Why you should become an RA

JCU student reflects on her learning experience as a resident assistant.

Student Commentary

By Katarina Djorovic / Contributor

Would you like to work while studying? Do you want to develop your professional skills with an amazing team of people in a productive environment? Were you always thinking of establishing meaningful relationships with your friends and fellow students? Hold on, I have a perfect idea in mind for you.

In case you are having the above-mentioned questions, there’s a job that answers all of them. It is a type of job that helps you get skills that will be useful for any future activity you will perform. What is this job about? It’s the Resident Assistant position here at JCU, commonly known as RA. It is a job in the true meaning of the term and your employer is the university. But don’t let this hold you back, it is super fun and professionally enriching at the same time!

While you always need to take this position seriously, in order to make everything work you also need to be spontaneous, open, and positive-spirited. The key element to making a successful RA is to be yourself. The team is going to appreciate your uniqueness. And remember that when everything sounds “greek” to you, you’ll always have a team of RAs to help you out. Without further ado, here are three reasons to become an RA.

You learn to be a mediator among people and to deal with conflicts.

This is a crucial component of the RA job. In your work, you will encounter many issues, and having to solve them will make you more and more successful as an RA. Solving problems will drag you out of your comfort zone, challenge you, and shape you into the best version of yourself. At first, you might be thinking: “Oh no, how do I deal with this conflict?” or “Do I have the necessary requirements to be a successful mediator?” The secret is being confident that YES, you do! No one is born fully equipped with the pack of skills for any type of job: we all learn through experience, and we grow into the successful workers we want to be. Each new encounter enriches our capacities. through practice and challenges, one becomes a great conflict mediator.

You develop communication skills and the ability to interact with new people.

This is a job in which you need to communicate on a daily basis with your residents, team members, and bosses. Your communication skills naturally get developed due to constant practice. Besides, you get to enhance your academics writing by sending out many e-mails. The key is to approach communication with a curious mindset and always write in respectful tones. There is no wrong nor ideal question! As long as you have a positive and polite approach, nothing can go wrong.

You will learn how to handle responsibilities.

Being on time, precise, and respecting the deadlines, are just some of the many useful skills you’ll learn. Being an RA means being responsible. The sooner you accept your role with care and diligence, the easier this journey will become for you. Think about it: is a great opportunity for you to enhance all of these soft skills while you are still at university. How great will it be to enter the outside job market and already be aware and ready for the requirements and the changes in front of you!

Thus, as an RA, I sincerely encourage you to accept the challenge and apply! Turn this challenge into a success. Believe me, it is a life-changing opportunity. Here’s what more students had to say about being RAs:

“Being an RA has given me valuable experience that I will use in the future. It helped me feel more connected to the JCU community and strengthened my leadership skills.”  

  • Caitlyn Davis, senior Communication major

“I developed my leadership as well as communication skills while being an RA. It’s definitely a type of a job that gets you prepared for future endeavors.” 

  • Skander Hidri, sophomore, Economics and Mathematics major

“Being an RA, I’m developing my soft skills, gaining professional experience, and engaging in the student life.” 

  • Abdulfatah Alfandi, senior International Business major 

If you’re interested in becoming a Resident Assistant, reach out to orientation@johncabot.edu.