'Social Work is a very rewarding degree; there are so many different areas you can work in...'
Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies and American Studies
General Manager, Q-topia
Addiction Clinician, Christchurch Central Service
After completing her undergraduate studies at UC, Chloe was inspired to continue into a degree in Social Work, reflecting her passions for working with families and her own experience as a young mum.
‘I became fascinated with Gender Studies and I began to take note of the inequality women experience in society,’ she says. ‘I was working as a Parent Education Facilitator for Plunket and I was constantly inspired by the mothers and parents I met. I became motivated to study because I wanted a professional qualification which will enable me to give back to my community and contribute towards positive change for the future. Social Work offers the kind of work I am interested in pursuing.’
Returning to UC was an easy step for Chloe as she felt welcome in the UC community.
‘The Social Work department has an excellent reputation, and it has definitely lived up to it. The class is diverse and the people are warm and very welcoming.’
As such, Chloe settled in well to her postgraduate studies.
‘Social Work is fascinating, there are so many different areas you can work in,’ she says. ‘The lecturers are very inspiring and supportive — they have gone through the transition of being a student to practising in the field and are very understanding. I would come away from class feeling empowered and excited about the opportunities my degree will open up for me.’
After gaining her master’s degree with distinction, Chloe began her career as a Co-ordinator at Work and Income’s Alcohol and Drug Helpline, supporting recovering clients and working with public services on reducing the stigma and myths of addiction issues. Chloe’s experiences there lead to her current role with the Christchurch Central Service as an Addiction Clinician, helping those seeking rehabilitation.
She is also a General Manager for Q-topia, a youth support service for the LGBITQ community, providing advocacy, advice and events. It is a role that ties in well with the skills and knowledge she has gained from her time at UC.
‘My studies have helped me to develop my interests and skills in advocating for the recognition of gender and sexuality diversity particularly in a health and social service context,’ she says.
Chloe is pleased to be starting out on a career path built on her passion for helping others.
‘My main career goal is to work for an organisation that shares my passion for human rights and social justice.’
She is certain that her qualification will contribute to her goal to make a difference.
‘Social Work is a very rewarding degree — you get out of it what you put in. The workload in the master’s programme is quite heavy, but if you commit to it and do your best you are definitely rewarded. I have found it has given me so much confidence and I have come away feeling proud of myself for what I have achieved.’