Employee Spotlight - Liz Schacht

Photo of Liz Schacht
June 30, 2022
Tell me about your current role at Yale University?
I am a counselor at the Sexual Harassment, Assault Response and Education (SHARE) Center at Yale Health. I started on September 2021. 
What are your main responsibilities?
My main responsibilities are providing individual supportive counseling, short-term trauma-focused therapy, and advocacy for students and staff dealing with sexual misconduct such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, intimate partner violence and more. My responsibilities also include on-call response via SHARE’s 24/7 hotline.
What do you like most about your work?
There are many things that I like about my work at Yale. I especially like the people that I work with, they are caring, smart empowered people. My colleagues have made me feel welcomed and appreciated. I find the work that I do fulfilling and rewarding. 
How does your job affect your general lifestyle?
The life of a social worker often requires a careful balance of work and personal life. This job is allowing me to have a better lifestyle where I can set time for self-care and my own interest. I am able to practice self-care weekly and enjoy life with my loved ones. 
How did you begin your career?
I began my career in NYC, after earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I started working with children and families that received birth to three services in NYC. In that role, I learned about child development and how to work with families from a wide range of backgrounds.  I was able to utilize my learned skills and gained so many lessons about child development, organizational skills, mentorship, and cultivating relationships. I was mentored by wonderful professionals that encouraged me to pursue a Master’s in Social Work. I moved to CT and started working as a parent liaison at a Spanish speaking non-profit. That position taught me about immigration, community organizing, and the cultural differences among the Latinx community. 
After earning my MSW, I began working with youth and adults that have mental health and substance abuse needs and were involved with the criminal justice system in CT. I later spend six year working as a social worker- investigator for the Department of Children and Families of CT. In that role, I learned about childhood trauma, sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, neglect, trauma informed therapy, and more. Even though the job was demanding at times, the importance of caring for the most vulnerable was extraordinary. During the first year of the pandemic, I was looking for an avenue to be helpful to future social workers, so I decided to mentor MSW students in the role of faculty advisor at two local universities. I enjoyed the experience of working with college students, which led me to apply for the SHARE position, and the rest is history! 
What steps would you recommend one take to prepare to enter this field?
I would recommend that you volunteer and ask many questions! Secondly, I would recommend that you find mentors, be curious, and never stop learning from colleagues, mentors, and the people one serves. 
What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?
Social work requires active listening skills, empathy, communication skills, cultural competency, and engagement skills. Personal attributes such as organizational skills, boundary setting, and time management are also essential. The ability to be flexible and open to changes have been proven useful in this field. Being bi-lingual and bi-cultural has been a great asset in my career. I would encourage young people to maintain their ancestors’ native language. 
If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? If not, what would you change?
I would absolutely choose the same path. My path made me the professional that I am now. I have met amazing people throughout my career. I cherish all the happy memories and the hardships of my career, as they gave me the skills and strength to encourage others through difficult times. 
What does YLNG mean to you and how have you contributed as a member of the Steering Committee?
I am new to YLNG and joined to meet other latinx people like me. I am hoping to be an active member.