One Woman’s Journey to the MSW@USC

Since I was very young, I’ve always had a strong feeling that I would eventually pursue a career helping those in need. I wanted to do something that would make a positive impact and bring change to society. Would I have a future in the medical field? Was I destined to become a nurse? Would I find my calling in teaching? Ultimately, I believe I’ve found a career path that fulfills my interests in all three of these fields.

Two years ago, a coworker and mentor, Brandy Malloy, enrolled in a new online social work program called the MSW@USC. She had heard about it from a cousin, who was a student at USC, and after hearing about the program, I too was intrigued. The farther along Brandy got on her journey to become a social worker, the more I began to feel drawn to the profession as well.
young woman assisting elderly woman
In my experience working in a perinatal department, I had witnessed how social workers served the needs of new mothers – evaluating them, ensuring they had all the proper resources in place to take care of their children, and assisting with the placement of newborns into adoptive care. At the time, I didn’t realize what being a social worker entailed or how personally satisfying it could be.

Now, thanks to Brandy’s experiences in the MSW@USC program, I wanted to know more. I spent hours researching the profession of social work, and when I discovered the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics, the main concept that crystalized everything for me was contained in the first sentence of the preamble:

    The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.

  • Why didn’t I think of this before?
  • What is the program going to teach me?
  • Will it fully prepare me to be the best possible social worker I can be?
  • When can I start??!! : )

I owe a lot to Brandy, and I thank her every day for her support. She encouraged me to enroll in the MSW@USC because she knew I already possessed the innate qualities required to become a great social worker. She also told me that my previous medical experience and background would help me excel in the program. I realized that I already possessed the passion and drive to promote social justice and change for those seeking help … I just needed a little push!

I am honored and thrilled to be a part of such an amazing and innovative program. I have never been more proud belonging to a community as strong as the USC Trojan Family…Fight On!

This post was written by MSW@USC student Jessica Grijalva.

  • Tia No (Bautista)

    I’m glad you have found your calling in SW@USC! You will do well in your field of dreams…because you already know what you want to do in this world.


    It is a wonderful thing when we find that piece of the puzzle called our niche in doesn’t matter when we find it as long as we do find it..Once it all comes together, that chapter closes but your storybook continues…Congratulations on your life journey and thank you for sharing it..

  • usc4cdg

    Thank you for sharing.. I have had the calling to help others since I was a young child too.