Even if you’re not going into Social Work, this Sample Field Placement Request will help you clarify your career goals and point you in the right direction.
I’m entering my Master’s of Social Work at UBC in September, and my goal is to learn how to be a counselor at a hospital or clinic. This sample Social Work Field Placement Request is what I actually filled out and submitted to the Field Coordinator at UBC.
It wasn’t until I filled out this Field Placement Request that I realized that I want to counsel people who have been diagnosed with diseases such as cancer, Lou Gehrig’s, Alzheimer’s, etc. I’ve always wanted to be a counsellor, and have now focused my career goals on social work at a hospital or clinic.
No matter what field your internship, practicum, or field placement is, you need to treat your application like a “real” job. Your supervisor is counting on you to act professionally, even though you’re learning a new profession.
If you’re worried about getting a “good” field placement in social work or other fields, read the Internship, Practicum, and Field Placement Handbook. It’s a guide to help interns through every phase of the internship process, from finding relevant field placements to ending relationships with clients and supervisors. This book discusses ethics, clinical writing and record keeping, working with peers and supervisors, diversity, self care and safety, and how to successfully complete an internship or field placement setting.
Are you going into social work, like me? Read On Being a Therapist - it’s an inside look into a counsellor’s deepest fears, hopes, and struggles. It’s assigned reading for many social work and counselling courses, and it’s worth every penny.
Sample Field Placement Request – Master’s of Social Work (MSW)
Here are the questions for UBC’s Social Work Field Placement Request, and my answers. I hope they help you complete your own Field Placement with minimal difficulty!
If you’re still working on your application for social work or another program, read How to Get Into Grad School – Master’s or PhD Programs.
Describe how your previous experiences (employment, volunteer, etc) contribute to this social work field placement
In my job as a Mentoring Coordinator with Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, I conduct Family Assessments and Volunteer Interviews. I match caring, committed volunteer mentors with at-risk children and youth, and monitor the matches to ensure safety and fun. I maintain up-to-date case notes in both the digital Case Management System and the print files. I’ve developed the ability to establish rapport with people fairly quickly, which allowed them to share their problems and achievements openly and honestly.
I have strong interpersonal skills – my past social work and teaching experience has helped me learn how to communicate effectively with parents, guardians, youth, the public, and fellow employees. I enjoy working co-operatively as part of a team, and welcome feedback and correction.
My experience as a successful self-employed freelance writer and blogger has honed my ability to work independently. I organize, prioritize, and do my work with little supervision. That said, however, I am the first to ask for help, support, and guidance when I need it! My written and verbal communication skills are strong, and I’ve learned the importance of dealing with people tactfully and with sensitivity.
Discuss the strengths and skills which you will bring to a field placement
I lived and taught inAfricafor three years, and am very comfortable with people of different cultures, races, beliefs, and lifestyles. I’m highly adaptable, and enjoy the challenge of new situations and experiences. I’m also resilient – growing up, I lived in several foster homes because my mother struggles with mental illness. I’ve learned how to make the best out of the worst situations.
Health – mental emotional, physical, and spiritual – is very important to me. I want to help people cope with illness and other difficult life situations – and I “practice what I preach” personally. That is, I make time to do yoga, journal, practice my flute, take my dog for romps in the dog park, volunteer, eat healthfully, read books that help me grow spiritually and emotionally, and connect with my loved ones.
I’ve been living with ulcerative colitis for 11 years, and have learned how to control it through my diet and lifestyle. My husband and I aren’t able to have children (azoospermia), and we have embraced a life without children. I’ve learned how to cope with chronic disease and major life disappointments, yet maintain my zest for life.
I love new experiences, and am eager to grow, learn, and improve myself as a person and as an employee. I am a cheerful, enthusiastic, positive, and happy!
(If you’re shy and nervous about your internship, read How to Overcome Social Anxiety for College Students).
Describe what knowledge and skills you hope to acquire during field placement
My goal is to enhance my counseling skills, particularly with people who have chronic or terminal illnesses. I want to help in or out-patients cope with their emotional, physical, and practical needs. I want to learn how to advocate for patients, and teach them how to advocate for themselves. I want to learn how to lead group programs, develop my case management skills, and assess and treat the mental and emotional health problems that physical illness can bring. I want to empower people, and help them find the strength and skills to succeed and be healthy.
Ideally, I would like to be placed in a hospital or clinic setting, and perhaps also work with the families of patients. I want to learn how to help people cope with the pain and possible loss of a loved one.
Describe the learning environment and the instruction/supervision styles in which you learn best
I learn best by doing, by taking action and adjusting my course as necessary. That said, however, I love to read and do research – I think the past experiences and insights of others is crucial to my growth and learning. I’m a big fan of workshops, training seminars, and professional and personal retreats – which is why I’m eager to start my MSW at grad school!
Though I can work with minimal supervision, I value instruction and feedback on my professional and interpersonal skills.
Identify your short term and long term professional goals
I want to work with people diagnosed with life-threatening or chronic illnesses. I know what it’s like to be diagnosed with a disease that will never go away. I’m familiar with the relief and happiness of going into remission, and the disappointment and frustration of coping with painful flare ups.
My long-term career goal is to work with patients and their loved ones, and help them cope with physical illness (acute or chronic). I want to help them learn how to go beyond surviving a diagnosis to actually being happy and fulfilled despite the pain, discomfort, and frustration of illness.
I want to work in a hospital or clinic as a social worker, counseling patients.
That’s it – that’s a sample Field Placement Request in Social Work! If you have any questions or comments, please share below…
How will you pay for your education? If you’re applying for a scholarship, here’s a Sample of a Scholarship Essay.