Leadership lived: RA succeeds, while juggling busy schedule
Haesun Chang has become an expert in time management. She juggles her studies as a senior biology major at the University of Illinois Springfield with working as a resident assistant (RA) in campus housing.
“I know a lot of residents think that RA’s don’t do much, but it is a 24/7 gig,” said Chang.
Her job, as an RA, requires her to work 4 hours a week at the housing front desk and be on duty several nights a week from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. She walks around looking for trouble and is the first to respond when something goes wrong.
“When you’re on duty you’re on call,” said Chang. “You can get beeped at 3 in the morning, you can get beeped at 5 in the afternoon. It really doesn’t matter.”
On top of her regular duties, she’s also required to come up with weekly programming activities for residents in campus housing. Despite the busy schedule, Chang has learned to succeed academically and the experience of being an RA has taught her a lot about leadership.
“It taught me mainly how to be professional in high stress situations because I thought I was good at time management and being very accessible, but I realized when it comes to really high stress situations I get ahead of myself and my emotions start to come out,” said Chang.
She believes she made the right decision to come to UIS as a freshman because of the small class sizes and the personal attention she’s received.
“UIS has definitely helped me,” said Chang. “Smaller schools are actually a huge thing. My dad always told me that all of the great leaders came from small schools and UIS is definitely a really good sized school.”
As she prepares to graduate in May 2013, Chang is starting to realize how her experience as an RA could help her with future employers.
“This is definitely a leadership thing that a lot of jobs are looking for,” said Chang. “Not only does it show that we can work with a lot of stuff at one time, it also shows that we can get it done and we can work in a team.”