Advocacy in Action

Through the stories we share, the Admissions Team at Baylor University hopes to inspire and educate future leaders in social work.

Trinity Martinez: Jump All In

Written by Baylor School of Social Work Team on 05.25.23

We sat down with Baylor MSW graduate, Trinity Martinez, to answer the question, “what can you do with a social work degree.” Use Trinity’s journey to reflect on your own aspirations and what jobs you can find with an MSW. 

Graduation year: 2022
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Undergraduate degree: Bachelor of Social Work, Baylor University


What made you decide to pursue a Master of Social Work (MSW)?

In high school, I wrestled with the idea of finding my purpose and determining a major
that would be a fit for me. I always knew that I wanted to do something where I could
help people but I remember struggling to find a field or job that I felt drawn to.

I remember my mom giving me a book titled Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Talking and I
found social work inside that book. Ironically, much of social work is spent actively
listening to others talk, but nevertheless I am so grateful to have found social work.


Why Baylor

Baylor was the first university I was accepted into for undergrad, but it was the very last university I visited when touring colleges. In my college search, I was focused on finding a school that would give me the very best social work education and provide the most opportunity. I loved the idea of getting to complete two degrees in such a short time through the advanced standing program.

Overall, the feeling I got when setting foot at the Garland School for the first time and the advanced standing program is what ultimately sold me on coming to Baylor.


What needs to be debunked about jobs with an MSW?

I did not fully understand all that social work is and can be. As an incoming freshman, I had definitely fallen prey to the common misconception that “social workers only work in CPS” and figured that I would enjoy getting to work with kids.

From the moment I arrived at orientation for pre-social work majors, I knew there was way more to social work than I had realized. In that orientation, my jaw dropped when seeing the list of over 200 job titles for social workers. I quickly fell in love with the versatility of social work and knew this was just what I had to do with my life.


What are you up to now?

I work at Baylor University as the case manager for the athletics department.

Despite not being an athlete, I think that is actually a strength in this role. I am able to look at athletes as whole persons and see them as more than just their athletic abilities. I am able to meet students where they are and connect them to services. I get to use my social work skills on a daily basis as I am assessing student-athletes, in meetings or talking with coaches and staff.

My MSW program helped me to find my voice, and I am able to use that voice to advocate for the well-being of my students by finding ways to integrate mental health into their athletic world. I also felt that this MSW program placed a huge emphasis on the practice of self-care, which has been an invaluable skill.


What’s a day in the life look like for a Case Manager?

Each day is a balance of both case management duties and my clinical caseload of student athletes. Most days start with me checking email and making a list of all the referrals, projects, or outreach I need to follow up on. I prepare for my sessions that I have for the day and review my notes from the previous session for each client. Then it’s off to one of my many meetings.

I am a part of the interdisciplinary care team for Athletics Health and Wellness. Each week we meet to discuss critical student-athlete cases and ensure we are providing holistic care. Additionally, I attend meetings for individual teams and work alongside coaches and athletic trainers to support their student-athletes.

I also plan and put on various events for our athletes throughout the academic year to encourage our athletes and the community to engage in mental health discussion. This includes things like celebrations for Big 12 or College Football Mental Health Awareness week, final study day activities, National Eating Disorder Awareness week, or bringing in guest speakers.

This is just a short list of the many things I can do on a normal day!


What makes your job in social work unique?

Compared to the stereotypical social work career, I feel like it is immediately obvious the ways that my career has looked different. The biggest difference is that I find myself on a field or around horses at the barn more often than the average social worker probably does. It is a very fast-paced environment, but I’ve never had so much fun at a job.

It has been a true joy to have the opportunity to introduce social work to a new field of practice, as this is the first designated case manager role in athletics. Mental health is a “new” idea in athletics, so it has been a unique experience to advocate for space for mental health. More and more athletics departments are recognizing the need for mental health inclusion and actively participating in breaking down the stigma around seeking mental health care.


Advice to future MSW students? 

Do not be afraid to jump all in! So often, I think we can feel unprepared for the “real world,” but the best way to learn is by doing. You are more capable than you realize, and more companies are looking for workers with our specialized skill set. The world needs good social workers and it is up to us to see ability within ourselves and work to use our gifts for the good.


What will you do with an MSW? Find your own path with a Baylor MSW with our quiz or explore all that a Baylor MSW can offer. 


Take the Quiz


Posted by Baylor School of Social Work Team

We are the admissions team at the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, at Baylor University. We believe social work is about service and justice; it is about the dignity of individuals and the power of relationships; it is about integrity and competence, and our mission here is preparing social workers to do these things well. We hope you find our resources helpful and informative as you explore and pursue a degree in social work!