Soaring Beyond: Magaly Don Juan 

Meet Magaly! She graduated in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Social Work and a minor in Sociology. She completed her internship in December at Buckner Children & Family Services. Currently, she is serving as a Conservator at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

We asked Magaly some questions, advice for current students, and how UNT helped them to succeed and SOAR BEYOND!

When you started at UNT, what were your plans after graduation? How have these plans changed? I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in Social Work and after graduation, I wanted to get licensed and begin working with the gerontology population. However, after my time at UNT, my plans changed a little. Now, I want to further my education by enrolling in a grad program, then get licensed at the master’s level, and work in the child welfare field.

What advice do you have for prospective or current students as they decide what they want their next steps to be? The best advice I could give is to take advantage of the resources offered, network, stay true to yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I took advantage of the resources that the Social Work department offered by attending panels. Networking is very important because you never know who you will meet. I meet a social worker at a panel that later ended up being the volunteer coordinator at an agency I volunteered at and she remembered me. I learned to stay true to myself by trying new things such as volunteering with different populations until I found what I enjoyed the most. One of the most important things that I have learned thus far is not to be afraid to ask questions because we are students, and we are here to learn.

How did your program(s) at UNT help you to feel prepared for this role/program? My professors’ genuine passion for social work, teaching, and supporting their students was very helpful in preparing me for my internship. My professors made sure that I was learning important theories, skills, and techniques that would be beneficial for me.

How did you find your current role/program? The UNT Social Work department has a plethora of connections with agencies across the DFW metroplex. I met with the Assistant Director of Field Education to discuss a possible match with an agency. Once she matched me, I reached out to the agency and landed an internship interview.

After completing my internship, I searched for case manager jobs through Handshake and found a job posting I was interested in with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. I applied, landed an interview, and now I am about to officially start working for them as a Conservatorship Specialist. As a Conservatorship Specialist, it is my job to monitor children’s care while they are in CPS conservatorship.

What was the most challenging interview question you were asked? I was given a very specific scenario about a 14-year-old girl being sexually assaulted by her 17-year-old boyfriend and her not wanting to report it or telling her parents about it. I was then asked what ethical principles were relevant to this case and how I would decide what to do. I was very thankful that I took an ethics course where I learned about the NASW Code of Ethics and how to apply it.

How did the Career Center help you? I took advantage of the resources offered at the Career Center by scheduling a mock interview, resume and cover letter review, and talking to my career coach about career options. I am thankful for the Career Center staff because they genuinely had my best interest at heart.

Would you like to be featured in our Soaring Beyond Success Series? Submit your story here and email Jeanette Hickl. We’d love to share your story!

By Jeanette Hickl
Jeanette Hickl