Our Part-Time Program offers classes on Saturdays in Madison or Eau Claire and features practical experience field placements and faculty who are professional social workers. This profile of Part-Time Program Student Lisa Madell is one in a series of Instructor Spotlights.
What is your focus area?
Children, Youth and Families is the focus area of my studies, however, I have a great interest in the hospice field as my experience with a hospice social worker had such an impact on me when my father was declining in May of 2017. She was so kind, warm hearted, compassionate, and supportive of our family’s needs during the worst time of my life that I decided I wanted to be that person for others families in similar situations. That social worker has no idea the impact she had on me!
Why did you choose the Part-Time Program?
The part time MSW program was my choice because I was able to fit it in my busy schedule. Online classes allowed for me to listen to lectures and study at my own pace during the week. The opportunity for classes on Saturdays was what I needed as I could not get to Madison during the week. I could not stop working to attend the Full-Time Program as I have a family and household to provide for. I am thankful to UW Madison for offering the Part-Time Program or I may have not had the opportunity to go back to school.
Were there any challenges?
Yes, the internship was one of them, however, my employer allowed flexibility in my work schedule so that I could spend two days a week at my internship placement. Papers or assignment due dates conflicted with life struggles at times, but the professors were supportive of my needs and more than willing to work with me as long as there was honesty and effort involved.
What do you plan to do when you graduate?
Graduation is right around the corner and the thought of that opens up so many new ideas in my mind. I know I have so many opportunities and would ultimately like to find the best fit for me. I most definitely want to experience being a hospice social worker as that is the reason I applied at UW-Madison. However, I am very open to trying new things and working with different populations to find a job that provides me the most happiness that I look forward to going to work every day. This is what is most important to me.
How would you describe your experience in the Part-Time MSW Program?
My experience here at UW-Madison in the Part-Time Program has been incredible and I would not change any of it. I have met so many incredible people with different experiences, knowledge, and skills that I am able to take that information with me and possibly teach others. The PTP program has definitely challenged me in so many ways that I believe I have grown tremendously both in my skills and as a person. This program has helped me realize who I am and what I value the most about being a social worker.
How do you think the Part-Time MSW Program has prepared you for entering the field?
The MSW program has definitely prepared me with experiences, knowledge, research capabilities, tools and skills needed to enter the work field, but most importantly I feel I have gained the ability to examine and reflect on myself to continue growth within in order to be that social worker who is willing to learn from and support any and all clients I will come in contact with.
What is one thing you wish you would have known before starting the program?
Overall, I felt that I was prepared for what was to come when I was sitting in the new student orientation day. The school faculty, current student speakers, and outside resources provided the information and support that was needed to allow my nervousness to settle and embrace the excitement I felt about the journey ahead.
What would you say to someone who is considering the program?
If a social worker is what you want to become and you currently have a job, responsibilities, or family to care for then the PTP is a great fit for you. Yes, there will be challenges, but with the support of your classmates and the professors here at UW-Madison that challenge is not impossible to overcome.