This Res Life Spotlight features an interview with Lindsey Turner, an RA at Cambridge Oaks Student Village about her experiences as an RA!
Describe a time when you were able to helps Resident:
One day I was working in the front office when a heated Resident, dressed in a suit, came in upset that his car had been towed. This Resident was not aware that he had to put a new parking sticker on his window and that the one he had on there had expired. I had explained to him that each year a new parking sticker comes out and each resident has to have the updated sticker to avoid being towed. The Resident was running late for a scholarly presentation, which explained his suit. I asked one of my coworkers to kindly watch over the office as I had offered to drive him to the police station to pick up his car. The Resident was calm by now and thankful that we were there to help. The deed may have been small, but it was generous. It is imperative to build a trust with your residents that shows them you are here to help.
Describe a particularly satisfying aspect of the work:
Truly the most satisfying aspect of my job is the people I work with. Most of us are students and are involved in various extracurricular activities off and on campus. Juggling school, clubs, work, family, and some of us an additional job, It is very easy to spread yourself thin. With all of us managing various tasks it is nice to be able to count on your co-workers when you need a helping hand. Every person I work with with has helped me in one way or another because we all know what it is like to be overwhelmed sometimes. The finest feature of my job is my coworkers that have become my dearest friends over time, and some of them my best friends.
Describe how you feel your position prepares you for a future career:
I work at the Cambridge Oaks property located at the University of Houston. Most people do not know that UH is the second most diverse college in the nation. At our apartment complex we have a wide variety of cultures and a lot of people coming to America from different countries. Some may see this as a challenge to build a community, but I see this as an opportunity. The most important aspect in the office is inclusion. Other people might find it difficult to figure out a way to involve everyone and often this makes for a break in the community. However, when you are approached with over 400 residents from a variety of different backgrounds, INCLUSION is KEY. Some of your residents are new to the college, to the city, to the country even and including them and your coworkers should be your top priority. The act of inclusion allows for a community to form and establishes a workplace of equality. In any future careers, no matter the field or place, every single one of you will face diverse workplaces where it is easy to just retreat into a shell, but that will only stunt the growth of a community among the workplace. Instead of withdrawing from situations like this, you should seek opportunity to implement inclusion. Not only will this lay down a foundation for a community but it will build a union of life long friendship.