Tiffany Carpenter - Master's: Clinical Social Work, 2006

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I do not know even where to begin. I can distinctly remember when I began thinking about attending graduate school. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in applied sociology, unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. I started my career working at a health insurance company as a product design specialist. While I loved the company and the people I worked with, I soon realized that I did not want to spend the rest of my life sitting in a cubicle staring at a computer reading health insurance policies all day. This was not my life’s calling! I needed some interaction with others. I started to think about my strengths and weakness and I reminisced about my internship with The Make a Wish Foundation of Central & South Texas the previous summer. I LOVED that internship, I loved the personal relationships, I developed and most of all I enjoyed helping others. That is where my journey with social work all began.

Tiffany Carpenter with her husband on her wedding dayMy two years as a graduate student at the School of Social Work were two of the best years of my life. It was a time in my life that I took a leap of faith to go for something I truly wanted. I grew leaps and bounds both as a person and a professional. The program pushed me as a person, as a student, as a clinician, and most of all as a social worker. The two years I spent at UT as a graduate student is something I cannot explain in words. My friends and family have noticed a difference in me. They make comments about how neat it is to see me doing something I am so good at, so passionate about, and that is so rewarding. My mom, who has always been my biggest fan, was actually against me going back to school so soon after my undergraduate degree, but now that she has seen the rewards that it has reaped, she brags about me to everyone she knows.

The quality of the social work graduate program was outstanding. The professors were amazing, as well as the classes, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I also developed many meaningful friendships with my fellow students.

I cannot imagine what my life would be like now if I had not decided to take that leap of faith to attend grad school. It led me to the best graduate school, which led me to the most wonderful internship at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, which then led me to take another leap of faith to move from Austin to Amarillo, which then led me to my husband whom I just married this past September.

Not many people can say that they have found their passion. I feel blessed to say that I have. For the first three years after graduation I worked at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. The first two years I was a caseworker for an adolescent girls’ home and the last year I was a clinical intervention specialist (counselor). I am currently a social worker for the Home Based Primary Care Program at the Thomas E. Creek Veterans’ Hospital in Amarillo, Texas. I know my journey as a social worker has just only begun, and there is so much more to look forward to!

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