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.

Knowing My Value (With Help From Career Services!)

I came back to school because I wanted to be a counselor. Before entering the MSW program, I worked in higher education student affairs--mostly in housing and residential life. My work included emergency response and informal counseling with students. I was good at these parts of my job and felt called to the work. Students told me that they were relieved when I was the one who showed up for a crisis. It doesn't feel right to say I "enjoyed" these crises, but I felt like I was fulfilling my purpose. Many people have told me that I have a calming presence. I am able to think quickly and calmly in chaotic situations. I am able to hear about intense trauma and remain useful for the person who is in pain and fear. I learned these things about myself which help lead me to my next steps. […]

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Your Future Colleagues

Since day one of the fall semester, one of my Brown School professors has made a point to refer to me and my peers not his students, but as "future colleagues." Though I was vaguely surprised by this, I appreciate the mentality behind it. It is a reminder that the personal and professional relationships we build in school will not end at graduation day. It's a  reminder that we are part of a much larger web of social work and public health practitioners. It's a reminder that we all have had the privilege to invest in our professional path. My professor's choice to refer to us as his future colleagues—and his encouragement that we think of each other as future colleagues—puts graduate education into a larger context. […]

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Finding Public Health Research Opportunities

One of the highlights of my graduate public health education at the Brown School so far has been learning about the incredible research projects with which my peers and professors are engaged.   […]

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Learning Outside the Classroom

​One of the biggest (and most under-rated) perks of being a member of an academic institution is having access to the myriad of events and lectures that happen on campus. The opportunity to attend events that highlight new ideas, perspectives, and opportunities to grow was something I really missed when I transitioned to the professional world. It's a luxury to be able to enjoy the many educational events available to students and community members here and I really appreciate the opportunities I've had to learn outside the traditional classroom environment.  Whether it's a scholar giving a lecture on environmental justice, an author sharing about their latest book on race, or a non-profit leader imparting the wisdom they've gained from years in the field, I regularly benefit from being exposed to so many innovative and knowledgeable voices.  […]

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5 Things To Know Before Starting Graduate School

Before starting my academic career at the Brown School, I had several preconceived notions. I just came from my undergraduate program, and I was under the impression that things would be around the same level of difficulty, but possibly a bit more challenging and complex.  […]

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Answer #2

When you are a student people always ask about classes. It usually sounds something like, "How's this semester going so far? Do you like you classes? Are classes hard?"  […]

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Building Your Brown School Community

There are so many ways to engage with fellow students around the work we do, the material we study and the passions we share. However, one recent Brown School experience has placed me out of the classroom and on to the soccer field. Fueled by a variety of reasons, my friend and I decided to co-captain an intermural soccer team, the Liverpool Second Stringers. […]

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Why It Matters That My Public Health Degree Is Transdisciplinary

Every Tuesday morning, my entire Masters in Public Health cohort meets for our hour-long Cross-Cutting Themes in Public Health course where we learn about foundational public health concepts (such as ethics frameworks, health care systems, etc.) One day, our professor spoke to us about the importance of practicing transdisciplinary public health and how to best integrate a transdisciplinary framework into our learning. As a graduate of a liberal arts undergraduate institution, I always prided myself on the broad range of academic disciplines I could integrate into my work. The field of public health appealed to me […]

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Self-Care for the Selfless: 5 Tips to Help Reduce Burnout in Graduate School

People who choose to enter the helping professions (social work, public health, counseling, community organizing, etc.) are often the most selfless people you'd know. Their hearts are big, and their capacity to create lasting impact is bigger. They are givers, and always hesitate to take in return. This leads to burnout and compassion fatigue, some of the highest reasons for the consistent turnover in social services professions. But, as a precautionary measure, there are many things that we can do in order to keep us from approaching the proverbial ledge. […]

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Back to the Books

The seasons have started to change in St. Louis and summer is quickly becoming fall. For many students at the Brown School, the change in seasons is just one of the big transitions we're experiencing. Second year students may be re-adjusting to academic life after a summer spent doing practicum work or with family. For first year students, the changes are even more pronounced. Many of us are in a new city or part of the city. Some are figuring out how to balance school with family or a job. Some of us coming from the workforce are learning how to be a student again. Some of us are learning our way around a new campus job or research position. And all of us are finding our niche(s) within the Brown School. […]

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