Inspired to help others and make positive change in the world, Hailey augmented her business degree with RMIT's Master of Social Work.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Global Business from the University of Texas, and although I found business interesting, I wanted to have more social engagement in my career. This drew me to the non-profit sector, so in my final year in undergrad I undertook a placement at a non-profit Rape Crisis Centre where I was able to train as a volunteer advocate. I volunteered on the hotline and in hospitals during the placement and loved having a role where I could help survivors of assault and women escaping family violence. Some of my colleagues there were social workers and they encouraged me to take on a Master of Social Work.
By this stage I had moved to Melbourne and both of my housemates were studying at RMIT – I loved hearing about their courses and saw that they were learning on a deeper and more critical level. I enrolled at RMIT myself and it has totally changed me – I thought I was already a critical thinker and open-minded person before I started, but I’ve learnt so much and I now really feel prepared to work in most areas of social work.
The program has been so engaging – with such small class sizes we can really get into deep discussions with each other. The professors are genuine and helpful and continually encourage us to be autonomous in researching and pursuing our interests and goals. I’ve also found all my classmates to be wonderful. It’s been nice to be in a program where we see each other a lot. I’ve loved watching everyone grow, learn and change throughout the course.
In my time at RMIT I’ve done a placement at McAuley Community Services for Women, where I learnt so much about homelessness, housing, mental health and case management. They have a wonderful team there and I’ve learnt so much from them – I now feel fully prepared to work in the housing sector or in case management roles. I’ve also made great networks and friends who will be there for me when I enter the workforce.
To anyone considering postgraduate study, I say go for it. I’ve never had a better study experience where my brain was stretched so much – I’ve had to grapple with difficult ideas and social issues, and RMIT is such a great environment to do it in.