Name: Suzanne Vitt
Class Year: 1998
Title: Mental Health Clinician
Organization Name: Baystate Counseling and Wellness Center
1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?
My job entails providing individual therapy to adolescents and adults as we work towards reaching their identified goals and reduce symptomatology of their mental health symptoms.
2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?
At the time of graduation, I had a few ideas in mind of where I thought I might be headed career wise, but I needed to have some actual job experiences to help me narrow down where I wanted to focus. After studying abroad my junior year, travel was very top of mind for me so my first job was for EF Educational Tours in Cambridge which offers tours to many different countries to high school students and their teachers. I enjoyed the perks of travel that were included as part of the training and made some like-minded lifelong friends in this experience. After a couple of years there, however, I missed the work I had done in the past in more human services type of work and moved on. I then was a volunteer teacher through an Americorp program teaching middle-school at a very small private Catholic school for girls in Dorchester for two years. That experience made me realize my interest lied in working with people individually and to look at root causes of problems. I got very interested in racism and its impact in my time living and working in Dorchester, which led me to a Master’s in Social Work. As a social worker, I have worked in high schools providing therapy, hospital emergency departments providing crisis evaluation, a residential program for girls, as well as individual therapy. I have enjoyed the flexibility of a social work degree to work in a variety of settings.
3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?
While on campus I volunteered for Abby’s House and Mustard Seed. During my junior year abroad, I volunteered at a women’s center in Brighton, UK.
4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?
I was an English major. I did consider for awhile teaching English at the high school level and even considered getting into publishing, but ultimately, my drive to work helping others won out, and I went for my MSW.
5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?
I definitely think empathy for others is something that grew for me at HC especially with all the volunteering I did, and is something that I use everyday in my work with clients. I was exposed to a lot of different people in my volunteering experience and in my time abroad which has helped me to connect with all kinds of people in my work.
6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?
My biggest piece of advice is to use the alumni network to connect with people in your desired field. It is an invaluable resource.