Q&A with Ellis Adin, MSW ’23

Ellis Adin headshotMeet first-year MSW student Ellis Adin, a career changer who launched the YouTube channel “Therapy Talk with Ellis Adin” in hopes it could be helpful for those navigating a similar journey. 

As she explained in her first video, “when I was looking to get into this field, I looked all over the internet for information about what social work was, what people did, what grad school is like, and had a really hard time finding information I related to, people’s actual experiences that I could see myself in, and just really honest talk about graduate school and social work.” She launched the channel to fill that void. Ellis’ latest video, “Social Work Field Placements: Addressing 3 Common Worries!,” is a don’t-miss breakdown of what Field placements are and what you can expect to help you start your fieldwork experience with confidence. Click the link above to watch both episodes and subscribe to her channel.

Ellis graduated from Cornell with a BA in Economics and Inequality Studies in 2016 and spent the next five years working as a senior consultant with global management and creative consultancies. We recently spoke to Ellis about what drew her to social work, her own Field learning experience, and more.

What led you to leave consulting and pursue your MSW?

For me, the most meaningful part of consulting was working one-on-one with individuals to help solve the problems that kept them up at night. In the consulting world, this often translated to business issues. Eventually, I was able to realize that my skills and passions were better suited to helping individuals with their own mental health rather than the wellbeing of the organizations for which we worked. While working in consulting, I joined Crisis Text Line as a Crisis Counselor to dip my toe in the field and fell in love with the community. The pandemic was the final tipping point that encouraged me to fully pursue my goal of becoming a therapist. Seeing the degree to which communities were impacted and the need for more people in the helping professions led me to finally make the big switch over to social work!

You said in a recent LinkedIn post about your video that your field placement at Uncommon Schools “has been one of the most incredible learning opportunities of my education to-date.” Could you explain briefly what your placement entails?

At Leadership Prep Bed-Stuy (part of the Uncommon School network), I conduct individual and group counseling sessions for students ages 5-14! Working across both elementary and middle school has been quite the learning experience in that it has exposed me to so many issues and developmental milestones. My goal is to become a psychotherapist, so having the opportunity to hone these clinical skills has been essential to my learning. 

Besides your placement, was there anything else particularly influential during your first semester at Silver?

[Adjunct Lecturer] Karen Bernstein puts a smile on my face every class, even if she can’t see it with my mask on! [Adjunct Assistant Professor] Brian Mundy is also a fantastic professor. Even at 8am, he managed to keep us engaged and inspired with his energy and endless knowledge.

What is the topic of your next Therapy Talk video and when do you expect it to drop? 

In my series, I hope to cover all things MSW, from reviewing core social work concepts, to “day in my life” videos, and so much more! I’ll be posting videos periodically throughout the semester. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to see, feel free to drop me a message!