Dissertation Interviews, Participant Observation, Travelling, applying for my MA in Social Work and
Wow, this term has officially kicked off and is in full swing. I am currently in the process of interviewing professionals for my dissertation and starting to transcribe them along with train journeys here there and everywhere; and of course keeping up to date with my general readings and preparations for lectures / seminars. Oh and not forgetting applying for my MA in Social Work! I think this term is going to be crazy…. No let me rephrase that it’s already crazy! I’m wondering how much time I will actually spend with my family! To be fair I’ve booked in a date night with my husband so I get to spend some quality time with him. We’re going to see Dirty Dancing at the Belgrade Theatre and we’re going out for a meal too. Somehow, I’ve also got to book in a massage I got for Christmas before it runs out too. I don’t want to miss out on that! It is very much needed. I’m also somehow keeping up with my health living lifestyle – I’ve now lost 1 stone 8 and ½ lbs! I’m going to look great (hopefully) for my graduation photos!
As I’m writing this I’m on the train to Manchester for an interview for my dissertation, I have another 2 interviews this week. Thankfully the other 2 interviews are more local. There is so much going on that recently I’ve had to start competing to do lists, so I don’t forget to do something. I’m keeping everything in the same place on my computer, so I don’t lose anything, plus I can tick them off once there done. Last week I was flapping a bit, as I got an email from a professional suggesting that I could spend a few days in their office doing some participant observation. I had difficulty getting hold of my dissertation supervisor, so was literally running around Westwood Campus trying to find someone who would let me know how I proceed with this ethically, thankfully I found someone to help me and was able to proceed with the participant observation. It was a great insight and obviously something I cannot comment on further here.
In January I applied for the MA in Social Work at Warwick University within CLL. It has taken me along time to work out what I want to do and how I get to where I want to get. The careers team at university house have been great; if you’ve never been to see them, make sure you do. For me also doing primary research for my dissertation has led me to meet various professionals, who have helped me to network. I’ve spoken to people I never thought I’d have the chance to speak to let alone meet some of them. Last week, I got an email about my MA requesting a more detailed personal statement. You may think I’m sad but everything else stopped for this! I wanted to get it back to them as soon as possible. So now it’s just a waiting game again, I’ll keep you posted on how I get on. I was speak to someone high up within West Midlands Police Force recently too and found out that there is possibly a way to get into working for the police. At the moment while I do not think I want to do this, it is an avenue I am pursuing. I may find out it’s something I’d love to do, or it may not. At the moment my heart is set on doing the MA in Social Work (no pressure at all on me then, hey?!) I really want to work in a Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) team.
It maybe busy right now, however I love this year. The modules I’ve chosen fit nicely together (I’ve taken counselling, mindfulness, social work and my dissertation is about trafficking). I feel I am learning so much, and the interviews are helping me to understand trafficking and CSE within the UK. I even am sad enough to say I have loved transcribing, perhaps it’s because I’ve only transcribed a couple so far, or perhaps it is because I’ve chosen a topic that I am passionate about, but want to work in and the contacts I’m getting at the moment are great. Counselling and mindfulness are helping me to reflect on myself and my own awareness and understanding in general. Mindfulness especially is helping me to realise when I’m stressed and need to have some ‘me time’. If you don’t know anything about mindfulness and perhaps want to find out more the library are doing some sessions. Their Facebook page states the following:
In between all of my travelling to and from interviews, and trying to transcribe I’m also had to be very organised so that I can make sure I fit in the time to do my readings too. This hasn’t always been easy, especially with other essays that need to be written. However, what I’ve learnt this year, that I will share with you, is that starting my essays early have been crucial. It has also helped me to put my plan together whilst I’ve been learning each week. So unashamedly I can say all of my essays have been started, even my reflective ones, and each week after discussing different topics I’ve been able to decide if I want to look at those topics or not for my essays. This has been really useful for me, as it also helps to draft and rewrite my essays until I’m happy with them.
While I think about it, for anyone revising for exams right now, hope they all go well. Thankfully I don’t have any, which is really useful when I’m trying to do my dissertation.