Strengths in Action

OWNING MY IMPACT

Imagination and Commitment  

Being a Resident Mentor is my first job, so I came in not understanding the dynamics of pay, professionalism, teamwork, and, yes, taxes when it comes to having a job. Having such a unique workplace, hiearchal structure, and integration with academics has had a positive impact in my character growth.

I am a very introverted person, but I enjoy the challenge of being in a position where I cannot afford to be completely alone and unattentive to other people, namely, my residents and coworkers.

On my residents, I think that I have helped ensure my residents treat each other and their atmosphere with residents. Because of their newfound freedom, some think destroying furniture and treating quiet hours as optional. As part of helping residents transition, forcing them to treat their residence halls as an extension of their own home is the most visible impact.

I do not know much about how my staff has been impacted by me because I do not hang out them a lot, but I think that our diverse team has contributed to how we lead change in South Tower and the university as a whole.

In conclusion, I think that whether or not impacts have been positive or negative, they have made for great learning experiences.

Key Insights

Planning

Because a lot of the role relies on planning ahead for bulletin due dates, purchase order deadlines, and upcoming events, I have learned out to plan out long-term schedules better. Improvising along the way doesn’t work for me now as it has in the past, so the position has forced me to learn and put planning into practice in my daily life.

Professionalism

We are students first, which means we have to make connections and friendships with others. I have found it difficult to find a clear line between having residents as friends to doing a proper job as a Resident Mentor. Though there is not an easy solution, I have learned to set red lines between the position and social life with residents.

Critical Thinking

I have learned that, unlike other positions and activities, there is not one-size-fits-all method of problem solving. I have gained a better ability to think out given facts and develop a strategy accordingly. It is nearly impossible as a Resident Mentor to be able to assign a response to any given situation. Thus, we have to put in energy and though to solve issues.

Pivotal Moments

Before becoming a Resident Mentor, I did not fully understand the necessity of having a good understanding of dealing with conflicts, drug or alcohol incidents, and the reasonings that are behind the decisions University Housing and Resident Mentors make about policies. Throughout training, I realized that, most of the time, policies are in place to help residents, even if they do not realize it at the moment.

While on duty, we hope that we do not have to confront individuals in serious enough cases to warrant calling the police and dialing up. The first time I had to alert the authorities on an unresponsive, unconscious resident made me realize that some situations will make me uncomfortable and that it is okay to not know the answer to everything.

In one of our team meetings, one of our Resident Mentors held a fun activity where we were able to make nearly anonymous compliments to other staff through questions. It made me realize that I had an impact on others without realizing it and that others had an impact on myself.

Strengths stories

At the beginning of the semester, I wasn't able to discern between my residents' interests, academics, and what makes them unique. Using my individualism strength, I have made progress to learn about their lives.

Before my mid-semester evaluations, I was not always punctual and intentional when it came to team meetings, report deadlines, etc. Using my discipline strength, I feel like I'm able to set aside time and put in real effort in my reports and being on time.

Using critical thinking skills and my input strength, I have been able to find solutions to solve roommate conflicts, connecting otherwise secluded residents, etc.

My support team

Who’s Made My Semester

Brandon Hinton

Brandon Hinton

South Tower's Residence Life Coordinator and my direct supervisor, Brandon loves to assist others both professionally and personally. His motivation to be there for others and help them exceed standards drives to make me a better Resident Mentor and person.

Prerana Shidhaye

Prerana Shidhaye

Prerana and I have been friends since fall of freshman year; we met because we were both in the Residence Hall Association. She is a very outgoing person and loves to hear people out and make their day just a little better. She is always hanging around South Tower and inspires me to be kind to others unconditionally.

Jamie Gilbert-Fitzpatrick

Jamie Gilbert-Fitzpatrick

Having other staff in our support team is necessary for Resident Mentors to relate our good and bad experiences. Jamie always makes me laugh and has a carefree and selfless personality. Even when I'm stressed or annoyed, she's there to talk to and make me smile.

Dr. Robert "Sean" Norman

Dr. Robert "Sean" Norman

Because our priority is to be students first, I included my favorite professor. Dr. Norman loves teaching and researching his subject and is always engaging in class. Though we haven't talked a lot outside of class, I know he is readily available to help me on the academic sides of my college career.

“What’s that? IMPACT!”