Residence Education

Quotes from RAs

The Resident Adviser (RA) position at the UW provides valuable experiences that can be utilized in developing transferrable skills during your college career. Read below to find quotes from former RAs about the position and for some, how they use their RA experience to shape the work they are currently doing.


Sean O’Dell

Former Engineering LLC RA 

“As an engineering theme RA, I have enjoyed the opportunity to integrate my floor’s Residential Life experience with the already available academic/career resources available on campus. In addition to this, the Theme Community offers additional networking and career-development events, exposure to further enhance dedicated students’ college experience while also providing a living environment for students of similar academic and many times social interests.

I, myself, have learned that a single meaningful interaction can drastically change how comfortable you are talking to a person either for better or for worse. Making meaningful connections is an important part of the job and is a valuable skill that I will continuously try to master for the rest of my life. A meaningful connection could make all the difference in getting the job you want, making a friend, or being trusted enough to have somebody share a piece of information they may not have shared with anybody else. Nobody can have perfect, meaningful interactions with everybody they bump into. However, I can try; and this job has made me try harder than I ever have before.”


Wes Pond

Former RA

“Being an RA has taught me how to be a better leader amongst my peers. This will help me in many ways in the future including sticking out to potential businesses.”


Kyle Elliott

Former Graduate Community Assistant (CA) 

“Being a Community Assistant for Residential Life has allowed me to develop my leadership skills through increased responsibility and residential involvement. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to meet others in my community with similar interests and backgrounds, allowing for immediate and long-term friends. HFS has played an instrumental role in my development as a professional and a person.”


Derrick De Vera

3rd Year Law Student, UW School of Law
RA for 3 years

“Whether it was the development of my interpersonal skills communicating with diverse personalities, managing the many obligations, and working with a team constantly, I recognize that I am a better law student, future-attorney, and professional in general because of my experiences as an RA.”


Olivia Allpress

2013 Teach For America Corps Member; High School Math Teacher, Phoenix, AZ

RA for 2 years

“Overall, I think the most valuable asset from my time as an RA in regards to my post-graduated life is the experience I had with literally hundreds of diverse individuals – residents, other RAs, my supervisor, and outside collaborators. I feel like I can positively work with any student or teacher now, regardless of their background, race, interests, or beliefs. Additionally, maintaining a positive and professional relationship with students directly relates to the work I did as an RA, where I encountered residents that were not following expectations or that seemed a little lost or discouraged on their journey through school.”


Joanne Ho

Residence Director, Portland State University

RA for 2 years

“Beyond the invaluable skills and experience I gained as an RA, this job also gave me the mentors, colleagues, friends, and communities that were integral to my growth as a student, a leader, a learner, and an educator. I’m currently living in Portland, Oregon, and have been working as a Residence Director at Portland State University since July. I’m also currently working on my master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy.”


Polina Carlson

Project Manager – Global Store Development, Starbucks

RA for 3 years

“The role of a Resident Adviser helped me develop the necessary skills to work with various types of people with diverse backgrounds and dissimilar views – an invaluable tool that I rely on every day.”