3 Questions with Mollie Monaco, LICSW, Internship Training Director

1. Was social work your first career choice and what attracted you to the field?

My undergrad degree is in sociology and psychology, with a concentration in social welfare/social work. I was always interested in social justice but it was my first undergrad internship that solidified the next steps I would take. I worked with women and children living in poverty, people struggling with addiction in isolation, HIV+ individuals in need of food and housing, and others who have difficulty accessing care. It was in this internship that I got to see first-hand the dynamic role a social worker holds and really deepened my passion for the field and desire to pursue my MSW.

2. Name one thing that you wish more people understood about the role of social worker?

I think that, now more than ever, social workers find themselves at the table with large interdisciplinary teams working collaboratively to support our increasing complex clients. Social workers play such a dynamic role, and I think it is vital to continue to educate our team members from different disciplines on just what our scope of practice is. Though it varies based on the social worker’s role, we are guided by our code of ethics and take on a holistic approach to our clients — looking not only at our client but the client’s relationship to his or her environment.

3. How do you feel that your social work education and experience influence your current role as Internship Training Director?

If you had asked me during grad school if I thought I would be doing macro/program development work I would have never thought I would be! This just further reinforces how diverse and dynamic social workers can be. Every day my social work skills help shape the way I design, develop and evaluate the internship program. My personal experiences as an intern and as a program director supervising interns have also guided me to have a more comprehensive perspective on both individual and organizational needs in the internship process.