Resident Advisor, Kingston, RI - May 12, 2017
As an RA, there is no typical day at work. You could have days where you do nothing related to your job, and you can have days where you can't get away from it- and the responsibilities are many. Office hours and on-calls take up a lot of the time, and are the main reasons why it can be hard to balance a social life with the professional one, on top of academic responsibilities.
Still, the experiences at URI are worth it, as they are hugely applicable to other fields of work, and can really help one to get knowledge in event planning or emergency preparedness to name just two skills. Still, it isn't good to just take the job for the benefits- there is a huge responsibility with the position, sometimes even making sure a resident doesn't die. It can be a lot, but if you're up for it, it's an immensely experiential and satisfying job.
Management completely depends on which building you work in. Some are "chill," some are the complete opposite. It's a mixed bag, but they are all fair people, and as long as you do the work, you'll get along with any of them fine. Farther up from direct supervisors does leave something to be desired, as there is a distinct feeling of apathy towards you as an individual RA, though they are working on this.
Workplace culture is what you make it. There can be years where coworkers are your best friends, and years where the building turns into a clique filled mess.
The hardest part of the job is failing. There will be times when you don't have the power to help someone, and seeing them fail can be either demotivating or motivating. Work-Life-academic balance can also be difficult, but this is another skill that the job aids in improving.