Work in Residence Life


We’re looking for passionate, dedicated, caring UBC students of all ages to join our vibrant team in 2022/23.

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.

When I initially joined Residence Life, I had no idea I would spend many years as an RA, loving every part of my job. – Zahra Fazal, Marine Drive

In Residence Life, you’re part of an inclusive team of dedicated, capable, open-minded, supportive, and collaborative peers. – Elisha Tuyikeze, Ponderosa Commons

Joining the Residence Life team has been one of the most important aspects of my time at UBC. – Shruti Swami, Orchard Commons

I consider it a privilege to be part of this great team, which challenges and inspires me to become better every day. – Helen Chen, Fraser Hall

Types of jobs

For 2022/23 we are hiring Residence Advisors, Senior Residence Advisors and Programme Resource Centre Advisors. Learn more about each position below.

The 2022/23 job descriptions are currently being drafted and will be published here once finalized. Please refer to last year’s (2021/22) job descriptions below in the meantime.

Residence Advisor (RA)

No experience required.

Application Deadline: January 21, 2022

READ THE 2021/22 RA JOB DESCRIPTION
Senior Residence Advisor (SRA)

Residence work experience required.

Application Deadline: January 21, 2022

READ THE 2021/22 SRA JOB DESCRIPTION
Programme Resource Centre Advisor (PRCA)

Residence work experience required.

Application Deadline: January 21, 2022

READ THE 2021/22 PRCA JOB DESCRIPTION
Thank you!
Thank you for your interest in a position with Residence Life. The application period for positions in 2022/23 is now closed. Please check back in late-2022 to apply for a position in 2023/24.

Recruitment calendar

Applications

December 3

Applications open.

January 21

Last day to apply! (Application is open until 11:59pm).

Late-January

All applicants notified about their status.

Interviews

Early- to ⁠mid-February

New Residence Advisors.

Mid- to late-February

Senior Residence Advisors and Programme Resource Centre (PRC) Advisors.

Offers and orientation

By March 31

Hiring decisions made and candidates notified.

August 2022

Mandatory two-week orientation.

New Applicants
For your application to be considered, you must complete a mandatory Residence Advisor Hiring Information Course online via Canvas. More detail in the FAQs below!

Questions?

If you have any questions, check out our Frequently Asked Questions below, take the Residence Advisor Hiring Information Course, and register for one of our virtual Q&A sessions.

Student Stories


Green and orange graphic with photo of Zahra Fazal and the text "Meet Zahra"

Zahra Fazal

Working in Residence Life is the opportunity to be part of an uplifting community.

Hi, my name is Zahra Fazal and I am a Senior Residence Advisor at Marine Drive.

When I initially joined Residence Life, I had no idea I would spend many years as an RA, loving every part of this job, which has allowed me to make strong connections across the many residence communities, meet coworkers who share my passion for equity enhancement, and make life-long friends – of particular value for me as an international student.

Being introverted, and balancing a few other commitments, I was initially hesitant to take on the Senior Residence Advisor position, but the Residence Life team supported me through every step and provided me with a nurturing space to step into the greater challenges of this role. In particular, the Residence Life Managers (RLMs) provided me with excellent mentorship and guidance to help me better support under-represented groups such as first-generation and low-income students in residence.

Overall, I have been able to learn skills such as community development, conflict facilitation, and active listening, which I will carry with me throughout my professional life. Finally, I have loved being part of a community of people who uplift one other and work together to create that same positive space for residents, many who may be far away from home.

Zahra Fazal, 23
Senior RA, Marine Drive
Fourth-year undergraduate: BSc, Global Resources Systems
Hometown: Morogoro, Tanzania

LEARN MORE & APPLY TODAY!


Elisha Tuyikeze

Elisha Tuyikeze

Working in Residence Life is the opportunity to embrace new challenges.

Hello! My name is Elisha and I’m a Residence Advisor at Ponderosa Commons.

Starting at UBC as a transfer student, I actually had a bittersweet feeling after receiving an offer to become a Residence Advisor. Initially, I was excited for the opportunity to work in a student-focused environment and enhance my community building, interpersonal and leadership skills. However, I also doubted whether or not my previous work experience was enough to be successful in the role.

Thankfully I accepted the offer, because my doubts were quickly assuaged once I started. The Advisor Orientation – which takes place in August – equipped me with the valuable knowledge, skills and ideas I needed to step into the job with confidence. Importantly, I realized that being an RA does not mean you’re a one-person army. In Residence Life, you’re part of an inclusive team of dedicated, capable, open-minded, supportive and collaborative peers. Plus, your Residence Life Manager is always there if you need them.

A Residence Advisor is never alone in providing meaningful experiences for residents.

Beyond setting me up for success, being an RA has also enabled me to develop valuable professional and life skills. Through my training and experiences, I’ve developed conflict resolution skills, sharpened my active listening skills, and improved my effective communication skills. Additionally, this role has given me opportunities to explore other interests and passions – both through programming and interactions with colleagues and residents.

I’m glad I decided to join the Residence Life team! It was the opportunity I needed to step out of my comfort zone, embrace new challenges and make meaningful connections.

Elisha Tuyikeze, 22
RA, Ponderosa Commons
Fourth-year undergraduate: BA, psychology and African studies
Hometown: Bujumbura, Burundi

LEARN MORE & APPLY TODAY!


Shruti Swami

Shruti Swami

Working in Residence Life is the opportunity to create community.

Hello, I’m Shruti, an RA at Orchard Commons. Living in residence, and later joining the Residence Life team, has been one of the most important aspects of my time at UBC.

In first year, living in residence, away from home for the first time, I was able to find a lot of support from my RA, and many of my memories from that year are from the events and socials that she organized. Those opportunities to connect with my neighbours had such a positive impact on my first-year experience.

After I received my offer to become an RA, I was a little uncertain if I would be able to foster a community like the one my RA had helped create in my first year. But with the support of an amazing team of RAs and RLMs, I feel I was able to help develop that same kind of tight-knit community – which remains connected two years later.

Working as a Residence Advisor has been valuable personally and professionally as well. It has brought me greater self-confidence, compassion, and patience. With the many professional development opportunities this role offers, I have been able to hone my public speaking and conflict management skills, along with becoming much more organized.

Plus, I’ve made some of my closest friends through this job; the strong sense of community and support and the range of memorable stories I’ve collected will remain invaluable as I finish my last year here at UBC.

Shruti Swami, 21
Senior RA, Orchard Commons
Fourth-year undergraduate: BSc, Integrated Sciences in Neurophysiology and Immunology
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

LEARN MORE & APPLY TODAY!


Green and orange graphic with photo of Helen Chen and the text "Meet Helen"

Helen Chen

Working in Residence Life is the opportunity to discover the value of diverse teams.

My name is Helen and I’m an RA at Fraser Hall. I moved to Vancouver this year to start a Master of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering. Hardly knowing anyone when I first arrived, joining Residence Life as an RA allowed me to meet an amazing group of people and belong to an incredible community.

I’ll admit, there were definitely some challenges at first. Introverted in nature, I was initially apprehensive about being around people all the time and keeping consistently high energy levels. However, once I started, it turned out that working with my team and interacting with residents actually energized me – and allowed me to see how a truly effective team operates.

I consider it a privilege to be part of this great team, which challenges and inspires me to become better every day. The diversity in our personalities, cultures, and backgrounds allows us to come up with new ideas, see different perspectives, and better meet the needs of our equally diverse groups of residents.

Through my training and experience as an RA, I have also gained valuable skills in program planning and community building. I have learned to be more assertive and to set healthy boundaries for myself and others. I am glad that I applied to become an RA and I would definitely make this decision again.

Helen Chen, 24
RA, Fraser Hall
First-year graduate: MASc, Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

LEARN MORE & APPLY TODAY!

FAQs

Can I apply if I haven't lived in residence?
Yes, we accept applications from all UBC students.
If I haven't 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?
Incorporate your past work and volunteer experience into your answers in the online application.
Do I need to complete the Residence Advisor Hiring Information Course?

If you are applying for a new Residence Advisor position, you will need to complete the Residence Advisor Hiring Information Course for your application to be considered. It is mandatory for any applicant who has not previously worked in Residence Life at UBC.

TAKE THE COURSE

You can self-enroll in the course at any time prior to the deadline, but we recommend you complete the course as soon as possible, since it will answer additional questions that you may have and help you submit a higher quality application. The deadline to complete the course is January 21, 2022 — the same as the application deadline.

Do I also need to apply to live in residence?
To be considered for a space in residence, either as a Residence Life staff member or a resident, (depending on the outcome of your job application), you need to apply to live in residence. If you are selected for a Residence Life position, you will then be guaranteed a space in residence.
What will the interview process look like this year?
If you are selected to participate in our interview process, we will contact you via email with more information. Interviews wil be conducted in person on the UBC Vancouver campus.
If I'm hired, can I choose my own residence assignment?
We cannot guarantee placement in a specific residence.
If I'm hired, when will I receive an offer?
We anticipate that we will be able to begin offers to successful candidates by the end of March.
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.
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 4 nights per week, 3 of which you are working/on-duty. 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.

Additionally, you will be required to attend Residence Life staff meetings as follows:

  • Every Monday in September and January
  • Every second Monday for the remainder of each term.

These staff meetings begin at 7 pm and typically last one hour; they are usually followed by small team meetings.

If I am offered a position, will I have opportunities to take time away (e.g., for holidays, academic events, etc.?
Residence Advisors are able to take a specified amount of time away during the year. All 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.

Where can I find more information about job expectations?
Please refer to the applicable job description above.

Are RAs permitted to accept other paid commitments at UBC?
Advisors may be able to take on additional employment, but must have it approved by their Residence Life Manager.
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?
Typically, 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. Resumés are accepted year-round at the Acadia Park Front Desk and kept on file until a position becomes vacant.
Who can I ask if I have additional questions?

New applicants: Please complete the mandatory Residence Advisor Hiring Information Course online via Canvas. If you have any remaining questions, contact information is provided at the end of the course. Additionally, we are hosting a series of virtual Q&A sessions.

Additional graduate student FAQs

In what residences are graduate student Residence Advisors placed?
Exchange, Fraser Hall, Marine Drive, Ponderosa Commons, Tallwood House, tə šxʷhəleləm̓s tə k̓ʷaƛ̓kʷəʔaʔɬ and Thunderbird.
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?
Graduate student 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 starts in February.
Where can I find more information about job expectations?
Please refer to the applicable job descriptions above.

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.
Who can I ask if I have additional questions?

New applicants: Please complete the mandatory Residence Advisor Hiring Information Course online via Canvas. If you have any remaining questions, contact information is provided at the end of the course. Additionally, we will be hosting a series of of virtual Q&A sessions.