One of my favourite things about being a student at an institution such as UBC is the amount of opportunities available to us as students. Depending on what your interests and goals are, there is always something for you. Otherwise, there are also resources for you to create opportunities that align with your own interests.
I have had positive experiences in all of my student leadership roles at UBC and I am always excited to talk about them and to encourage everyone to also get involved. I have been involved on campus as a Residence Advisor, Student Assistant at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC), and Reading Week Project Volunteer at the Commonwealth of Learning. I will also be working as a First Year Experience Student Coordinator at the UBC Centre for Student Involvement and Careers over the summer and I am very excited for yet another campus involvement!
Why I like on-campus involvements
As an international student who moved to Canada for the very first time to go to UBC, I had envisioned a fairly difficult transition to life at UBC. In my first week here, I met so many people and it felt a bit overwhelming trying to make connections. However, after living in residence for a few months I felt a sense of community with my floor mates and I noticed how the Residence Advisors in my building had good relationships and had fun facilitating a positive residence experience. To crown it all, I learned that the Residence Advisor role was a paid role. So, I saw this as a way to get involved, make meaningful connections and make some extra money. All of this together motivated me to step out of my comfort zone to get involved on campus.The other roles I’ve been involved in have had the same outcome – leading me to build relationships and skills while giving back to campus, which I will share more about below.
What have these involvements meant to me personally and professionally?
I believe being involved on campus is one the best ways to get the most out of your university experience. Personally, some of my best times in university so far were the times I was working on campus. For example, when I was a Residence Advisor, I was living where I was working and my colleagues were some of my best friends that year – we had so many fun and memorable times together. I found the role very fulfilling as I was part of a diverse team that provided support to many students who were new to university. I had the opportunity to organize around 17 fun individual and team events.
Similarly through my role as a Student Assistant at the IKBLC, I have had the opportunity to be a part of a team of the UBC Library staff and students. I have also been able to meet so many new students and to expand my professional network. More importantly, this position has also been very fulfilling for me in different ways. In a time when we can only spend most of our time indoors due to the pandemic, it has given me an opportunity to step out of my own space multiple times every week. This is fulfilling because it gives me a much needed break from studying and I get to play a pivotal role in keeping the UBC community safe by reminding patrons of the library safety policies. More crucially, I have learned and improved many lifelong skills such as communication, multitasking and time management. I have also been able to expand my connections through my team and interactions I’ve had at the desk.
Again, I believe being involved on campus has resulted in some of the most exciting and fulfilling parts of my undergraduate journey at UBC and becoming involved on campus will be one of my top recommendations to anyone if I was asked. However, it is also important to learn how to prioritize and balance academics with other involvements. Please check out this article to learn about balancing academics and other involvements.
Thank you so much for reading. I hope this post inspires you to find something you are interested in and to get involved in it. Please check out the resources below for opportunities to get involved. Good luck in all your endeavors!
There are a ton of ways to get involved at UBC, and the UBC Student Services website is a great resource to find all the information you need to know about getting involved. Some of the available opportunities highlighted on the website are listed below:
1. UBC Work Learn: Work Learn program | Student Services
2. Peer Programs: https://students.ubc.ca/campus-life/involved/peer-programs
3. Orientation Positions: https://students.ubc.ca/campus-life/involved/ubc-orientation-transition-leadership
4. Residence Life positions: http://vancouver.housing.ubc.ca/jobs/
5. Reading Week Experiences: https://students.ubc.ca/campus-life/involved/peer-programs/reading-week-student-leaders
6. Community experiences: https://students.ubc.ca/career/community-experiences
7. Student journalism: https://students.ubc.ca/campus-life/involved/student-journalism
8. AMS Leadership: https://www.ams.ubc.ca/how-we-run/leadership/
9. AMS Clubs: https://amscampusbase.ubc.ca/login_only?redirect=https%3a%2f%2famscampusbase.ubc.ca%2fgroups
10. You can also get funding if you have a project idea: https://students.ubc.ca/campus-life/involved/funding-project