By Morgan Goddard, Contributing Writer
Students looking for leadership opportunities on campus need to look no further then to the upcoming Resident Assistant application. Hall director and Area Coordinator, Chris McPherson talks some on how students can prepare for the process.
McPherson starts by saying, “We don’t look for anything specific. We don’t go into the process with ideals. Just people who are looking to work hard, learn, and take on that leadership role.” To him the hardest part of choosing future RA’s, is that there are usually more qualified candidates than positions.
“I honestly don’t think that anyone that applies doesn’t want it obviously, and the position could really benefit all that apply,” McPherson said.
Although there isn’t exactly a how to manual when it comes to getting ready to apply, there are some things students can do to prepare. McPherson explains, “Just like any interview, you should understand the position you’re applying for. Their responsibilities, their day to day life. You should talk to people in the position. Take advantage of the ability to ask questions while you can.” Of course, it isn’t exactly a one and done process. Students must go through an interview with Dean of Students Marcella Snyder, Central Staff, a group interview, and a shadow/mock duty night with a current RA.
The mock duty night is not as formal as it may sound. McPherson explains, “It’s just the opportunity to be with an RA an entire duty night. Asking them questions, meeting other members of the staff. Some might even be lucky enough to be a part of a staff meeting.”
One question many past and future applicants have asked, is if it is appropriate to bring something to do, such as homework, to the duty night. McPherson answers, “It’s part of the hiring process. If you were going to an interview for Google, would you bring homework?”
Another question some students have is on the dress code. “The only time for a more formal dress would be the interview with Marcella and the Central Staff. Just be presentable. We understand that students are busy, and have classes. We aren’t expecting suit and tie.”
Miranda Snell, a second semester RA in Krise Hall, had a few things to add as well. “The application process was probably one of the most high pressure things I have ever done, because putting myself out there isn’t very easy. Although, the interview process was really good practice for future job interviews.” However, the pressure was worth it as she notes that, “The best thing about being an RA has been the very close knit nature of the staff. After just a week of RA training you have 40 more friends who are always there when you need something.” Snell also said, “My expectation of being an RA was pretty close to reality, although I didn’t expect people to actually see me and recognize me as an RA first and foremost before just a regular person.”
Resident Assistant interest meetings are Tuesday, February 23 at 8pm in the Union Alumni Room, and Wednesday, February 24 at noon in the ASRC Boyle Room. Attendance to one of these meetings is mandatory to the process. Any questions can be directed to Chris McPherson at [email protected]
Photo provided by Maureen Zambito.