Be an RA

Looking to become a Resident Assistant? The RA job is unlike any other opportunity on campus. You are able to live among your peers, plan events, be a member of a team, and help residents develop the skills they need to be successful at UWM. The information below provides a quick look at many aspects of the RA position.

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Resident Assistant Qualities

  • Strong ability to communicate with others
  • Values teamwork and is able to be a team player
  • Talented in balancing many things (classes, the job, personal life)
  • Appreciation and celebration of difference and diversity
  • Desire to develop and assist other students
  • Capability to manage complex and difficult situations
  • Learn and implement proper crisis response protocol
  • Ability to work autonomously with little to no direction
  • Has many experiences that would relate well to the position such as:
    • Participating in your Residence Hall Community Council
    • Involvement in a student organization at UWM
    • Employment in an office on campus
    • Assisting your current RA with planning events for your floor
    • Participating in the University Housing Community Review Board
    • Attending events on campus and in the residence halls
    • Making an effort to interact with and learn about/from people who are different from you
    • Camp counselor
Resident Assistant Position Description
Residential Hospitality Assistant Position Description
C.L.A.S.S. Model for Community Building

Programming facilitated by Resident Assistants must be well planned, thought-out, and include learning outcomes for student development. University Housing aims to provide opportunities for residential students to learn outside of the classroom as well. Below are just a few different learning areas that the RAs program around.

Cultural Understanding
Cultural understanding speaks to learning and living with people that have different values, backgrounds and opinions than one’s own.

Leadership Skills
Developing leadership skills takes getting involved in campus life and activities. University Housing aims to not only provide leadership opportunities but events and programs that help students understand personal leadership styles.

Academic Success
University Housing is dedicated to encourage academic success in all residential students. Through providing academic resources to programs based around academics, University Housing works to support the college educational experience.

Social Connections
Residence Life aims to provide opportunities for college students to be SOCIAL. This involves, programming planned on the evenings and weekends that encourage students to get to know one another.

Social Responsibility
Taking responsibility for personal decisions and actions is another important area for learning in the C.L.A.S.S. model. Social responsibility speaks to the importance of understanding how personal decisions impact not only the individual but oftentimes also the community.

Application Process

The application process to become an RA involves three different steps.

Step 1: Submit an application
Applications are reviewed by two University Housing employees and are checked thoroughly to ensure that the applications fit the need and scope of the position. The application is an Orgsync form and is due according to the timelines below. Applicants that are deemed qualified will be invited VIA e-mail to the next part of the RA selection process.

Tips to writing a good application

  1. Look up the essay questions on the application and use a Word document to create your responses before putting them in the Orgsync form.
  2. Take your time, edit, and review your responses.
  3. Ensure that you have fully answered the question that is being asked.
  4. Incorporate your personal experiences into your answers. This is what gives the reviewer a better idea of who you are as a leader.
    1. Never had a job before? Use personal class experiences or involvement that you have from involvement in student organizations.

Step 2: In-person interview with professional staff
All applicants chosen will be invited for a 60-minute interview with professional staff. This process allows for us to hear in-person about your values, experiences and interest in the position. Remember that while interviewing you are sharing a piece of yourself with interviewers, so think carefully about how you want to present yourself.

Tips to having a great interview

  1. Visit the Career Planning and Resource Center. http://www4.uwm.edu/cdc/
  2. Practice your interviews with someone that will be honest about your performance.
  3. Read the position description, talk with current RAs, and reach out to your RLC/ARLC for tips on how to do well in the interview.
  4. Dress to impress.
    1. Dress pants/skirt/dress
    2. Button up shirt.
    3. Fixed hair and appearance.
  5. Prepare questions that you can ask during your interviews. This shows that you have researched the position and are interested.
  6. Remember to take a moment to gather your thoughts if you are at first unsure of an answer.
  7. Choose your words carefully and do not use obscenities.
  8. Think of examples that you could use to highlight your strengths, leadership, confrontation, diversity knowledge and areas of improvement.
  9. Be yourself and breathe.

Step 3: Group Process Interview
All applicants chosen for an interview will also be required to do a group process interview. This is a required portion of the selection process. Since the Resident Assistant position so heavily relies on human interaction, group process allows professional staff to observe how individuals can lead conversations, ideas and presentations.

Tips to having a great Group Process

  1. Don’t compete with other interviewees
  2. Be true to your opinions and style of leadership
  3. Keep in mind that University Housing is looking for a variety of different leadership styles.
  4. Give others a chance to shine
  5. Speak concisely and when you feel it is most important
Key Dates
For positions starting in Spring 2017

  • Application Opens – September 19
  • Application Closes – October 9
  • Candidates Notified for Interview – October 17
  • Interview Process (two days) – November 4-5
  • Initial Offers Made – November 10
For positions starting in Fall 2017 (Tentative)

  • Application Opens – October 26
  • Info sessions – November 2 and December 6
  • Application Closes – January 1
  • Interview Process – Either February 2 or 3, plus February 4
  • Initial Offers Made – March 6

Contact Information

Have questions?

E-mail bnra@uwm.edu