Eran Fowler Pehan - Alumni
Title: Director of the Office of Housing and Community Development, former Director of the Poverello Center, and ’07 University of Montana MSW Graduate
Where did you do your practicum?
I did family preservation work for Salish and Kootenai Tribes Early Childhood Services. Some of the work was crisis management – helping families keep children in the home. I also provided support for new foster placements and worked on a project that tracked the development of children born meth addicted.
How did your practicum experience prepare you for the field?
It was exceptionally impactful. My practicum helped me translate my classroom knowledge around cultural awareness and diversity into real life. I learned it was important to be able to lean back on my academic understanding, but not to let it drive me. I learned to focus on relationship. And it was through seeing the magnitude of the problems facing the families I served, that I developed a passion for macro-level social work.
What advice would you give to a student looking for a rewarding practicum experience?
This may be the last chance you have to practice without expectation of expertise, so try something different. I grew so much more as a professional when I started from scratch. Diverse experience makes you well-rounded and more employable.
What else would you like to share?
We have very interesting possibilities for practicum students at Office for Housing and Community Development. As our office is new, we are creating things from the ground up. This would be a great site to get a window into government work and explore macro level practice.