Haley McMullan - BSW Student

Haley McMullan

Interview Questions

What is your current practicum role?
I’m working with Western Montana Mental Health Center in the county detention center. I provide case management to connect inmates with community resources in hopes of reducing recidivism and facilitate coping skills groups to reduce anxiety and stress.

How do you see your practicum preparing you for the field?
My practicum has been the single greatest preparation for entering the field. My classroom knowledge is powerful and important in understanding social work. However, working withactual clients, seeing the planned change process in action, and figuring out what interventions work for what people has shaped my undergraduate experience and social work path for the better.

What have you learned about your future career interests from this experience?
Before my practicum, social work was a concept that I was passionate about. My practicum allowed me to put the concept into practice and begin to understand where my interests lie. I’ve learned that I care deeply about criminal justice reform for the mentally ill and want to get an MSW to learn more about this. I’ve learned what it’s like to work in a detention facility. I’ve learned about policies that need to be changed to help mentally ill clients. And I now know all the things that I don’t know and what questions I need to ask to better understand this system that I’m passionate about changing.

Advice for students looking for a rewarding practicum?
Find interesting and inspiring people and programs and figure out how to work with them; ask your teachers if they have particular placements in mind that may be a fit; call lots of organizations and talk to your potential direct supervisor about what your role would be; and start the process early!