Student Spotlight: Peijian Wang

Peijian Wang selfie with a car

Class Year: May 2024

Degree Program: MSW On-Campus

Concentration: Children, Youth and Families

Field Education Organizations: Asian Services In Action (ASIA) in Cleveland, Ohio + Crossroads Health in Mentor, Ohio

Hometown: Tangshan, China

Give a brief overview of your field education experience(s).

In my first year at Asian Services In Action (ASIA), I worked in the after-school program helping K-12 children from the Asian community with their academics and social skills. I also shadowed individual sessions and co-facilitated a senior psychoeducation group for Mandarin speaking seniors.

In my second year at Crossroads Health, I've been doing individual therapy with children and adults, intake assessments, leading a psychoeducation group for teenagers with behavioral issues, and co-facilitating a parenting group for parents whose kids have had a difficult past.

What are you doing in field that you’re planning to bring with you into your career?

All the experiences I have had in my field education explored possibilities for my future career, enriched my toolbox and helped me understand my current limit and comfort zone. 

Who is someone you've met during your field practicum that will change the way you practice?

My colleagues in ASIA my first year, Jeff Panik, Cecily Leetch, Eunjn Lee, and my supervisors, John Lisy, Kelly Le, and Fei Li, helped me understand how to engage with kids and teenagers and earn their trust, as well as what the barriers and struggles faced by the Asian community are, especially in education and mental health.

As for my second year, Lyle Morris, my supervisor, and Ashley El-Khoury, my director, guided me to apply what I learned in the classroom to work with my clients in outpatient practice. My colleagues in Day Treatment, Drew, Sarah, Shaun, and Stephanie, showed me how to work with kids and teenagers who struggle with their trauma and behavior, and how mental health and behavioral issues have deeply influenced their academic development and interpersonal relationships.

Also every counselor I've shadowed has influenced my style in individual counseling in a certain way.

Before beginning at Case Western Reserve University, what were you doing?

I finished my undergraduate degree in China in 2015, where I majored in biotechnology. After that, I worked to pursue my Master's in Neuroscience for four years, but I didn't get my degree. I then became a one-on-one teacher in biology and chemistry for middle school children and worked that job for three years before I came to the Mandel School.

Why did you choose to study social work and/or nonprofit management?

I want to be a therapist due to my own life experiences, along with the struggle I witnessed from my peers in my last master's education and in my students. Since I don't have a bachelor's degree in psychology, to become a social worker was my only way to get close to my goal.

Why did you choose CWRU/the Mandel School for your graduate study?

The school's ranking, its small class capacity and the scholarship I received.

What is your favorite thing about CWRU/the Mandel School?

The inclusiveness.

What has been your favorite class at the Mandel School so far? Why has it stood out to you? 

It's hard to pick just ONE, so let's say most of them!

Describe any job, internship, volunteer, research or study abroad experiences you've had during your time at CWRU.

I had an adventure studying environmental justice in Ecuador, but that's too long of a story for here! 

Describe any extracurricular activities you're involved with on- or off-campus, or any interests, activities or passions.

My interest and passion is to advocate for international students and Asian communities.

What do you hope to do with your degree?

Keep pursuing my career goal of becoming a therapist!

Do you have any plans for after graduation yet?

To get my LSW license and find a job, hopefully near Cleveland.

What are you most looking forward to post-graduation?

To opportunities to apply what I have learned here at school.

What's something you'd share with an incoming student who is starting a graduate or professional program at CWRU?

Be aware of the hardship you may face before making the decision to enroll in a graduate program, and be open-minded after you start your journey here.