Valerie Shayman: GA Theme Housing
I am so grateful for my experiences with Residence Life at Virginia Tech. The lessons I have learned in my assistantships provide framework that help me to master the lessons I am learning in the classroom. I am given valuable roles and I am trusted with important responsibilities but I always have the support of full-time, professional staff members. I have no doubt that the experience I have gained with Residence Life will serve me well in my job search upon graduation. I believe I have learned from the best in the business!
Hunter Simmons: Graduate Hall Director
I view the Graduate Hall Director position as the capstone to my five years working in Residence Life at Virginia Tech. I had previously served as a Resident Adviser and Undergraduate Hall Director. At this point, I could not imagine my college experience without my experiences in Residence Life. Even having been involved for several years, I am constantly rewarded and challenged by my position. In my daily interactions with staff and residents, I meet people with numerous experiences and strive to learn from everyone. The GHD role gives me an immense amt of responsibility; I supervise a staff of ten RAs and 490 residents. I co-advise our building hall council, adjudicate student conduct cases, and serve on call for 4,500 students in traditional, suite, and Greek housing. My job responsibilities mirror those of entry-level professionals at many schools, but my responsibilities keep me close to my students.
The department and my supervisors know and understand the challenges of the GHD position and they work with me to make the job work with my non-traditional academic schedule that takes me away from campus for student teaching. While there is much work to be done, Residence Life is flexible with how you do your job. Every day will give you numerous opportunities to help students and you will be constantly challenged. You see your residents and staff at their best and at their worst and every day, you have the opportunity to help them make the most of their Virginia Tech experience.
Joe Wilder: Graduate Hall Director
Being a Graduate Hall Director has been a great experience. It has offered me a number of opportunities for personal growth and has enhanced my leadership skills. Over the past two years I've had a chance to attend multiple conferences and be trained to be a better leader, experiencing personal growth firsthand. As a Masters student in secondary education, I have had a different perspective on this position than most. Supervising a staff of RAs and advising a Hall Council has allowed me to apply a number of the skills I've used to work with secondary students. If you are considering this position, don't be worried if you're not a higher education student. A graduate assistantship like this, with limitless growth potential, would be great for students from any field. One of the strengths is the flexibility this job offers with scheduling. If you want a job with hours from 9-5, Monday through Friday, this may not be the GA position for you. As a GHD, you have the ability to schedule a number of your meetings and other job requirements after regular business hours. This is great for a graduate student like me, that needs to be out in the field teaching during the normal workday. I would encourage anyone to apply for the GHD position. It may be just the right fit for you!
Holly Danforth: GA First Year Programs
I am currently serving as the Graduate Assistant for First Year Programs (FYP). The FYP position gives me the opportunity to help plan and execute diverse programs for first year students. The largest program series we put on for first year and resident students is Hokie F6. Hokie F6 is a programming series that takes place during the first six weeks of the fall semester. Each week there is a Hokie F6 sponsored program for resident students to take part in. Some of the programs are Go Green VT, The Tunnel, and a new program called Meet, Greet, and Eat. Another component of the FYP graduate assistant position is getting the opportunity to team teach first year students who are residents in the WING Theme Housing community. Teaching had been a great opportunity to interact with the WING residents and help them adjust to their new environment. Working as a graduate assistant in Residence Life has helped me identify more with current students and has helped me grow more as a professional working in higher education administration.