A successful resident assistant (RA) at Carnegie Mellon knows when to regulate and when to relate. After just one semester, both Susan Alfs and Ronnie Palejwala have the job mastered.
Students interested in making an impact and building their resumes may want to consider becoming an RA. Applications for the '08-'09 school year are due Jan. 23.
"I've been enriched with the opportunity to work with the best and the brightest on campus," said Palejwala, who is a sophomore in the Tepper School of Business. "They're such a unique and diverse group, very bright and talented. I learn from my residents, fellow RAs and the staff on a regular basis."
Palejwala's floor is home to 33 first-year students. Motivated by the remarkable performance of his own freshman RA, Palejwala decided to become an RA himself.
Susan Alfs, a sophomore in the Mellon College of Science, was persuaded to give it a shot when her freshman RA recommended her for the job.
"I liked the RAs I met as a freshman and was even friends with some of them, so going through the program with them appealed to me," she said.
Now many of her fellow RAs double as her best friends at school. "Orientation was a bonding experience — and a lot of fun," Alfs added. "We're definitely more like friends than coworkers."
Aside from making lasting friendships, the job also has a few other perks. Alfs enjoys a bimonthly paycheck and free food at most of the programs.
Interested in becoming an RA? An information session will be held in the Peter/Wright/McKenna rooms on Jan. 20 at 2 p.m.
On the fence? "Just go for it. You'll never know until you try," Alfs said. Plus, Palejwala added, "the application isn't binding, so you have nothing to lose!"