Professionally Detached

In undergrad I focused my energy on student government/clubs and orientation. Even though that was my focus, I always knew that I wanted to work in Residential Life as a Residence Director (RD). While I tried to gain as much experience as I could during my graduate assistantships, I was still missing on call and emergency situation experience. During interviews and when I accepted my position as an RD, I started thinking about how I was going to handle being on call. While reflecting on how I would deal with these situations, I started to reflect on how I handled personal situations of crisis. Through those situations I was able to come up some skills that I thought I would be good at. Thinking about this also helped me come up with talking points in my interviews. I noticed that my biggest strengths were being able to be level headed, remain calm, and think about what needs to happen next in emergency situations.

Fortunately for me, I have been able to keep situations under control and have done a great job with figuring out the next step is in these types of situations. When dealing with any type of crisis situation you have to be able to not let it affect you personally. What has surprised me about dealing with these situations is that I am very good at not taking the situation “home” with me. I am able to leave it all in the incident report.

After I started reflecting on this, I decided to have a discussion with a colleague. We started wondering whether this was a learned skill or something that you just have. How do you find yourself dealing with students who are stressed or having a difficult time? Do you think that you can learn to separate your work from your life?

Katie LaSota

Student Affairs - the First Years

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