Let’s Talk ResLife

If you live on campus here at Eastern, listen up. This post is for you. We’ve hit the time of year that Housing and Residence Life is looking to recruit their new staff for the upcoming academic year. I serve as a resident adviser on campus and I thought I would share the ways in which being an RA helps me in public relations.

Time Management

Bulletin boards due at the end of the month? Program proposals due? Working as an RA means working to make sure you get everything done by a deadline. This will help me in my future public relations career as I work to accomplish tasks by a deadline. Being an RA is fast-paced and busy, and you have to have a good grip on how you use your time. Being active in your time management is crucial when working in ResLife, and will also greatly help you when you are working on a time crunch as a PR practitioner one day. In the time that I have served as an RA I have learned to prioritize and invest my time in only the things that are truly worthwhile. While this isn’t always easy, it has been a great learning experience.

Teamwork

Okay, maybe it sounds cliché. However, serving as an RA has given me a wonderful opportunity to serve with a team and work towards a common goal. There are nine other RAs in my building and beyond being my coworkers, they are also my friends. I have learned so much from them, and thrive in my job knowing that I have a whole team of people there to help me when I need it and always have my back. Someday, I will be working as a professional PR person, presumably with coworkers. My current working situation has taught me to truly value my coworkers and the differing perspectives that everyone brings to the table.

Andrea Mellendorf and her co-workers

Andrea Mellendorf and her co-workers

Stay on your toes

No organization expects to have to jump into their crisis communication plan.  In the same way, I don’t ever expect a fire alarm to go off in the middle of the night or someone to need the spare key to their room at four in the morning. Being an RA has taught me to stay on my toes and always know how to tackle a situation even if it hadn’t even occurred yet. This mindset also holds true with organizations, when they need to know how to tackle crisis situations before they even occur.

Love your job – always.

Hands down the most important thing that I have learned as I serve as an RA is that I should always love my job. Each day, some aspect of my job as an RA puts a smile on my face and reminds me why I am doing what I am doing, and why I hope to keep doing it for a long time. Someday, I will being working a job in the PR field. From being an RA I have learned that it is possible to have a job that you genuinely love, and that you don’t have to settle for anything less. I look forward to the day in which I have a PR job that I love just as much as I genuinely love being a resident adviser.

 Andrea Mellendorf
Chief Financial Officer
EMU PRSSA
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