Mona Saidi is a graduate of the CSUN Master of Social Work program. She also earned her BA in Sociology, with a minor in Social Welfare, from CSUN. Mona’s first year field placements were at the Project Achieve Homeless Shelter and in the LAPD Jeopardy Afterschool Program for Adolescents. Her second year field placements were at Hathaway Children and Family Services and Pacific Clinics Older Adults program. Mona currently works at Sunrise Adult Day Health Center.
Q. How did you first learn about the profession of social work?
A. I came to first learn about the profession of social work when I was fourteen-years-old. I met a hospital social work, who I was able to speak to for about twenty minutes and learn what social work was, and how social workers help others. From that moment I knew I wanted to help others too. In addition, I had difficulties in my young life and wished at that time I had someone to talk to and someone to help empower me. From those experiences, I knew I wanted to be able to fill that role for others.
Q. What have been the most valuable aspects of your educational experiences so far in the CSUN MSW program?
A. Two valuable aspects of my MSW education were: (1) self-awareness and the ability to identify my own strengths and weaknesses, and (2) the importance of cultural-competency and the ability to better understand my clients’ needs. The MSW program helped open my eyes to the world differently, as I now know and better understand that everyone has different backgrounds and different problems that make them who they are; and we as social workers need to be willing to accept and work with what the client is presenting. It is important to be open-minded, and be prepared to work outside of the box. I have found that with these skills, clients have an easier time opening up to me, and I am better able to connect with and empower them.
Q. What have you done in the field since graduation?
A. Currently, I am working at an adult day health center, and I would also like to work in a hospital setting. My focus right now is accumulating the required hours for licensing, and to continue to practice my learned skills.
As an undergraduate student, I was the student who sat in the back of the classroom and never asked questions. As a MSW student at CSUN, I was encouraged to take advantage of the small classroom settings and speak up. I asked a lot of questions and I learned a lot. Social Work, in my opinion, is the best profession to encourage one to think outside of the box.