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An Interview with Incoming MSW Student Stefanie Mach
January 8, 2021

Stefanie Mach will enter the Rutgers School of Social Work MSW program in the spring. A former member of the Arizona House of Representatives, she is now pursuing a career in social work with the goal of providing therapy to adults in a private practice setting. 

Tell us a bit about your career in government. 
I served two two-year terms in the Arizona State House, representing roughly 200,000 people from the Tucson area. While in office, I served on three weekly committees: Appropriations, Commerce and Military Affairs & Public Safety. I was also on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, which receives and approves fiscal analyses reports and the Legislative Council, which met to analyze and approve ballot measure language. Having grown up on military bases and with a base hugging the border of my district, I was proud to serve as the only woman on the Military Affairs & Public Safety Committee. Serving on Appropriations and Commerce Committees allowed me to track money and business interests for my district. It also reinforced the importance of understanding and guiding resources strategically toward priority goals.

Why are you pursuing a career in social work?
Through advocating for systemic change, I began to realize that true and lasting change grows from within, one person at a time. Becoming a clinical social worker will allow me to connect with others more personally and help them improve their own lives. Healthy people can positively impact everyone in their lives, making healthier families and communities. 

What do you hope to achieve by earning an MSW degree?
With a degree in clinical social work, I hope to provide therapy to adults experiencing a variety of mental health issues, including: depression, anxiety, PTSD and others. Ultimately, I'd like to establish a private practice. 

Why have you chosen to attend Rutgers School of Social Work?
I've chosen Rutgers School of Social Work because it aligns well with my values, schedule and interests. The caliber of professors and the field placement opportunities also helped me choose Rutgers.

What are you most looking forward to in your time at Rutgers School of Social Work?
I'm looking forward to learning from experienced professors and classmates alike. The depth of knowledge I can glean from a diversity of people having honest discussions about life's most difficult challenges is invaluable. I expect it will be yet another level of personal growth in a lifetime lessons. 

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