Andres Anderson                                                                                                                                                                             Dr. M. Alam                                                                                                                                                                       Professional Essay                                                                                                                                                                      March 5, 2013

In 1992, I was born in Jacobi Hospital in Bronx, New York, to Andres Sr. and Altagracia Anderson. At the age 7, my family and I moved to upstate New York. I graduated with my Associate’s degree from Orange County Community College (SUNY Orange). I recently relocated to Brooklyn to attend CUNY New York City College of Technology in pursuit of my Bachelor’s degree in human services.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always had a love of people. Up until a few years ago, I had no idea this passion could become a career. When I was 15, I interviewed at a summer camp near my house. I remember overdressing for the interview, but it worked to my advantage. On my 16th birthday, I got a call from the camp coordinator and was offered a position! To this day, I still believe that the position of camp counselor was the best job I’ve ever had–it also happened to be the worst paying job I’ve ever had, but it didn’t matter because I was so enthralled with the work I was doing. After returning to this camp for three continuous years, I realized I want to work with children for the rest of my life.

I believe that I’ve acquired some very useful skills, along with some qualities that I feel I have inherited. One of the assets that I am most proud of is my open-mindedness and empathy. I try my best to listen to what others are saying, free of judgment. Another skill that is useful is dedication, with perseverance being an important virtue, too. These skills, combined with those that I have–and hope to gain–from higher education, will make for a great set of tools I will utilize diligently in my field in the future.

As stated above, I would like to work with children and their families. A unique quality that children possess is the ability to be molded and influenced for the better. A common misconception that people seem to have is the idea that in order to work with children, one must have patience; but in reality, to work with children one needs careful understanding. The human service professional’s duties aren’t enough to help a child succeed; this is where working with the family ties in. Children, often considered a vulnerable population, require someone who has their best interests at heart.

Some skills that a human service professional needs, some of which I am still in the process of developing, are the following: social understanding, oral and written communication, and active listening. Social understanding is important because someone working so close to the public should be aware of people’s reactions and why they react the way they do. Speaking is important because a human service professional should deliver information clearly and effectively as well as coherently express their thoughts and ideas. Collaborating with consumers via the written form is very important in this field since everything must be consistently recorded thoroughly with benevolent consciousness. Most importantly, the attribute of active listening must never be forgotten, because one must be able to give their full attention to the consumer while understanding the points being made.

After graduation, I hope to begin my work as a human service professional at a non-for-profit organization, preferably working close with the population of my interest. I would like to take the social service exam in different States a few years after my nonprofit experience, and uproot to whichever State contacts me first. I will attempt to train with seasoned professionals so that I may hone my skills in the most meaningful way. For example, I will also attend professional conferences related to social work, such as the annual National Association of Social Workers Conference, with one topic of interest being “RESTORING HOPE: THE POWER OF SOCIAL WORK.”

I truly believe that a career in human services can bring people together to accomplish the most significant of endeavors.  Human services, along with social work, are altruistic disciplines that I would be so proud to work for, and to uphold their values of social welfare and justice. Therefore, I feel that this field adequately matches my strengths and can help me grow into the service professional I yearn to become.

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