Leah Marshall, R.S.W/M.S.W/B.S.W
Life At King’s
I chose King’s because of the community that it offered to me as a student. I was able to create relationships with not only my professors but the staff in the Social Work department too. I stayed in touch with my professors even after graduation. They still are available to offer guidance and support as well as assist with making professional connections. King’s was also able to offer me a practical perspective through placements that provided me with a variety of dynamic and well-rounded learning experiences. These relationships and placements have continued to assist me in my career and eventually led to my current role in the field.
During one of my elective Social Work classes at King’s, I began to realize the professional path I could have in this field. This class shared how vast the social work field is and the opportunities to work alongside many different people to advocate and facilitate change. This experience excited me and lit a flame of passion within me. That passion for social work helped show me where I needed to be.
My favourite memory includes being able to make lifelong friends, learn from my mentors and experience the field through my placements. My MSW placement at St. Joseph’s Hospital provided me with a lifelong friend and mentor as well as laid the foundation for my current career. There were also extra-curricular opportunities, such as working with my peers to do Interprofessional Health Education and travelling to India to see social work within another context with my International Social Work class.
My placements, experiences and connections at King’s that I was able to make have shaped me into the social worker that I am today.
Life After King’s
My placement at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program prepared me for my professional career after King’s. My supervisor taught me how to balance our passion for partnering with survivors on their healing journey and the anger that we feel with the current state of how systems and society responds to survivors of violence. This experience helped me know that I had found my calling. A place in our field where my feminist values, hunger for change and dismantling power dynamics could be utilized. Following my placement, I joined Fanshawe College as the Sexual Violence Prevention Advisor. My role involves supporting and assisting students who have experienced any form of sexual or gender-based violence. This role has allowed me to meet students where they are at now and allows for flexibility in how we support students to ensure that the path forward looks how they want it to. I also work part-time as a Social Worker at St. Joseph’s in the same department as my placement. I provide clinical counselling to survivors of sexual and domestic violence. This is work that is provided within an interdisciplinary team of social workers and nurses. The program allows individuals to receive their medical care and counselling in the same location. The support provided in this setting is so valuable. The most rewarding part of my work is having the privilege to be able to work with the clients I do, and I am continuously grateful that they allow me to be a part of their healing process. King’s gave me a social work community. They connected me to the existing social workers in London and a valuable group of supportive fellow social workers that I can call upon when needed.