Skip to main content

Career Services Spotlight Transcripts

Transcript: Building a Career in Behavioral Health

RECORDING OF: YouTube Video Career Spotlight: Building a Career in Behavioral Health

TRANSCRIBED: March 20, 2015

FOR: Walden University


(Nicolle):  Hello, I'm Nicolle Skalski, career services advisor at Walden University. I met Robert Batie at the Ph.D. residency in Atlanta, Georgia. Robert transitioned from insurance to behavioral health through volunteer experience and advancing his education. He shares his career story with us.

(Robert):  Hi, I'm Robert Batie, I am from Central Florida and I am in the Walden University Doctorate of Philosophy And Social Work Program with a clinical expertise track. The background I have for work experience involves a 20-year career in the personal property and casualty insurance claims business. And after 20 years in that field, it was time to make a change. I actually found that academia and the helping profession, in particular, was a way of reinventing myself. And so after, gosh, 25 years of not being involved in education, I was accepted into a master's program. So I started as a part-time minimum wage counselor aide, and then with growth within the company and my educational goals and ongoing course work, provided a good fit. So a counselor position became open. I interviewed for it. I started that, and that ran concurrently with my master's work. So now I'm continuing that on, engaged in the doctoral program and learning a lot. It's going to help me to be able to help to continue to help the population that I serve, which currently is a correctional population, with mental health substance dependence disorder, who have been convicted -- or sentenced to prison, and rather than incarceration, there's a treatment opportunity that's provided in the community. So I'm employed with a non-profit behavioral healthcare organization, trying to help positively impact recidivism rates. And that's actually my area of interest for my research project with Walden. What I learned in the course work, both at the master's level and here again at doctoral level, that translates into a better ability to impact the consumers that I serve, as well as the agency I work for. And then so too, does what I do in the field, practice clinically work very well for transitioning into more effectiveness in the academia. So it's a good fit between the program of study and clinical practice. Volunteerism is a large part in how I got involved in this to begin with. For example, what I did is I went to a behavioral healthcare organization and simply signed up to become a volunteer. Got clearance through the Department of Children and Family Services, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Law Enforcement, in order to practice, with populations. And so as far as, you know, clinical social work, human services, there are ways to volunteer. You can learn, also, ahead of time, is this something that you would be suitable for? Gives you a way to learn a little more about it without fully engaging all of your energy, time, and effort. And it opens doors.


[This text is being provided in a rough-draft format to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings]