Student Experience Blog | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Brown School Student Experiences

The breadth and depth of experiences that our students have during their time at the Brown School are unparalleled. Read firsthand from some of our students.

Exploring Research Opportunities at the Brown School

​Many graduate students choose to engage in research during their time at the Brown School. I knew I was interested in securing a part-time research job during my own application process, even though I wasn’t certain if I would pursue research as a career. I figured that a research role would allow me to deepen my knowledge in my field of interest beyond coursework and prepare me to confront the field’s major challenges throughout micro, mezzo and macro practice. […]

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Finding Practica in Unlikely Places

Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina taught me that there is history all around us --- sometimes it just means you have to be creative in the ways that you look for it. There is history in the big, sprawling oak tree in the middle of a park. There is history in the indentations in the concrete sidewalks from children’s handprints. There is history in the stucco-covered brick buildings that line the streets of my hometown. Living in Charleston also taught me that learning history, at its core, is not about memorizing important dates, but rather seeking out the stories of other people, and connecting those stories to the formation of the world we live in today. As I got older, I came to realize that human relationships and biases as well as organized systems in which these people live are at the core of not only history, but social work as well. […]

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Getting Outside in St. Louis

I like to think of a semester as represented by a graph with two peaks ---I had to use the internet to figure out that this phenomenon does, in fact, have a name, and it is recognized as a “bimodal graph.” The first peak represents the initial first few weeks of classes---the first assignments, papers, group discussions. It could even mean engaging in a social work practice lab session where you realize, for the first time, that it’s possible to simultaneously feel that you have no idea what you are doing, yet that you somehow can do new things. The second peak hits deeper in the semester, when professors gently remind us that we are full-fledged graduate students, or when the first excitement about a practicum opportunity reminds us of the future and where we will someday be. […]

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Who is the Typical Brown School Student?

For me, one of the most important parts of my day-to-day life is the people I’m surrounded by. In grad school, that’s even more important because we learn so much from each other in classroom discussions and casual lunch chats. With that in mind, I wanted to answer a question we get fairly often:  […]

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Meet the Brown School Student Ambassadors

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Who Should I Ask for Recommendation Letters?

The Brown School’s MSW and MPH program applications both require three letters of recommendation from professional and/or academic colleagues. For folks currently in school or working with a supervisor they love, the choice in who to ask for these letters may be obvious. For others who have been out of school for awhile or who haven’t had a good supervisor in a few years, it may feel really daunting to ask people to speak on your behalf for an application that is important to you. So,  who should you ask to write your recommendation letters? […]

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How to Make the Most of MSW Foundation Courses

By the end of my first semester at the Brown School, I had a portfolio full of well-researched content about the strengths and challenges of displaced populations. […]

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How do I find housing and a roommate in St. Louis?

If you went away to your undergraduate college or moved far from home in between your undergraduate career and starting at the Brown School, you may have experienced this stress before – maybe your university randomly paired you with another freshman, or maybe there was student housing that you and your friends could choose between, or maybe you just looked on Facebook for an apartment listing within a few blocks of your job.  […]

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How can international students make a positive transition to the Brown School?

To help us have a positive transition at the beginning semester, the Brown School provides a lot of support programs, ranging from language proficiency class, professional development workshops, and academic writing workshops. These can quickly make international students feel comfortable in American class and social culture. They also help international students learn skills that will be necessary when looking for the practicum. Personally, I find the following resources are really helpful:  […]

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Impostor Syndrome - It's Hitting Some of Us Harder Than Others

I began to question if I deserved to be here, if I worked hard enough to get here, and if I was taking up space.  […]

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