Brookline native Lindquist explores the different facets of working with children, youth, and families.
Claire Lindquist (’18) started off at BU School of Social Work as a part-time Master of Social Work student, after having earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Simmons College. Initially drawn towards a future in psychology, Lindquist changed paths when she saw social work in action. Her undergraduate internship experience with Boston Public Housing piqued her passion for both macro and clinical social work. “I was able to do actual work alongside some social workers,” Lindquist said. “I really got a sense of the work social workers did, both clinically with individuals, as well as the communities that they worked in. Thinking about community issues and working alongside community members to create change while working with individuals in a clinical context really excites me.”
For Lindquist, the field internship at BU School of Social Work experience was a unique one. She completed her field placement through her job at the Schochet Housing in Cambridge, a large low-income housing development. Her role involved working specifically with older adults both at the property that she worked at, and another property through her company. Reflecting on her day-to-day activities, Lindquist said, “I would do everything from case management to program planning and outreach, specifically with low-income immigrant older adults. It was wonderful that I had the flexibility to do the placement at my job, go to school, and have the hours for my internship count towards my field education.”
During her classroom and internship experiences, Lindquist always knew she wanted to do social work in an urban setting. Growing up in Brookline, she knew of Boston University’s reputation for immersed in the city environment and that drew her to the MSW program. “On Admissions Day, I was really impressed with the professors, students, and alumni panel that talked about their experiences in the classrooms, and their wonderful interactions with their professors,” she said. “It was nice to learn more about the work that they did both through the field placement in the greater Boston community in general. I liked that it was more community-wide social work, and not limited to the classroom, and that’s what I was interested in.”
Besides taking classes, Lindquist is actively involved in life at BU School of Social Work–attending Student Government meetings and the Unpacking White Privilege Group. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors and exploring the city. “I’ve made a lot of great friends at SSW, so just hanging out with them outside the classroom and going on bike rides is fun,” Lindquist said.
“It’s nice to just relax and not do school stuff all the time.”
Speaking from her own experience, Lindquist encourages future social work students to read about social work and also talk to social workers. “If possible,” Lindquist said, “shadow social workers; understand the clinical and macro contexts of social work, but also find an area that really excites you and that you feel passionate about, and see how social work can fit into that. Finding the right fit for yourself is when you have the most success, because you feel passionate about those things and want to put the work in and succeed in the field or the school setting.”