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.