MSW student Maria Snyder is working to add social work to an impressive resume that already includes degrees in law and psychology. And while juggling a family and career with school can present a variety of challenges, Snyder is working hard to maintain balance in her life.
Snyder earned an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, and when deciding on a bachelor’s degree, she chose psychology to learn about the connections between the body, mind, and soul. “I have found that in order to truly help someone, you need to understand the whole person,” Snyder said.
After graduating with her BA, Snyder began working as a researcher first in psychology, and later in oncology. In between working, she took social work classes and fell in love with the field but quickly learned that in order to take care of the world, she had to take care of herself first. She decided to pursue an MSW degree at Rutgers School of Social Work in Camden because of its hometown feel and proximity to her job and family.
“In order to do the work that social workers do, I can't be running on empty. I need to refuel, and in doing so, I will be a better mother, wife, sister, student, social worker, friend, and co-worker,” Snyder said.
In addition to the flexibility Rutgers offers its students, Snyder enjoys its diversity and high-quality faculty, crediting Natalie Moore-Bembry, Marla Blunt-Carter, Bernardo Hiraldo, Shanique McRae, and many more for her success so far.
Snyder is currently is working on an academic research project involving metacognition with Assistant Professor of Teaching Sara Plummer and works with the public defenders in Camden’s drug courts.
Going forward, she plans to work with the homeless population and in addiction counseling. “What motivates me to work with these populations is the thought that I wouldn't want anyone I know and care about to be homeless. If they had a drug addiction problem, I would want them to be able to seek good treatment and help,” Snyder said.