MA Social Work at Cardiff University: Kerry’s Story

Up until 2008 I was an Operations Director
for quite a large company, UK-wide, until unfortunately my mum passed away in 2008 in
the June and things changed quite dramatically. Initially, my dad went into a nursing home.
My dad had MS and Parkinson’s so he needed a lot of support. I made the decision in the
August of 2008 that my dad needed to come home. So, I gave up my job and I brought my
dad home. Unfortunately, my dad passed away in the December of 2008 and then I had to
re-think my own life again – where do I go from here? What do I do? And I decided to
make an application for, initially, to look at social work. The course itself, I feel,
gave me a very good grounding as to my expectations when I’m actually in, when I subsequently came into practice. I’m,
on a daily basis, in my practice, I draw on the information, the experiences, the learning.
We’re still talking theory in my social work practice today that we talked about when we
were in the course, and I don’t think you necessarily get that with other jobs. I was
very fortunate, on the course that I did, because I went to Lapland and had a very interesting
experience in terms of global social work and also experienced what the Finnish, or
the Lapish, social work model looked like compared to our own. I also went to Beijing. Very very
fortunate. And that’s an experience I will never forget. And the contrast between how
the Chinese people look at social work, how we look at social work, and how the Lapish
people, or the Finnish people, look at social work is something that I’m still thinking
about and that’s almost two, three years down the line. Your degree doesn’t always match
in such a hand-in-glove way the job, the way that the social work master’s does for the
job that you do on a day-to-day basis. I have to say it was probably the best two years
that I’ve spent. It’s not just about the learning, it’s about the experience that you have whilst
on the course with your fellow students, the bonding that goes on. You stay in touch with
people when you’re in practice. You have that camaraderie that perhaps you don’t have in
other jobs. It was a very very good experience for me.