2 Questions: Self-disclosure, and Smith

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by thepsychgeek, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. thepsychgeek

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    1) I will be applying for the Smith Social Work program this coming fall (I LOVE the program). Has anyone here been through their wringer? I hear it's intense, but I'd like to hear more about it. Do you feel like it helped or hurt you?

    2) I am considering working with an LGBTQ population after completing my social work degree. This is easier to explain if I disclose that I, myself, identify as bisexual. Is that over-disclosure in a SoP?
     
  2. biogirl215

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    1) I don't have any personal experience with Smith, but I've heard both that it's a very, very, very good and a very, very, very clinically-focused program.

    2) From reading SW/MSW forums, I know a lot of LBGT people applying to SW programs do this, especially if they want to work with LGBTQ populations after graduation. As along as you don't make yourself the focus of the essay, I can't imagine it being a problem, especially at Smith, which is known, at least at the undergrad level, for being one of the most lesbian/bisexual friendly schools in the country if not the most.

    Good luck!
     
    #2 biogirl215, Jun 5, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  3. thepsychgeek

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    1) Hey, any input is good input. Good to know. That's what I thought, but they accept something like 40% of their applicants, so I figured I would at least make sure!

    2) Yeah, it's just a short paragraph about working with an LGBTQ people, and it sounds really, really "oh, those poor gay people" without the "well... but I am too!!!" without it, for some reason! Good to know.
     
  4. biogirl215

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    MSW programs tend to have pretty high acceptance rates, at least compared to clinical psych programs. Cynical me, I tend to think this have to do with the fact that most clinical psychprograms are funded while almost no MSW programs are (and Smith costs $$$$! :(), but I also think it might have something to do with the sure intensity/length of PhD programs (advising thesis and dissertations, etc.).
     
    #4 biogirl215, Jun 5, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  5. JockNerd

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    I disclosed my sexual orientation in two SoP for psych grad school applications, because it was germaine to specific points that the schools asked me to emphasize. Didn't hurt me at all. Like any personal disclosure, just make sure you it it tactfully.:)
     
  6. thepsychgeek

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    Yeah, Smith is really expensive, but they also have surprisingly generous funding. This might be because they only have a few very specific programs (9 masters, 2 doctoral...), and because their social work program is so well known. I'm hoping!

    Good to know. Yeah, this disclosure isn't coming out of left field, I was trying to write around it, and it was just not working. Good to know it worked out for you.

    Thanks to both of you!
     
  7. immortalavalamp

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    I just completed my undergrad at Smith, so I cannot speak to the graduate program specifically outside of what I've heard from the students and interns there.

    I think if self-disclosure is tactful, it absolutely will not hurt you at Smith. There is a very strong social justice focus to the school, and to the MSW program (I saw a ton of fliers around when I interned in the psych department over the summer). You clearly don't want to make it sound like you're just interested in me-search, but I doubt that'll be much of a concern due to the clinical nature of the program.

    Be careful about interning at counseling services at Smith. The undergrads have some real concerns/problems with CS, and sometimes I get the feeling that it's difficult to work there. If you want to work with an LGBT population, you may elect to work there anyway (about 30% of the undergraduate students identify as bisexual, gay, or queer, afterall)--but just know that there have been some bad experiences in the past, and that some may be reticent. It is a FANTASTIC program, though--I've heard nothing but good things about it. Smith does offer really great funding, which definitely helps offset the cost. If you'd like to know more about Smith, what I said about the undergrads, other concerns, or Noho, please feel free to PM me. Clearly, I could go on and on. It's the best place on earth.

    Good luck!
     

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