Student Spotlight: Pranit Lanjewar

Pranit Lanjewar headshot in the Mandel School

Class Year: May 2024

Degree Program: MSW On-Campus

ConcentrationHealth and Mental Health with Adults

Hometown: Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

Field Education Organization: St. Herman House FOCUS in Cleveland, Ohio — recognized as one of the Mandel School's 2023 Outstanding Field Organizations!

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

I did two years of volunteer work in community settings to bring social changes in my city. We served school children, the homeless population, worked for women empowerment, and performed charity health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why did you choose this area of study?

We need people to help people bring change in their life. So I chose this area because I wanted to assist people professionally to shape their life and help them in their lowest (physically, mentally, trauma, socially, etc.).

Why did you choose CWRU/the Mandel School?

I was impressed by the program structure, especially with the ongoing field practicum during the semesters. I am a practical learner, so I thought this would be a good fit for me to develop myself and become a social worker. I ultimately chose CWRU because it provides a unique program structure that gives a comprehensive knowledge about the field of social work, and because it provides equal opportunities to students coming from different walks of life.

Describe your field education practicum experience and any work/projects you have done.

I have been serving the homeless population across Ohio City. Some of the responsibilities I participate in during my field practicum are permanent housing; assisting clients with mental illnesses like anxiety, PTSD, and depression; and providing community people (the homeless population) with food, clothing and shelter. I aim to spread humanity and respect for one another while working with such a population because this population still goes unnoticed in the country.

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

I am planning to bring the worth and dignity of the individuals/community/clients I serve because I believe that every human being deserves the same respect regardless of their status, class and experiences.

What is something you have learned during your practicum that you have found to be the most helpful in your social work journey?

I have learned that as social workers, we are there to help clients walk through their difficult times. We also may face different challenges; however, the motivation comes from the work we do! 

Who is someone you met during your field education that will change the way you practice?

My supervisor. She not only teaches me the ethics and values of the social work profession but also shares her knowledge about different practices in the field. I think the knowledge of community practice and healthcare that I am getting from her will surely make a difference in my future practice.

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

I am working with some of the organizations in India that are working in the community setting to bring social change. One of the projects that I am doing is fundraising for the programs we run, especially with school children. I have also been doing field practicums. I like working with the homeless population and I learned that they face unique challenges, lack support from others, and need a lot of mental and emotional support. At present, I am serving homeless veterans at the VA. I like it because it gives comprehensive practice knowledge which is healthcare and mental health with adults.

What are you most looking forward to this semester?

I am looking forward to taking a step closer to becoming a social worker. I am aiming to learn more about clinical practices.

What do you hope to do with your degree?

I hope to work in the healthcare setting as a healthcare social worker.

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

The people. They are all super supportive and engaged. I don't feel like I am an immigrant anymore because people here never let me feel like that. 

What is your favorite memory of CWRU?

There are so many things that I have received while being at CWRU, but one of my favorite memories is receiving the Student of the Year – Cleveland award by the National Association of Social Work's Ohio Chapter!

As a graduating student, what's a piece of advice/encouragement you'd like to share with current students?

The advice I would give is: the failure is a part of process, it is okay to feel low, it is also okay to receive less than others; however, we should keep going by taking one step at a time. Be in a competition with yourself instead of others and take that competition for granted because you don’t have to prove anything to others. That way you will feel less stressful, less bothered and you won’t have unnecessary high expectations.

What are your post graduation plans?

I would love to continue serving veterans!