While you’re in college you want to gain a status on campus and one way to do that is by looking for the best college student job. The two that will really get you involved, with both students and the hire-ups who work for your college, are the Resident Assistant and Desk Assistant positions. The titles may vary by college, but they all pretty much have the same requirements. Engaging with students regularly is required for both jobs, but the Desk Assistant position requires that you only do it for hours at a time. Being a Resident Assistant means that you are engaging with students almost 24/7; you are actually assigned residents to be responsible for and you live among them. So while both are great for giving you a status on campus, the Resident Assistant position might be the best college student job. Here are some more reasons why:
1. Leadership Skills
The idea of being a leader is always stressed; you know, be a leader and not a follower. Well the RA position wants the same thing, only they don’t demand it in the same ways, which is why I feel becoming an RA could be the best college student job. Usually leaders are described as loud, outgoing, and ready for a challenge, but becoming an RA doesn’t look for you to be any of that. In fact they want some people who are quiet and don’t require attention when they walk into a room. Being an RA myself I know the process of picking RAs to lead our student population and know that more often they look for students they can turn into leaders rather than those who are confident in the fact that they already are.
2. Looks Great on Your Resume
Not only do you have to engage with students, but there are programs you have to set up monthly for your residents. You have to make fliers and put up bulletin boards on your hall to kind of educate residents with what’s happening on your campus. All that you are required to do looks greats on a resume because it shows that you have great interpersonal skills. It also shows that you have organizational skills, and are creative and skilled with computer software. The RA job does a good job of showcasing your skills in basically all the areas that employers pay attention to.
3. Introduces You to Community Service
During the two week training that’s required at the beginning of each semester, there will be a day of service. University housing sets up several places for the group of RAs to split up, go, and help out. This year at my university RAs had the option to volunteer at an animal shelter, an exotic pet center, the local homeless shelter, and a few other places. What’s really awesome is that you can also add this to your resume because you actually get those hours of community service recorded. That’s easily 5 or 6 hours of community service.
4. You Develop Numerous Friendships
Along with the job comes tons of new friendships, because you really bond with your residents. You’re around them 24/7 and if you’re a good RA your residents will want to engage with you. On top of everyday engagements, you’re required to hold floor meetings and programs that also bring you closer to the residents. So essentially you have a chance to make 30 or more new friends!
5. People Look up to You
Alright, so once you’ve gotten to know your residents, you have to show them that, yes you are nice and chill, but you are to be respected. A lot of times RAs get really close with certain residents and have issues enforcing rules on them. It’s great when you can build relationships, but still have the residents you’ve gotten close with, as well as all the other residents, look up to you because you can do your job and still be fun at the same time. Plus you make stuff happen. If you can show your community that you can throw great programs and get them involved, they will definitely look up to you.
6. You’re an Active Member of the Community
Organizing great programs makes you look good, because usually free food is involved, and the residents are learning about their campus. So you as an RA will have the ability to get your community involved, but you also have the chance to improve your community. For example, if your residents want a new couch, or new computers in their community, you can make their request known and possibly get it done. You really are the leader for an overall community and you are there to help and make the residents feel like they are at their home away from home.
7. Great Stipend
So of course you’re thinking, what will you get paid for being a 24 hour worker and the answer varies. My university provides their RAs with free housing and meal plan, so we don’t make money, but we save a lot. Other universities pay their RAs, but don’t provide free housing, but maybe still give them a meal plan. It really just depends on your school, but I guarantee it will be worth it. After a while you won’t even look at the RA position as a job, because hopefully you’ll enjoy it that much.
Finding a job on campus can be tedious, so you might as well make your efforts worthwhile and apply for the jobs that will make you look good to future employers. It sounds like a lot, but when it comes down to it being an RA could change your life, as well as those you connect with. Think you can handle making new friends and planning programs, all while gaining leadership skills? Then go for it! I guarantee you’ll at least enjoy those aspects of the job.