requires a license in social work, I knew early on that I wanted to obtain this degree in the next two years so I can get to work right after. However, there are so many opportunities in the psychology and mental health field that do not require a degree. Many organizations enjoy hiring young adults right out of college – it can be just as wise to work for a few years and then go back to school. Everyone is different, and it is worth asking yourself what the best fit for you would be.