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College of Social Work

Student Spotlight: William Weaver

Jan. 15, 2020
Chris Woodley • 

Bachelor of Social Work student William Weaver served in the Navy for four years and worked in law enforcement for the Richland County Sheriff's Department for nearly 11 years before medically retiring. But he decided to go in a different direction and begin a path to a social work career.

Why did you decide to attend the College of Social Work?

I knew coming into college that social work was my area of interest for a career.

What inspired or motivated you to study social work?

My inspiration for social work comes from several sources. I have always enjoyed helping people and once I was retired from law enforcement, I knew that I wanted to continue helping others. From my experience in law enforcement, I had the chance to meet several social workers in various settings and knew the enjoyment they received from their jobs.

Which class has had or is having the most impact on your social work studies?

All the classes I have taken thus far have given me more knowledge and understanding. If I had to pick one class that changed my way of thinking, it was Social Work and Scientific Inquiry (SOWK 352). I have a general population that I would like to work with and have done research into the area. Learning how difficult, yet rewarding the process is makes me want to implement my own research once I join the work force.

What do you enjoy most about field education?

Field education is fun for me because the agency where I was placed works on many things ranging from one-on-one counseling, meeting with local charities and organizations, and lobbying at the State House to change laws. Seeing so many different levels of engagement is exciting and is helping me narrow down my focus upon graduation.

What benefits have you found from being a part of the Undergrad Social Work Student Association and Phi Alpha?

I have only been a member of both organizations since the end of the 2019 spring semester, but it has given me a chance to speak to other students outside of my cohort, which has given me various perspectives and experiences. It has also given me a chance to speak to new students and allows me to help them with problems or questions they have and eliminates the pressure or anxiety of talking to professors. I also thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie of both organizations.

What advice would you give a non-traditional student interested in earning a degree in social work?

I would say to give it a shot. The knowledge and experience you receive can be used in many situations outside of social work. But social work is one field that is very addicting and rewarding. I know I feel like there is nothing that will be as rewarding to me than to be a social worker.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I’ve been accepted into the college’s Advanced Standing MSW program. Afterwards, I plan to work at a place where I can help veterans and their families.

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