Career Advice from VNSNY Community Mental Health Panelists

Last week, our office sponsored a panel discussion with VNSNY and their community mental health professionals to learn about their career paths and what led them to this work.

If you missed the session, here are some key takeaways:

    • Meet and build relationships with folx in the field, because networking is still one of the most effective ways to land opportunities.
    • Seek mentors and supervisors who are invested in your development. Surrounding yourself with a strong support system is key to growing and advancing in an organization.
    • Take risks by being open to new opportunities or exploring new paths—these experiences can help you build career agility, find meaningful work, and expand your professional network.
    • Take ownership of the job you have right now; it will not only help you build character and skill sets for your current role, it will also prepare you for future ones.
    • Make sure to prioritize self-care. When interviewing, ask questions about initiatives that are in place to support the well-being of employees and the agency as a whole.

Thanks to those who attended, as well as to our speakers Jessica Aitken, Natasha Anderson, Deborah Cho ’15, Sabrina Machuca, and Echelle Norman, and Keith Peters and Leah Blumberg for collaborating with us on this event!

You can find the presentation slides and speakers’ contact information in Career Connect within our Document Library under the Employer Events / Information Sessions folder.

Home/Life Services Recruitment Event | Wednesday, October 7

Want to support families and children experiencing homelessness and help them access essential services and permanent housing throughout NYC?
Attend Home/Life Services recruitment event on Wednesday, October 7, 12:30- 1:30 PM to learn about opportunities,  hear about the organization’s culture, and experience from their Director of Social Service.
Pre-Register HERE
Home/Life is hiring for full-time social work/client care coordinator roles. Positions are available throughout the 5 boroughs and there are opportunities to accrue hours for clinical licensure. Questions? Email Avi Gardenswartz, Clinical Supervisor at agardenswartz@homelifeservices.org.

NYPCC Virtual Career Fair for Bilingual MSWs | Wednesday, September 30

Message from the New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center:


Calling all Bilingual MSWs, MHCs, & MFTs, You’re Invited to NYPCC’s Virtual Career Fair on September 30, 2020 from 1:30 P.M. until 2:30 P.M. In order to attend this virtual career fair, either click on our flyer (below) or click on the following link:  https://zoom.us/j/94531729172

Please be advised that if you’ve already interviewed with NYPCC and/or were able to meet with someone during our last virtual career fair, we are still reviewing your resume and ask that you not attend this particular fair. We want to make sure to give those that we haven’t met yet the same opportunity that you received!

Once registered, upload your resume to one of the following links.

*Please note that we are hiring for all locations and you should apply to whichever location is most convenient for you:

For the Bronx: https://smrtr.io/467qf

For Bushwick: https://smrtr.io/45FtL

For Linden (East New York): https://smrtr.io/48LQS

What to Expect:

During our virtual career fair, once candidates connect to the zoom meeting, they will be placed in our waiting room, asked to wait for the host to let them in, and seen in the order of arrival. Please be patient with us as we are excited to meet with all of you and want to make sure that we are being fair and giving everyone the time that they deserve.

Exclusive Global Career Resource for Students and Alumni

Did you know that as a student or graduate of Columbia School of Social Work, you have free access to GoinGlobal, an international career resource for both domestic and international candidates?

Whether you are interested in pursuing an opportunity across town or around the world, take a look at GoinGlobal, including their country and city career guidesdirectory of employers, H1B visa employer listings, and opportunities in 120 locations worldwide.

With the changed employment landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have recently added a wealth of new resources to support your job search.

Take a look at the links found on their homepage sidebar “Job Search During COVID”:

    • Working During a Pandemic – forward thinking job search and networking tips
    • COVID Career Advice – timely news articles covering a range of topicsGlobal
    • Employment Briefings – areas of job promise in key countries

You can also find new economic information in their country career guides under “Snapshot” and “Job Search Overview.” Note every country guide has a dedicated section under “Finding a Job” about “Telework and Freelance.”

To learn more about the site’s features and resources, take a look at their user training schedule.

Gaining Insight into an Organization’s Culture

Deciphering the tenets of an organization’s culture is difficult, especially when much of it is unspoken. If you are preparing for a job interview or about to accept an offer, be sure to do your research to determine if this organization is the right fit for your values and professional interests.

Below are a few questions you can ask:

    • What does career advancement look like in your organization? What factors are considered when promoting employees?
    • In what ways are employees empowered to share new ideas?
    • What are some initiatives you have in place to promote an equitable and inclusive environment?

Find additional questions and tips in this Muse article to gain better insight into the norms and practices of an organization.

JCCA Virtual Recruitment Session for Social Worker and Supervisor Positions | Thursday, August 13

Interested in ensuring the safety and well-being of New York’s most vulnerable children and families?

Attend our upcoming recruitment session with JCCA on Thursday, August 13, 1-2 PM ET. They are actively recruiting graduates for immediate openings across various foster care and prevention programs, as well as students graduating in Spring 2021 for openings anticipated in the future.

To receive a link to the event, register via Career Connect.

JCCA helps abused, neglected and traumatized children heal physically and emotionally through compassionate, quality care. Its 37 programs include foster care, residential treatment facilities, mental health services, case management, education programs and special services for children who have been the victims of sexual abuse.At this event, you’ll have the exclusive opportunity to:

    • Connect with senior leaders at JCCA
    • Learn about current and future social worker and supervisor openings across various foster care and prevention programs
    • Gain insight into their work and their investment in the professional development of their staff, including the opportunity to accrue hours towards the clinical license

Supporting children and families is incredibly important work and provides opportunities to build critical skills and experience that are transferable to all areas of social work, including knowledge of public systems. Learn more about their work and opportunities at https://www.jccany.org/who-we-are/employment/.

Questions? Contact us at swcareer@columbia.edu. See below for more information regarding the presenters.

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES: Columbia University makes every effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities. If you require disability accommodations to attend an event at Columbia University, please contact the Office of Disability Services at (212) 854-2388 or disability@columbia.edu at least 5 days in advance of the event. 

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About the Presenters

Lorraine Stephens, LCSW, Senior Vice President, Foster Home and Preventive Services
Lorraine served as the Deputy Commissioner of ACS’s Division of Family Permanency Services, and later became the first Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Homeless Services. Lorraine was Vice President of Strategic Planning, Government Relations, and Special Initiatives at New York Women’s Foundation. She currently serves at JCCA’s Senior Vice President of Foster Home and Preventive Services.

Kirsten Cooper, LCSW ’05, Assistant Vice President, Foster Home Services
Kirsten has been with JCCA for 15 years. She began with her BSW internship at JCCA in 2004, and then went on to pursue her MSW from Columbia in 2005, when she returned to JCCA to complete her MSW field placement. Following her internship, she was hired as a social worker in the adoption unit where she worked for two years until being promoted to her first supervisory position as a Social Work Coordinator in after-care. She eventually moved laterally to a different supervisor role in therapeutic foster care and continued to be promoted to her current position.

Antoinette Bryce, LCSW, Program Director, Unaccompanied Minor Program, Adoption and KinGap Unit, Child Success New York
Antoinette started at JCCA in 2010 as a Case Associate and went on to earn her MSW through the support of JCCA professional development programming. Throughout the last ten years, she has held multiple positions both laterally and as a result of promotions. These roles included: Permanency Specialist, Family Preservation Specialist, Adoption Coordinator, Administrative Supervisor, Assistant Program Director, and finally Program Director overseeing three separate units at JCCA.

Lynanne Bruun, LCSW, Borough Director, Brooklyn Preventive Services, Brooklyn Child and Adolescent Guidance Center
Lynanne started with JCCA in 2011 as a social worker in the Foster Home Services (FHS) group homes program. She moved up to a supervisor position in the FHS CSNYC program in 2014. She then made a lateral move to be a supervisor at the clinic in 2016, and in 2018 was promoted to Borough Director where she now oversees a preventive program, FTR, as well as the clinic and Second Chances.