Featured Alum: Brett Bock, ’16 BS, ’20 MA
Brett works at Hillside Family of Agencies as a Care Coordinator II in both General Prevent and Family Finding programs. In this role, Brett helps foster youth rebuild a network of relational and legal supports; once permanency is achieved for the youth, he then helps families stay safe and unified by connecting them to community resources and achieving goals they have set for themselves.
Please describe your path from SUNY Brockport to your current position.
After transferring to SUNY Brockport’s Psychology undergraduate program, I took a starter job in the field as a Youth Care Professional at a residential treatment facility for youth. After obtaining my bachelor’s degree, I felt more equipped to advance in the field and took a Case Manager position while I began pursuing my Masters in Applied Clinical Psychology. Once I graduated and felt even more equipped to engage deeper in the field, I entered a more advanced position as a Care Coordinator for foster youth and families.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned while at SUNY Brockport?
While it was grueling at times, I learned how beneficial it was to work in the field as I was pursuing my degree. It allowed me to see functional examples of what I was learning about, and most importantly it taught me how the Human/Social Services field is structured.
What is your favorite memory from your time at SUNY Brockport?
Going to Albany to present our team’s research was a validating and thrilling experience. It was interesting to learn about all the fascinating things that people were looking into, not to mention seeing others express interest in our own research. We even got to network a bit – I’ve maintained some of those connections to this day!
What advice would you give to current SUNY Brockport students? Any special advice for our psychology majors?
Practice self-care whenever you possibly can, and, if avoidable, try not to put so much on yourself at one time. Your mental, emotional, and physical health are your absolute topmost priority. For Psychology majors, I would highly encourage to look into research, practices, and the many subfields to begin considering “specializing”. Start thinking about what you have excelled in and what has compelled you the most throughout your studies; consider if this is something you could see yourself doing and loving every day.
What learned skills and/or experiences from your time at SUNY Brockport were the most transferable or useful in your current position?
Engaging in a diverse array of classes, research, and activities gave me a great “toolbox” that I can draw from in a variety of settings and situations. While specialization is important, it is also important to be ready for those moments that are outside of your comfort zone.
Please describe any challenge/obstacle you faced while at or since leaving SUNY Brockport and how you overcame/dealt with it.
At one point after college, I felt that I had hit a “ceiling” with finding more advanced jobs that I was eligible for. I’m thankful that I didn’t stop looking as it turned out that I was very, very far from a ceiling – upward mobility was possible for me and there were plenty of doors that I never opened, let alone even knew that they were there. If you feel stuck, ask for help from your connections. In other words, speak with your current and former professors, they want to help you succeed!