Asia Bailey, MSW
“I’ve always been interested in the helping field. My mom used to work in a nursing home, and I always used to volunteer there and help the residents. When I had to do community service in high school, I chose to do my service in a nursing home. Even my first job at sixteen was at a nursing home facility as a dietary technician.
Deep down, I always wanted to be a Social Worker, but I was always doubtful because I heard that the salary was low. So I initially received my Bachelors in Recreation Therapy. When I realized that I wasn’t fully utilizing my Bachelor’s Degree and it wasn’t really driving my passion, I turned back to my original plan of Social Work again.”
“I received my MSW at Walden University; it’s an online program. I chose to do my MSW online because of the flexibility. It took me longer than the average to complete the program because I took my time with my courses. At the beginning of that program, it was very hard to adjust because I am very hands-on and like to be in the classroom. With this challenge, I learned and applied practical time management skills. I scheduled out my whole week in advance to be better prepared and set myself up for success. School was also challenging because I also worked full time. I worked as a mental health case manager, which was very beneficial because I could get that field experience and apply what I was learning in the classroom.”
“I’ve always enjoyed working with the geriatric/aging population. Because I am younger, I sometimes get the stereotype that I’m not experienced, or I can’t relate. Once my clients get to know me and gain their trust, they see that I’m capable of doing the job. I always try to put myself in their shoes and meet them where they are.”
“I definitely see myself working in macro–Social Work. I have also been thinking about switching over to working with the youth population. I coach volleyball for high school, so I can connect with youth on a different level and help them develop and grow.”
“I have been essential this entire time. The shutdown started three weeks after I had my son, and I had to report to work right after my maternity leave. I did not have the luxury of working from home. I’ve always been around COVID this entire time, working with the clients. We had several in-service pieces of training on PPE and safety measures. We have been getting tested every week since July and now twice a week. I initially refuse the vaccine, but I eventually got it after talking with my administrator. I thought about my son and protecting those who I love by not exposing them.”
“My advice would be to understand the field before you get into it. I used to think that social work was all about helping people and that the typical social worker job was working for Child Protective Services. This field is so broad, and it’s not just direct care. Maryland Senator Barbara Mccloskey is a social worker and came from a direct-care background, and now she is a senator. Social workers are everywhere; we are academic advisors; we work in law enforcement; we work in public policy. There are so many things a social worker can do, and I advise future social workers to explore all the avenues.
Also, if you don’t have the heart for people, don’t get into this field. We advocate for people who are continually oppressed, marginalized, and we help to use their voice, so you have to have tough skin but most of all, heart.”
“Self-Care is essential to me because I’ve experienced burnout on a job. Especially being a new mom, I have to schedule some time, time to decompress, and time for myself. One thing I enjoy doing is getting my nails done, eating crabs, and spending time with friends. During my work commute, I like to play my music and sing out loud to decompress. I used to journal a lot to help release my thoughts and feelings.
I also have a therapist. I feel like every social worker needs a therapist. Having someone you can talk to outside of friends and family is very helpful. This field can be very draining, emotionally, mentally, and physically. It’s up to you to find ways not to lose yourself in your job.”
“My proudest moment was graduating with my Masters in Social Work (MSW). I felt like it took so long, but I persevered and got through it. My other proudest moments have been helping all my clients. It’s just the small things that I help them with day to day. I enjoy assisting clients in solving everyday problems that we take for granted. No matter how small the task was, my clients were grateful that I could help them. Those moments make me proud. My mother always told me to make the resident’s last days their best days, and that’s what I strive to do. “