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, andâ€”most importantlyâ€”help create lifelong memories for residents and themselves. Residence Life staff positions include:
- Residence Advisor
- Senior Residence Advisor
- Programme Resource Centre Advisor
- Residence Coordinator
Recruitment takes place in January. Length of employment is approximately eight monthsâ€”late August to late April.
Working in Residence Life is more than a job. Itâ€™s a family.
When I first got involved with Residence Life, I was looking for an opportunity to give back to UBC, a place that has allowed me to learn and grow immensely. I am an international student and found it difficult, at first, to adjust to life at UBCâ€”away from home, family, and friends. But with the sense of community and friendship that I found in Residence Life, it wasnâ€™t hard to find my home away from home.
I have learned so much in my role with Residence Life. I interact with such a diverse community of students and staff every day, which has provided me with a great depth of appreciation for different cultures. I have had the opportunity to take a number of trips around Vancouver and British Columbia with my Residence Life colleagues, which has helped me embrace my adventurous side and also develop beautiful memories and a strong sense of place in Vancouver.
Advising has taught me how to be more approachable, and most of all, it has opened doors to great relationships, stimulating discussions, and new ideas. I have learned a lot about student developmentâ€”and about myselfâ€”but itâ€™s the people who truly make the Residence Life experience enjoyable, meaningful, and memorable. I know that the strong friendships I have made will last throughout my time at UBC and beyond.
Denise Preira, 23, Marine Drive
Fifth-year undergraduate: Bachelor of Arts (International Politics)
Home Town: Dakar, Senegal
Working in Residence Life is more than a job. Itâ€™s the chance to thrive.
Hi, Iâ€™m Nathan! I live and work in Totem Park (Kwakiutl House) as a first-year Residence Advisor. This is my second year living in a first-year residence andâ€”just so I make it very clearâ€”I donâ€™t want to leave! I love the first year experience. Living in Totem Park 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 experienceâ€”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 itâ€™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. Itâ€™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 funâ€”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, 19, Totem Park
Second-year undergraduate: Bachelor of Arts
Hometown: Thuwal, Saudi Arabia (amongst other places)
Working in Residence Life is more than a job. Itâ€™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 second 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 studentâ€”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, 23, Orchard Commons
Third-year undergraduate: Bachelor of Arts (Economics & Commerce)
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Working in Residence Life is more than a job. Itâ€™s an education.
Working in Residence Life has been the single most transformative experience of my time at UBC. I first became an advisor because I wanted to make a difference in my community. After three years as an RA, I realize that my community has also made a big difference in my life.
Being an RA has allowed me to discover hidden strengths, challenge myself to improve (and pursue goal after goal), and take part in an exceptional training program, which has taught me many valuable life skills. Itâ€™s also where I found many of my closest friends. Plus, Residence Life has enriched and augmented my education in so many ways; itâ€™s possible that I learned more in residence than I did in class!
Being a Residence Advisor has been an incredible gift, and it is an experience that I know I will treasure for the rest of my life. My residents and colleagues inspire me every day. I couldnâ€™t ask for a better environment in which to live and learn.
Luke McAndless-Davis, 21, Ponderosa Commons
Fourth-year Undergraduate: Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education
Hometown: New Westminster, British Columbia
Working in Residence Life is more than a job. Itâ€™s an opportunity.
During my years at UBC, I have seen the positive impact that Residence Advisors have on their communitiesâ€”and on each otherâ€”which is what inspired me to apply.
In this role I get to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and help support my fellow students through their university experience. I have developed many new friendships, and I am continually inspired by the dedication and character of the advisors around meâ€”not to mention the immense capabilities of my residents, from whom I am always learning.
Working in Residence Life has helped me develop many skills that I know will be useful throughout my life and career, plus the confidence to apply them. Each day, I am driven to be better.
In the public health field, we learn the importance of living conditions, community, and relationships to health and wellbeing; Residence Life has given me the opportunity to contribute to the health and wellbeing of my residents every day.
Roshni Desai, 23, Marine Drive
Second-year graduate student, Master of Public Health (MPH)
Hometown: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe