Tips for a Successful Field Planning Process

  1. Start the process early. Each student must meet with the Assistant Coordinator of Field Education before submitting his/her Field Placement Application.  Agencies have limited capacity.  Students who complete their Pre-Placement Field Planning Interview early, typically find there are more field placement choices available to them.
  2. Know yourself. Are you the type of person who needs to work side by side next to your field instructor or are you more self-directed?  Do you like a fast-paced, crisis-oriented environment, or do you prefer a structured scheduled day?  Which is more important to you, a close placement that is not necessarily the population you hoped to work with or a further placement that is exactly the population you hoped to work with?
  3. Meet deadlines. It is critical that you read your email, know when submission deadlines are and meet them so that the field planning process is complete by early May.
  4. Be professional.  Dress professionally for your placement interview.  Prepare for your interview by researching the agency and practicing your interviewing skills.   Be patient with your agency as you attempt to schedule your interview.  You are beginning to build your professional social work reputation.  First impressions matter.
  5. Use your social work skills.  Though the field planning process is well organized, there may be bumps along the way.  As a professionally trained social worker, you will be helping clients to increase their problem-solving skills, to cope with change, and to communicate effectively.   If you hit a bump in the field placement process, please view it as an opportunity to develop these critical skills.