Work in Residence Life

Work in Residence Life. It's more than just a job!

It’s more than just a job.

We’re looking for passionate, dedicated, caring UBC students of all ages to join our vibrant team in 2018/19.

Working in Residence Life is a valuable way to build important leadership skills, help other students succeed socially and academically, and earn income during the school year.

Residence Life staff inspire communities, plan events, lend an ear when needed, and—most importantly—help create lifelong memories for residents and themselves.

I get to work with amazing people who are passionate and dedicated to creating healthy and inclusive communities. – Ani Nkiru, Marine Drive

I love this job because it is challenging and because I feel its rewards. – Nathan Herrington, Orchard Commons

It’s really incredible how many great things came out of this role for me, and I’m only halfway through the year! – Julianne Nieh, Place Vanier

Being an advisor is hard work, but the skills you learn, experiences you gain, and friends you make along the way are more than worth it. – Alyssa Hirose, Fairview Crescent

Types of jobs

Job title Experience level Application deadline
Residence Advisor (RA) No experience required January 14, 2018
Senior Residence Advisor (SRA) Residence work experience required January 14, 2018
PRC Advisor (PRCA) Residence work experience required January 14, 2018
Residence Coordinator (RC) High level of leadership experience required
Graduated or close to graduation
February 1, 2018

Recruitment calendar

New this year! For your application to be considered, you must attend a mandatory Information & Application Session. Visit the Residence Life Event Calendar for dates & times.


When What’s happening
Monday, November 20 Applications open
November 21–January 8 Visit our Work in Residence Life info booth at residences across campus to learn more!

Check out the Residence Life Event Calendar for dates, times, and locations.

November 23–January 11 Attend a mandatory Information & Application Session.

Visit the Residence Life Event Calendar for dates & times.

Saturday, January 13 Visit our booth at the Student Leadership Conference!
Sunday, January 14 Last day to apply! (Application is open until 11:59pm)
January 26–February 1 Carousel interviews for new applicants
February 13-22 Residence Coordinator interviews
Thursday, March 8 Hiring decisions made, candidates notified
Monday, March 19 First staff meeting (mandatory)
August 2018 Mandatory two-week orientation
Apply Now  

Student Stories

Ani Nkiru

Ani Nkiru

Working in Residence Life is more than a job. It’s a launch pad.

Residence Life has positively shaped my life in so many ways. When I first moved to Vancouver for university it was my first time in Canada. During my first year at UBC, living in residence fundamentally helped me transition to a new place and culture. I felt supported and valued every step of the way.

Later, working in Residence Life provided an opportunity to give back to a community that has contributed to the strong person and student that I am today. I consider working in Residence Life an invaluable opportunity, which I am immensely grateful for. I get to work with amazing people who are passionate and dedicated to creating healthy and inclusive communities.

Now, in my third year with Residence Life, there are new challenges, experiences, and opportunities, and I consider myself lucky to be working with such a diverse and dedicated team of Residence Life staff and students.

My role with Residence Life has also helped me become a more confident student—and I find I am striving to aim higher and achieve more. I am able to apply the skills and ethic in my course work and know that the skills and experience that I am building in this role will contribute to greater opportunities and success in my professional life.

I have found a community and a home in Residence Life.

Ani Nkiru, 24, Marine Drive 
Fourth-year undergraduate: Bachelor of Arts (Economics & Commerce)
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Learn more | Apply


Nathan Herrington

Nathan Herrington

Working in Residence Life is more than a job. It’s the chance to thrive.

Hi, I’m Nathan! I live and work in Orchard Commons (Bartlett House) as a Senior Residence Advisor. This is my third year living in a first-year residence and—just so I make it very clear—I don’t want to leave! I love the first year experience. Living in residence as a first year student was eight months of community building, new opportunities, and lots of learning.

What makes the UBC experience unique is the opportunity you have to get involved, to share in and impact the collective experience—while at the same time creating your own individual experience. And this is what keeps me coming back. I learned that I do my best work when I feel like it’s benefitting the community, and I thrive when I am immersed, which is exactly what being an RA entails. It is more than just a job. It’s a lifestyle. Similar to the broader university experience, it is also an education.

I am constantly reminded that the personal and professional growth that I gain from being an advisor is just as vital as the academic toolkit I am building through my studies. I love this job because it is challenging and because I feel its rewards. Learning is fun—especially when you get to do it alongside a committed and collaborative leadership team, as part of an adventurous and ambitious community, and in an environment that feels like home.

Nathan Herrington, 20, Orchard Commons
Third-year undergraduate: Bachelor of Arts
Hometown: Thuwal, Saudi Arabia (among other places)

Learn more | Apply


Julianne Nieh

Julianne Nieh

Working in Residence Life is more than a job. It’s a time to be bold.

Applying to be an RA was one of the best choices of my university career. Having lived in residence in my first year at UBC, I knew that becoming an RA was an experience I had to have.

Being introverted, I was a little nervous about the role, but the support I’ve received from the Residence Life community is amazing. It’s allowed me to gain all kinds of professional and social skills, which have transformed who I am and how I interact with others. During my time as an RA, I’ve really come out of my shell and become a bolder, more socially confident person.

It’s really incredible how many great things came out of this role for me, and I’m only halfway through the year! It is certainly no understatement when I say that this experience has been transformational. It could be for you too! And not only do you get to know yourself better, you get to be there for others.

It is by no means an easy position, and it will take sacrifice and commitment. But it will 100% be worth your time and effort. Working is Residence Life is full of joy, meaningful conversations, creating supports and experiences for your residents, and directly seeing the positive impact of your efforts. I also met the best group of people in Residence Life, people who want to help their peers thrive on all levels.

If you have any hesitations about applying, but you know that this is something you want to do, I say go for it! There is nothing to lose, and so much to gain.

Julianne Nieh, 19, Place Vanier
Second-year undergraduate: Bachelor of Commerce
Hometown: Burnaby, British Columbia

Learn more | Apply


Alyssa Hirose

Alyssa Hirose

Working in Residence Life is more than a job. It’s a community.

Hi, I’m Alyssa! No matter where I am, I find I’m always looking for community. I applied to work in Residence Life because I had a feeling it would be an opportunity to be part of a unique community at UBC, one full of enthusiastic and passionate people – and I was right!

My time as a Residence Advisor has been rich with new experiences, particularly the chance to meet people from all over the world. Fairview Crescent where I’m an RA is home to many exchange and transfer students, and it’s a pleasure to be a part of their first time in Canada.

I also get to plan programs, events, and activities and help promote these opportunities to residents. It’s a great way to exercise my creativity and passion! Plus, I’ve learned so much during my time as an RA. I’ve developed skills and techniques for supporting others. I now feel equipped and confident enough to support not only residents and other team members, but also my friends and family. Being able to support the people I care about most is a skill I will never forget. I am so grateful for this experience in Residence Life.

Being an advisor is hard work, but the skills you learn, experiences you gain, and friends you make along the way are more than worth it.

Alyssa Hirose, 21, Fairview Crescent
Fourth-year undergraduate: Bachelor of Arts
Hometown: Richmond, British Columbia

Learn more | Apply


Can I apply if I've never lived in residence?
Yes, we accept applications from all UBC students.
If I've never lived in residence before, where can I find out more about the different residences?
You can find out more on our website under residences.
I'm here on a student visa. Can I apply?
Yes. If selected for a position, you will need a Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN).
What should I include in my application?
Include all past work and volunteer experience, along with your answers to the questions in the online application.
Do I need to attend one of the Information & Application Sessions?
  • New Residence Advisor applicants: Yes. For your application to be considered, you will need to attend one of these sessions, which are mandatory for any applicant who has not previously worked in Residence Life at UBC.
  • Returning Residence Advisor applicants: No. If you have previously worked as a Residence Advisor at UBC, you do not need to attend an Info & Application session.
  • Residence Coordinator applicants: No. You do not need to attend an Info & Application session.
Do applicants also need to apply to live in residence?
Successful candidates who accept a job will need to apply to live in residence.
Can I apply for more than one job type?
Yes, apply for each separately.
What is a carousel interview?
It’s a group interview for roughly 10 applicants. Tasks and assignments will be completed together.
If I'm hired, can I choose my own residence assignment?
If I'm hired, when will I know my residence/job assignment?
March 8.
If my family lives in the Lower Mainland, will I have the opportunity to return home from time to time?
Your schedule will give you the opportunity to visit friends and family from time to time. You are required to stay in residence 5 nights per week (four of which you are working/on-duty), and one of these nights will necessarily be a Friday or Saturday each week. You will be planning the schedule with your team on an ongoing basis.
If I am offered a position, will I have opportunities to take vacation time?
Residence Advisors are able to take a specified amount of vacation time during the year. All vacation requests must be approved in advance by the Residence Life management team.
Will I be required to work during Reading Break?
You are expected to be present for at least half of Reading Break. The schedule will be determined by your Residence Life team.
Will I be required to work during the holiday break (late-December to early-January)?
Most staff are able to take time off during the holiday break and are required to work until the last day of exams in December.

Some RAs volunteer to stay on throughout the break in residence areas that remain open during the holidays.

Are RAs permitted to accept other paid commitments at UBC?
Yes, as long as the total hours of UBC employment does not exceed 35 hours.
Can I also apply to be a Collegia Student Advisor?
Yes, you can also apply for the Collegia Student Advisor position. Please submit two separate applications—one for the Residence Advisor position and one for the Collegia Student Advisor position.
Are there other jobs available in residence?
We recruit candidates as needed for administrative/support positions such as front desk services and housekeeping. Visit UBC Human Resources to check for vacancies and to apply. Summer housekeeping jobs are posted in January/February. UBC Food Services also recruits part-time workers as needed.
Are there jobs available at Acadia Park?
Four Community Assistants are employed at Acadia Park, UBC’s student family residence. Contracts end annually on April 30 and are renewed if work performance is satisfactory. ResumĂ©s are accepted year-round at the Acadia Park Front Desk and kept on file until a position becomes vacant.

Graduate Student FAQ

In what residences are graduate student Residence Advisors placed?
Thunderbird, Marine Drive, or Ponderosa Commons.
Will I be able to attend academic conferences?
You can submit requests for time away. We do our best to accommodate reasonable requests while maintaining sufficient support for your residence community.
What will my living situation be like?
Thunderbird, Marine Drive, or Ponderosa Commons Residence Advisors are placed in studio or one-bedroom apartments.
Can I have a roommate?
Residence Advisors are not permitted to have roommates. However, if you are married your spouse is permitted to live with you. Please let us know during the interview process if you have a spouse who will be living with you, so that we can ensure you’re placed in appropriate accommodation.
Will the job conflict with my time in the lab?
Most responsibilities that advisors have are flexible and can be coordinated with academic schedules. However, there are some mandatory duties that are scheduled in the evening past 7pm.
How long is my contract?
Residence Advisors are offered 8 month contracts (late-August to late-April). However, we do hire some Residence Advisors for the summer months through a subsequent hiring process, which takes place in February.
How will being an RA be beneficial to my career?
Former graduate RAs have told us that, although they had a depth of experience in research, this role helped them enhance skills like leadership, collaboration, and community building—plus, it added a distinguishing element to their CV!
How flexible is my schedule during the mandatory two-week orientation in August?
The orientation is a full-time, intensive training period. It is recommended that you schedule any other commitments outside of the orientation.