Becky Mamboleo is a student of the University of Iowa Sioux City MSW program. She will graduate from the program in May 2023. Currently, she lives in Harrisburg, South Dakota, and has lived there throughout her time within the program.
UI School of Social Work: What is your focus or desired area of work within Social Work?
Mamboleo: My focus or desired area is a wide range of things, I have a specific interest in end-of-life care, advocating for earlier intervention and conversations, advancing the understanding and benefits of Palliative Medicine, and hospice care. However, I also currently work as a medical social worker and have an interest in a more macro level of social, but I also have an interest in individual (micro) work as well. I feel that the integrated focused track within the program provided me with the best of parts of my interests.
SSW: How has the Sioux City program helped you achieve your goals as a social worker?
Mamboleo: My goals as a social worker are continually evolving as I continue advancing in my skill set, so obtaining a set goal with my passion is hard to say I have achieved. However, the program in Sioux City helped me continue to develop and advance my skills by providing a program that was more versatile with a full-time job as well. Having a versatile program has helped me achieve my goal of pursuing and obtaining my master's degree.
SSW: What is an anecdote you recall from your time in the Sioux City MSW program?
Mamboleo: I have been part of the 2017-2020 cohort as well as the 2020-2023 cohort as I had to take a medical leave of absence from the program. I had a miscarriage about 6 months into the program, which took a huge mental toll. Not only in the loss of my pregnancy but also on top of the stress of working full-time, working on my master's degree, with 2 small children at home already. The instructors and my advisor were very supportive and identified that I was struggling before I was even able or willing to admit that I needed help. My advisor helped me obtain a medical leave of absence and reached out to me when it was time to resume my studies. Without the empathy and support from Julie, I am not sure that I would have gotten back into the program exactly where I had left off.
SSW: What would you say to students who might be considering an MSW?
Mamboleo: If I had an opportunity to share any message with students that might be considering their MSW, it would be to take that step and make the University of Iowa program one of the top options to do that. The UI program is manageable with working full-time and if you are able to take on a workplace internship, it is even more doable which for a busy working mom of 3 was essential for me.