Cheryl's RA Staff Training Experience


Hi everyone! My name is Cheryl, and I am one of the Residence Advisors apart of our amazing HOEM student staff team. The easiest way to describe my role, is that I am here to support you! Whether it be connecting students to campus resources, planning fun events for the community, or simply just going on a walk together for fresh air – I do it all!

In order to prepare for my role, and make sure that I have all of the training, knowledge and experience needed to provide all HOEMies with an amazing year, each student staff member underwent a two-week training period in August, where we learnt a large range of different topics and expectations.

Notable subjects I really enjoyed learning about throughout training include;

· Learning all about HOEM culture, the company purpose and great expectations we hold in regard to great student support and community building.

· Partaking in SafeTalk suicide prevention training, and hearing from experts on mental health about the best way to provide support to others, in addition to learning a variety of community and postsecondary resources for mental health referrals and resources.

· Learning all about the importance of understanding identity, and an anti-racism workshop.

· Practicing skills for confliction resolution, mediation and de-escalation.

· Creating unique and fun ideas for building-wide and community-based programming and events!

My list above, was just a glimpse into some of the amazing and important knowledge I gained during my staff training experience. I am beyond grateful to have gained insight into all of these topics, as each one relates meaningfully to my job role as a residence advisor. During my staff training experience, the high value that each staff member holds to provide students with the absolute best experiences was very clear.

Although staff training is a week full of learning and challenging yourself, HOEM also values fun! The entire student staff team, composed of residence advisors and service desk agents, went through so many team building experiences as well! These experiences, most notably a NASCAR Pit Crew challenge where we raced in teams to change the tires of a race car, allowed us to become comfortable with one another, improve our communication and leadership skills, and know how to work with each other in any situation! My staff training experience concluded with a social-distancing social, that allowed us to relax and enjoy each others company after the busy two weeks. In addition to building up all of our excitement to meeting the incoming HOEMies



Photo of my roommate Ryan Smith and I, at the NASCAR Pit Crew challenge for teambuilding during staff training.



Photo of Grejdi Meta, another residence advisor and I dressed up for the last night of training!

Overall, my biggest takeaway from staff training was just understanding how many different important elements make up the role of both residence advisors and desk service agents. I was able to learn practical, meaningful knowledge that allowed me to grow in my personal development, and professional development!

To any current and hopeful future HOEMies reading this, know that there is an entire team of staff full of passion and creativity for you to meet! I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog post about my personal staff training experience, and make sure to say hi if you ever see me around HOEM!