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Work in Residence Life

Work in Residence Life - 2017

It’s more than just a job.

We’re looking for passionate, dedicated, caring UBC students of all ages to join our vibrant team in 2017/18.

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, and—most importantly—help create lifelong memories for residents and themselves.

Working in Residence Life has been the single most transformative experience of my time at UBC. – Luke McAndless-Davis, Ponderosa Commons

I am continually inspired by the dedication and character of the advisors around me—not to mention the immense capabilities of my residents, from whom I am always learning. – Roshni Desai, Marine Drive

Types of jobs

Job title Experience level Application deadline
Residence Advisor (RA) No experience required January 12, 2017
Senior Residence Advisor (RA) Residence work experience required January 12, 2017
PRC Advisor (PRCA) Residence work experience required January 12, 2017
Residence Coordinator (RC) High level of leadership experience required
Graduated or close to graduation
January 26, 2017

Recruitment calendar

When What’s happening
Thursday, December 8 Applications open
Wednesday, January 4 Application and resume workshop. Visit the Residence Life Event Calendar to register and learn more.
Saturday, January 7 Visit our booth at the Student Leadership Conference!
Monday, January 9 Attend and information session at Totem Park. Visit the Residence Life Event Calendar to register and learn more.
January 2-January 12 Visit ourWork in ResidenceLife info booth at residences across campus to learn more!

Check out the Residence Life Event Calendar for dates, times, and locations.

Thursday, January 12 Last day to apply for Advisor positions (Application is open until 11:59pm)
Thursday, January 26  Last day to apply for a Coordinator position (Application is open until 11:59pm)
January 24-February 1 Carousel interviews for new applicants
February 14-22 Residence Coordinator interviews
Thursday, March 2 Hiring decisions made, candidates notified
Monday, March 20 First staff meeting (mandatory)
August 2017 Mandatory two-week orientation

Student Stories

Denise Preira

Working in Residence Life is more than a job. It’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 UBC—away from home, family, and friends. But with the sense of community and friendship that I found in Residence Life, it wasn’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 development—and about myself—but it’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

Learn more | Apply

Nathan Herrington

Working in Residence Life is more than a job. It’s the chance to thrive.

Hi, I’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 and—just so I make it very clear—I don’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 experience—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 it’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. It’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 fun—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)

Learn more | Apply

Ani Nkiru

Working in Residence Life is more than a job. It’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 student—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

Learn more | Apply

Luke McAndless-Davis

Working in Residence Life is more than a job. It’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. It’s also where I found many of my closest friends. Plus, Residence Life has enriched and augmented my education in so many ways; it’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 couldn’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

Learn more | Apply

Roshni Desai

Working in Residence Life is more than a job. It’s an opportunity.

During my years at UBC, I have seen the positive impact that Residence Advisors have on their communities—and on each other—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 me—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

Learn more | Apply


Can I apply if I've never lived in residence?

Yes, we accept applications from all UBC students.

If I've never lived in residence before, where can I find out more about the different residences?

You can find out more on our website under residences.

I'm here on a student visa. Can I apply?

What should I include in my application?

Include all past work and volunteer experience. Returning candidates will need a resumé.

Do applicants also need to apply to live in residence?

Successful candidates who accept a job will need to apply to live in residence.

Can I apply for more than one job type?

Yes, apply for each separately.

What is a carousel interview?

It’s a group interview for roughly 10 applicants. Tasks and assignments will be completed together.

If I'm hired, can I choose my own residence assignment?


If I'm hired, when will I know my residence/job assignment?

March 2.

If my family lives in the Lower Mainland, will I have the opportunity to return home from time to time?

Your schedule will give you the opportunity to visit friends and family from time to time. You are required to stay in residence 5 nights per week (four of which you are working/on-duty), and one of these nights will necessarily be a Friday or Saturday each week. You will be planning the schedule with your team on an ongoing basis.

If I am offered a position, will I have opportunities to take vacation time?

Residence Advisors are able to take a specified amount of vacation time during the year. All vacation requests must be approved in advance by the Residence Life management team.

Will I be required to work during Reading Break?

You are expected to be present for at least half of Reading Break. The schedule will be determined by your Residence Life team.

Will I be required to work during the holiday break (late-December to early-January)?

Most staff are able to take time off during the holiday break and are required to work until the last day of exams in December.

Some RAs volunteer to stay on throughout the break in residence areas that remain open during the holidays.

Are RAs permitted to accept other paid commitments at UBC?

Yes, as long as the total hours of UBC employment does not exceed 35 hours.

Can I also apply to be a Collegia Student Advisor?

Yes, you can also apply for the Collegia Student Advisor position. Please submit two separate applications—one for the Residence Advisor position and one for the Collegia Student Advisor position.

Are there other jobs available in residence?

We recruit candidates as needed for administrative/support positions such as front desk services and housekeeping. Visit UBC Human Resources to check for vacancies and to apply. Summer housekeeping jobs are posted in January/February. UBC Food Services also recruits part-time workers as needed.

Are there jobs available at Acadia Park?

Four Community Assistants are employed at Acadia Park, UBC’s student family residence. Contracts end annually on April 30 and are renewed if work performance is satisfactory. Resumés are accepted year-round at the Acadia Park Front Desk and kept on file until a position becomes vacant.

Graduate Student FAQ

In what residences are graduate student Residence Advisors placed?

Thunderbird, Marine Drive, or Ponderosa Commons.

Will I be able to attend academic conferences?

You can submit requests for time away. We do our best to accommodate reasonable requests while maintaining sufficient support for your residence community.

What will my living situation be like?

Thunderbird, Marine Drive, or Ponderosa Commons Residence Advisors are placed in studio or one-bedroom apartments.

Can I have a roommate?

Residence Advisors are not permitted to have roommates. However, if you are married your spouse is permitted to live with you. Please let us know during the interview process if you have a spouse who will be living with you, so that we can ensure you’re placed in appropriate accommodation.

Will the job conflict with my time in the lab?

Most responsibilities that advisors have are flexible and can be coordinated with academic schedules. However, there are some mandatory duties that are scheduled in the evening past 7pm.

How long is my contract?

Residence Advisors are offered 8 month contracts (late-August to late-April). However, we do hire some Residence Advisors for the summer months through a subsequent hiring process, which takes place in February.

How will being an RA be beneficial to my career?

Former graduate RAs have told us that, although they had a depth of experience in research, this role helped them enhance skills like leadership, collaboration, and community building—plus, it added a distinguishing element to their CV!

How flexible is my schedule during the mandatory two-week orientation in August?

The orientation is a full-time, intensive training period. It is recommended that you schedule any other commitments outside of the orientation.

Category: Advisor

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