5 Skills College Students Can Develop from Being a Residential Advisor

by Robinson, Marcia Tuesday, February 21, 2012
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Every spring a fresh batch of college students apply to become residential advisers next school year. In fact, Housing and Residence Life is one of the areas on college campuses with many job openings for students who want to work in campus. Although, some college students steer clear of applying to become residential advisers, many students apply. If you are a successful applicant who is selected, here are five skills that college students can develop from being a residential adviser.

College students can learn crisis management from being a residential adviser

At some point in the student's work as a residential adviser, they will have to help manage some kind of crisis. Whether it is a small routine crisis or something significant, residential advisers, learn how to think on their feet. Whether it is managing altercations between roommates or helping to mobilize students through routine issues like fire drills, residential advisers do a lot of crisis management. Residential advisers play key roles in assisting hall directors, security officers or with activities like building evacuations in emergency situations. Residential advisers will often have to interact with other campus departments to help ensure safety, health and wellness of residents.

College students can learn conflict resolution from being a residential adviser

If you have lived in a residential hall, you know that most of a residential adviser's time could be spent helping residents resolve conflicts. A significant part of residential adviser training on a college campus is how to manage, resolve or escalate conflicts between students living in residential buildings on campus. Many residential advisers will speak to the conflict resolution skills they developed as one of their most important take-a-ways from an experience as a Residential adviser.

College students can learn event planning and organizing from being a residential adviser

Residential advisers on campus are always doing programming. From programming to teach student residents about policies and procedures to activities designed for discussing new issues. College students who become residential advisers can learn how to design programs, plan event logistics such as space and location while managing event budgets. A residential advisers can either work with their designated area of a residence hall or collaborate with other residential advisers to plan events for the entire campus community.

College students can learn leadership skills from being a residential adviser

Imagine the value of including details of being a residential adviser on a college resume or graduate school application? As college students try to set themselves apart from the competition, a job as a residential adviser, especially if you held the job for multiple semesters, can set you apart in the eyes of an employer. Hiring managers will assume leadership skills that can further be developed; time management skills and strong academic skills to manage both the role of a RA and do well in classes.

College students can learn administrative skills from being a residential adviser

If it is one thing a college student will learn for sure from being a residential adviser in a college dorm is about documentation. There are forms for everything from room check reports to sign-in sheets and facility repair issues. There is extensive training given to residential advisers on how to report issues to management staff. Administrative skills like meeting management, timely report filing and clerical work are all a part of a successful residential adviser's job.