Meet your RAs: International House

Residence Life - 16 July 2021

Thinking about taking on a role in residence? Get all the details from your International House Resident Assistants—from what to expect to all the benefits and more!

 

Sinmiloluwa Ogunniran, RA

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Why did you become an RA?
Moving to attend university in a different country can be really daunting and it’s even scarier when you don’t have a community that understands and supports you. As an international student, I was only able to find that community in my second year of university and it transformed my university journey. Having this experience motivated me to try my best to create that kind of community for new students.

What’s the best thing about working in residence?
My favourite part about being an RA is definitely getting to develop relationships with my residents. Watching as our relationship transforms from strangers into friends and establishing those individual bonds is so important to me because I believe that community is built by first establishing personal relationships.

How do you know if a student leader position is right for you?
I feel like you know if a student leader position is right for you when you really examine what part of the job will bring you joy.

 

Oyinkansola Kolawole, RA

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Why did you become an RA?
I decided to be an RA in order to have the full university experience. I also wanted to contribute to the programs held in residence through my ideas and sought out opinions.

What’s the best thing about working in residence?
The best thing about working for residence is getting to meet new people and having new experiences. I have learnt how to have a well balanced life working with residence as well as developing an awesome work ethic.

How do you know if a student leader position is right for you?
You know if a student leader position is right for you if your personal qualities line up with the job description: You have a drive for helping people and creating a safe and inclusive environment for them. You are ready to ask questions and gain experiences that ultimately transform your life. Over the course of your job as a student leader, you are able to make informed decisions that improve the lives of the people your service is directed at. This fulfillment assures me that I made the right decision in applying to be a student leader.

 

Noor Kalra, RA

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Why did you become an RA?
I applied for the RA position to be involved in the community, more specifically residence. I love working with people. I wanted to give back to the residence community. I wanted to make a difference and help other people in any way that I could and this position gives me multiple opportunities to do just that.

What’s the best thing about working in residence?
For me, the best thing about working in residence is definitely meeting new people. The rest of the staff is amazing and getting to know all of them has been wonderful. Calling them staff sounds strange because they have been more like friends. I love doing the community support shifts as well. Meeting the residents and getting to know so many of them has been a great experience since I keep learning new things about them.

How do you know if a student leader position is right for you?
If you like connecting with people and being available to help others, a student leader position is residence is an amazing opportunity. It gives you a lot of experience and a chance to deal with different types of situations and people. It has been pretty fun for me and also a little challenging. In short, if you want to make a difference where you live, this is the right position for you.

 

Aidan Milnes, RA

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Why did you become an RA?
I wanted to become an RA because I did not enjoy my experience living in residence the first time around and I wanted to make the experience worthwhile for those who are prone to isolation. I definitely remember being a resident and seeing programs that I had no interest in and being surrounded by people who did not understand me. It made me want to be an RA because I realized that this was a common experience for many in residence and I could directly help in a tangible way. I would also encourage you to apply if you had a different experience living in residence from the typical one—a myriad of perspectives is what makes a great student staff team.

What’s the best thing about working in residence?
I believe that the best thing about working in residence is the ability to work but also gain vital life experience. I have been able to challenge myself and my leadership abilities throughout the process. But also have moments that are extremely rewarding and difficult at the same time. These are skills that I believe are priceless in terms of their value in how you interact in both your professional and personal life as you move forward.

How do you know if a student leader position is right for you?
I remember thinking that I was not cut out for the role because I didn’t look like or have the loud personality of most RAs or student staff. I learned that this role is not a mold that you must fit but where you can shape the role and expand it. There are so many ways to be a student leader and the experience is never one size fits all.

 


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