As part of this months look into Circle’s inspirational, but sometimes over-looked, work with Social Work students we were lucky enough to meet the staff, as well as some current students on placement, that make this project so successful. Read on for the second of three interviews with current social work students on placement at Circle: 

Hi Eilidh, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Hi, I’m Eilidh, I’m a student social worker and my placement is 95 days or 4 ½ months. I started at the end of October and will finish at the end of March. I’m in the process of studying the Master of Social Work (MSW) at the University of Edinburgh.

Before we start the serious questions I wonder if you could answer a little ice-breaker for us, if you could be any animal, what would you be, and why?

My usual answer for this question is a giraffe because I am very short and would like to experience what it’s like to be tall and see life from a different perspective.

I love that you have a ‘usual answer’ for this question… And what are you particularly passionate about?

I am passionate about travelling, spending time in the sun, eating good food and reading good books.

Now that our supporters know you a little better I wonder if you could tell us what inspired you to study for a qualification in Social Work?

I have a desire to care for and support people, particularly those that are often misunderstood by the general public.

What was the biggest difference between studying and practicing Social Work and did you learn or experience anything at Circle that you weren’t expecting?

The biggest difference from being on placement and in the classroom is being able to put learning into action, this has allowed me to better understand social work theories and how they can benefit my practice when working with people. I have also been able to better learn how legislation works in practice as I can consider it in regard to specific people and cases rather than simply as a general concept.

For anyone reading this that is considering studying for a qualification in Social Work what would your top three tips be?

1. Be open to all learning opportunities, whether it’s the specific thing you thought you wanted to do or not, there can be great learning in so many different situations.

2. Take advantage of any shadowing moments or time to speak to others about their work, to learn and be inspired about the profession. Speak to anybody you may know that can help you to learn more about what it would be like.

3. Go for it, it will be worth it.

And finally, with the experience you have so far, what one change would you make to the world around us that would make the biggest positive difference to the families you support, and why?

The change I would want to make would be to the attitude of people towards one another, for people to be more kind, more understanding and more forgiving. I think this would make a positive difference both within families, wider support networks and in the larger community as it could positively benefit all relationships both personal and professional and allow all people to feel included, cared for and respected.