Alumni Spotlight: Ashley Caroll M.S.W. ’20

As part of our Humans of UNE series, we’re reaching out to MSW students and alumni to ask them about their UNE experiences as well as what they’re up to in the community. To get us started, we’ve interviewed UNE MSWO alumni, Ashley Caroll ’20!

What made you decide to come to UNE rather than another college/university?

I chose to attend UNE because of the clinical track. The courses were geared towards the field and the requirements to become licensed after graduation. UNE also provided the online atmosphere I needed, as I am a mother of four and my husband is in the military. The online atmosphere allowed me to continue my education no matter my location.

What drew you to a career in social work? 

I knew I wanted to be a social worker by the time I was in high school. I have come from a traumatic past that instilled in me the passion to work with and help others. If someone has the heart and mind to help others, and wants to be a part of a person’s journey to healing then social work is the field to have one’s career in.

How did UNE equip you to become a social worker?

UNE provided the appropriate course work that allowed me to learn about social work, the different therapeutic models used within the field, and the best ways to apply these concepts and models to our practice. In addition, there were elective courses that grabbed your attention and covered different aspects of the field. The faculty was also a major support for students and was always available for help and support during my time at the university.

What has your career as a social worker looked like?

I completed two internships while attending UNE and started my first job in June 2021 in North Carolina as an Outpatient Therapist at a community organization that provides mental health services. The purpose of this job is to provide individual and family therapy for clients 3 years of age and older. As the therapist, we assess the client’s natural supports and their strengths and needs to determine treatment and provide these services directly. Interpersonal relationships have allowed me to ask questions about the client, organizational processes, and policy and about therapy dynamics. Interpersonal relationships with my team are helping me to grow and adjust in this new position!

What impact has interprofessional education had on your practice as a social worker?

My experience with interprofessional education … helped me learn a lot. I was able to work with multiple professions when it came to the care of our clients, and it was imperative in covering every aspect of health the client needed cared for.

What advice would you give to incoming MSW students?

Take the time to understand the content you are learning. It will help in the long run. Discussion posts allow [students] to gain different perspectives on a topic…one can learn so much when considering those perspectives. It was amazing to hear from the other students during my internship course as we each had different settings and experiences.

A little more about Ashley…..

Favorite study spot:

My living room when my children were at school

Last TV show you binged:

We are currently binging Star Trek Discovery

“If I could go back in time, I would tell my grad student self…..

“to remember it’s worth it.”

“One thing I wish people knew about social workers is…..

that they are essential.”

Hardest class:


Favorite spot in Maine:

As an online student, I have only visited Maine once and one thing I remember is the lobster. We loved eating the lobster.

Check our more testimonials HERE.