Graduate Spotlight: Caitlin Cormier

Caitlin Cormier

Caitlin Cormier's journey into social work started with her foundations in psychology and forensic psychology. Building on that foundation with a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of New Hampshire (UNH), she transformed her career path, embracing a future rich with possibilities to influence lives through direct practice, policy-making, and political engagement.

Cormier says that the breadth of career opportunities is what drew her towards pursuing an MSW. "I’ve learned multiple counseling techniques and have experience doing rapid response within communities. I can get involved in the macro work. There are a lot of opportunities," she explains. She adds that her MSW degree has opened doors to multiple avenues where she can make a significant impact.

Internship Experience Shaping a Career

Key to Cormier’s professional development were her internships, which she undertook at short-term treatment programs. She chose these roles to challenge herself and step outside her comfort zone. Her first placement involved working as a clinician in a substance use partial hospitalization program. There, she performed comprehensive biopsychosocial assessments, facilitated group counseling sessions, and provided individual counseling.

Her subsequent internship was with the Rapid Response Team at the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester. This role required her team to meet clients in various settings—whether in offices, hospitals, or community locations—to assess their immediate needs during mental health or substance use crises. "Being directly involved with the people you’re helping is crucial for making informed decisions on their needs," she says.

Alongside her MSW coursework, Cormier completed the Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice Graduate Certificate Program. This additional certification focuses on integrating mental health support within educational settings, preparing her for roles that extend her impact into schools.

Launching a Career in Social Work

Even before graduating, Cormier had already secured a position as a school counselor at Barnstead Elementary School, a role she plans to continue post-graduation. "Counseling is rewarding, especially when I can help a kid make a breakthrough or help them get on a different path,” she says.  Additionally, she will work on a per diem basis as a social worker at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover.

Advice for Prospective Social Work Students

Cormier encourages prospective students to align their studies with their long-term career goals, a strategy that has served her well. Her involvement in student organizations such as UNH Students of Social Work (SOSW), Phi Alpha, and serving as an online senator for the Graduate Student Senate, have all enriched her educational experience.

Reflecting on her bustling academic and professional journey, Cormier is enthusiastic about the future. "It’s been a hectic couple of years, but excited to see what lies ahead," she concludes.