Meet Tessa:  A graduate student completing her final practicum at The Rome Group for the fulfillment of her Master’s degree in Social Work at The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. Tessa has been working closely with our team on many projects and we wanted to highlight the great work she’s accomplished so far!

Tessa is a first generation college student from St. Louis, MO. She began her college career at Truman State University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in History. Tessa describes a longing to help people from an early age. Because of this desire to support others, she thought she may want to pursue a career in law, but after experiencing a few classes, she discovered that the field of Social Work aligned more closely with her interests and values.

“I like the idea of being able to reinvent myself and get into different niches, I think social work really allows me to do that,” said Tessa.

Throughout her practicum work at The Rome Group, Tessa has been able to put into practice what she has learned at The Brown School and garnered a passion for development work. Tessa describes her focus on social impact leadership as a “marriage between business and social work”, stating, “so often business misses the human side of things which is where social workers thrive.” 

In addition to supporting our consultants in their daily work with clients, she has carried out a research project about DEI Best Practices for The Rome Group. Tessa states, “During this research process, I was able to bring in materials and examples from my classes at the Brown School to provide to the Rome Group, including a presentation that was given by Assistant Deans Jewel Stafford and Cynthia Williams titled “Is Professionalism a Racist Construct?“, which encouraged me to think about how existing professionalism standards are affecting those most impacted. In turn, this presentation allowed me to encourage thought partnership about professionalism standards at The Rome Group.” Tessa was able to directly connect DEI best practice learnings and resources from her education at the Brown School to her work at The Rome Group, helping us to be a more equitable, inclusive team.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at The Rome Group. Prior to starting my practicum at the Rome Group, I had a basic and very theoretical understanding of how nonprofits operated due to my courses at the Brown School. Now, after sitting in on many client meetings, observing how my colleagues approach problems, and being tasked with projects, I believe that I have a firmer grasp and real-life experience on how to best approach problems within the nonprofit sector.”

Tessa will receive her Master’s in Social Work from The Brown School upon completion of her practicum experience with The Rome Group. On behalf of The Rome Group, we would like to thank Tessa for sharing her knowledge and resources with us, and we know she will continue to grow within the St. Louis nonprofit community and beyond.