Portfolio Student Profile: Gerald Oliver

Degree of Study: Masters of Science in Social Work

Graduation Year: 2015

I'm a second year graduate student pursuing a Master of Science in Social Work degree with a concentration in Community and Administrative Leadership. Before joining the school of Social Work, I graduated from Duke University in 2004 with a BA in Psychology. I was then hired by Accenture which is where I currently work as a Senior Business Analyst.

From 2007 to 2010, I took a leave of absence from Accenture to volunteer in Ghana through Voluntary Service Overseas. I served as an information technology consultant to the regional government office in the Upper East Region. I was able to gain valuable cross-cultural experience in building human capacity through access to technology. Ghana became my home away from home when I married my wife and we had our first child there. After graduating from the School of Social work, I hope to return to the West African region with valuable community development experience. With my combined experience in IT, social work, and nonprofit studies, I think I will be able to find a niche for myself. I'm excited about the opportunity to enrich my social work educational experience with courses in the LBJ school.

As a part-time student, I just started my first field placement at A New Entry--a nonprofit organization which offers residential services to people with chemical dependencies. This will be my first time working at a nonprofit and my first time doing case management and group therapy work. I'm sure it will be a year full of "firsts," so I can't wait for what comes next.