Erika Bundy is pursuing a BA in social work degree at Rutgers School of Social Work. Inspired by her father Troy Bundy (pictured here), who received his BA in social work from Rutgers and tragically passed away in 2020, Erika shares the deeply personal story of her journey to the field in honor of Social Work Month.
What brought you to the field of social work?
My mother has been a teacher for over twenty years, and my grandfather is a retired Vietnam veteran, and I never saw myself pursuing those paths. Before my father passed away last year, I talked to him about wanting to pursue a career in which I’d have the ability to help people, specifically women and children. I was so set on the idea that the only way I would be able to do this was if I were a psychologist or a teacher. After talking to my father about his decision to go to school for social work and the different opportunities in the field, I decided it was the field for me.
What motivated your father to pursue his BA in social work?
He wanted to pursue his BA in social work because he experienced some traumatizing events in his past. As a young man, he struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. Later, he turned his whole life around, got closer to God and his children, and even went back to school. He was getting his BA so he could work in drug and alcohol counseling and help teens turn their lives around faster than he had the chance to. My father took what he had been through and used it to help others so that they wouldn’t have to experience similar events.
Why did you choose to enroll at Rutgers School of Social Work?
Before I decided to attend Camden County College, I applied to Rutgers as a psychology major. I truthfully always wanted to attend Rutgers but never felt like it was the right time for me until my father enrolled. I was so ecstatic to be on campus with my father, taking the same classes even if I was a year behind.
What are your plans after you graduate with your BA in social work?
After I graduate with my BA in social work, I aspire to get my MSW from Rutgers. I love working with children, so I have plans to work at CHOP as a social worker. I also wish to continue furthering my talents as a fashion designer.
Which has been the best class you’ve taken at Rutgers SSW and why?
This is a tricky one. Honestly, I have to say all of my classes. Each professor I’ve had so far has been very understanding with these challenging times and truly takes the time to ensure students fully understand the course material. I especially enjoy any class that Dr. Plummer and Professor Webster teach because we are bound to have lots of laughs but still engage in learning all the material needed to prepare us to be exceptional social workers.
What would you want other students to know who are considering earning their BA in social work?
If you are considering earning your BA in social work, go for it! I regret many things in life but transferring to Rutgers and working towards my BA in social work is not one. This community is very supportive and open, so if you have any questions or concerns you can always reach out to the professors or even the students in your program.