When Roopa Raman was exploring master of social work programs, she prioritized a few factors: a high-quality, clinical education; professors with whom she could see herself working; a city where she could receive excellent training; and scholarship funds.
Raman began exploring career options a few years before she actually enrolled in NYU Silver. Since graduating college in 2003, she had lived in Los Angeles working in positions that included a community and labor organizer for several labor unions, a program leader at an afterschool program, and as a career counselor at an education fund for unionized healthcare employees. She explained why she eventually took the leap to apply to graduate programs in social work: “I began to feel the missing piece in my work—the emotional piece and connecting with people on a deep level.”
Several aspects of the Silver School appealed to Raman when she visited in the spring of 2011. She got a taste of her future education by meeting with a faculty member and speaking to another over the phone. Additionally, she was impressed with the School’s structured study abroad programs—something she had not seen at other schools.
“I was ready at that point to move to New York, and I knew I would get some amazing training at NYU Silver,” she said.
In her first year at the Silver School, Raman was able to collaborate with faculty on projects. She worked on a research study about female drug injecting practices with Associate Professor Ellen Tuchman and conducted library research for Professor Shulamith Lala Straussner in connection with her forthcoming book.
Another major factor in Raman’s decision to attend NYU Silver was the scholarships she was offered. In her first year, she was awarded a merit-based NYU Silver Tuition Scholarship and the LCU Foundation Housing Stipend for Women. She called the scholarship money “immensely helpful.”
“As a first-year student adjusting to being in graduate school and a social work program, there is a lot of stress and change that a person experiences,” she said. “I was able to have some piece of mind in terms of my finances.”
The scholarship funds allowed Raman’s transition back to school to be smoother and helped her focus on her studies. When asked why she would encourage people to donate to the Silver School, Raman simply replied, “They could really change a student’s life.”