Danielle Jones writes about how an inspirational charity job and visit to an LJMU graduate fair led her to study an MA Social Work
After studying for my undergraduate degree in Criminology at Liverpool John Moores University I left and went straight in to the world of work hoping I’d fall straight in to my dream job; however that didn’t happen, because I didn’t know what I was looking for.
I searched for my vocation, and it was after taking a wonderful job for The Prince’s Trust, helping the most marginalised young people in Merseyside, that I found my passion in supporting people who are finding it difficult to manage in society. The role helped people to build their personal social development skills and provide them with the confidence to go back to education or employment.
A restructure of the programme meant that we had to reapply for our jobs and I used that opportunity to explore my options. I felt ready for a change, so I attended a graduate fair for LJMU and spoke to one of the lecturers who taught on the MA Social Work course. I was lucky that although I was late enquiring, there were still funded places left (as that was another issue altogether, I didn’t have any savings to be able to fund the course!), due to a restructure of the course length and change in start date. I felt my luck was in.
The course was made up of people of all ages, some mature (like myself at the grand age of 26!) and others who were fresh-faced and had stayed on from their undergraduate degree. It felt very different to my undergraduate degree where I’d started straight from Sixth Form and my priority was less about the work and more about being a social butterfly, fully absorbed in the student nightlife culture!
“I have no doubt that coming back to study was one of the best decisions I’ve made”
This time round the social events were few and far between and group WhatsApp messages consisted of ‘have you discussed the children act in your assignment?’ or ‘can someone proof read my assignment for me?’ There just isn’t the time as people have very different commitments – children and rent and mortgages – so most of the course involved having to fit working evenings and weekends around university and a full-time placement. Despite the hard work and commitments I have no doubt that coming back to study was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I’m excited to see what opportunities lie ahead with the finish line in sight, knowing I’ve built up a wealth of experience and knowledge from both the course and my working life.
Visit the LJMU website to find out more about the MA Social Work, other courses available in the School of Nursing and Allied Health, or to chat to us about returning to education, including drop-in events throughout the year.