Skip to main content

Undergraduate Student Employment

collage of community assistant sitting behind desk and group of four resident assistants

Come work with us!

We have a number of rewarding employment and leadership opportunities for undergraduate students through our community assistant, resident assistant, program assistant, and office assistant positions.

Join Res Life and meet new people, stay involved and gain valuable work and life experience.


two community assistants at a service desk

CAs are undergraduate students who staff 24/7 service desks located in our residence hall communities, manage keys and packages, and complete a number of administrative tasks.

They are typically the first point of contact for many students, faculty, staff, and visitors for support, resources, and emergency assistance. CAs are paid $15.00 per hour. If you have any questions about the CA position, please email drl-adops@umd.edu.

Check back soon for openings! 

Responsibilities include: 

  • Work an average of 10 hours per week, including at least one overnight shift per week between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.
  • Work 4-5 shifts (about 15 hours) one weekend a month
  • Attend mandatory weekly staff meetings
  • Work a minimum of one break period (Thanksgiving, Winter, or Spring) throughout the year
  • Available mid-August and mid-January before the halls open and late-May for move out at the end of each semester

Minimum qualifications:

  • Current UMD students (incoming first-year students are welcome and encouraged to apply)
  • Must live on campus or within commuting distance (priority given to students living on campus)

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience with customer service (Worked for Starbucks, Target, etc.? Ever been to Disney?)
  • Detail-oriented (Enjoy dotting “i”s and crossing “t”s? This might be the position for you!)
  • Independent worker (Thrive collectively and individually?)
  • Problem solver (Enjoy a good mystery? We have some key and package doozies!)
  • Expert multitasker (Never a dull moment at our service desks!)

Benefits:

  • Move in early
    • CAs can move in early because of their required participation in August/January training
  • Work where you live
    • Most service desks are within residence halls (a few steps or elevator ride away)
  • Competitive pay
    • $15.00 per hour (paid bi-weekly on Fridays)
  • Supervision opportunities
    • CAs are eligible to apply for the Desk Operations Supervisor (DOS) position, which is one of very few student supervisor positions on campus

How do I apply to be a Community Assistant?

  1. Complete and submit an application on myDRL.
  2. After your application is reviewed, you will receive an email invitation to complete a video interview using the University's ELMS-Canvas site. Invitations are sent within 24 hours of application submission. Please check your spam/trash folders.

To learn more about the Community Assistant (CA) Position, join us for an information session. Stay tuned for upcoming dates!


group of resident assistants in matching red shirts

RAs live in a community of 45-75 residents and assume responsibility for responding to the personal needs of residents, for shaping an environment that supports academic and personal development, and for managing critical administrative tasks, including duty and crisis management.

All RAs receive remission of housing, dining, and basic telecommunications fees as compensation. If you have questions about the RA position, please contact our Human Resources office at drlhr@umd.edu or (301) 314-5111.

The RA Selection Process for 2024-2025 has concluded. Check back in September 2024 for updates.

Being an RA provides opportunities to develop valuable leadership and communication skills, to shape an environment that supports students' academic and personal development, to manage critical incidents and administrative tasks, and to make friends that will last a lifetime!

Here are some things to think about if you're considering the RA position:

  • Are you interested in meeting new people and helping to build a community?
  • Are you a good role model and do you enjoy helping others?
  • Would you feel comfortable assisting a diverse group of students?
  • Do you feel you could approach a resident about a personal concern that has been brought to your attention?
  • Can you remain objective and fair when dealing with a conflict involving peers?
  • Are you able to react and express yourself clearly in tense situations?
  • Are you a good team member?
  • Do you project a positive self-image?
  • Will your study habits allow you to balance your academics with a RA position?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, the RA position might be for you! Use the accordion items below to find out more about the RA position and the application process. Information about our buildings on each side of campus is available on our Residence Halls page.


Full Position Description [PDF] Conditions of Employment [PDF]

Please see full position description and conditions of employment documents above


Responsibilities include: 

  • Foster a safe, inclusive, and welcoming atmosphere via community development with resident engagement
  • Promote the development of students by providing social and educational programming
  • Share resources and strategies with residents related to personal and academic student success
  • Respond to personal crises and emergencies of residents through appropriate referral channels and adjudication processes
  • Guide roommate/suitemate/apartment agreement conversations to aid in the creation of a positive living environment that supports students' academic and personal success
  • Involve residents in designing and implementing community activities consistent with assessed interests and needs
  • Attend staff meetings (2-hour weekly time commitment, beginning no later than 8:00 p.m.)
  • Provide on-duty coverage of their building/area and participate in training and staff development activities

Eligibility:

  • Current undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park in the Fall 2023 semester. Students studying abroad or on a leave of absence in the Fall 2023 semester may be eligible depending on circumstances.
  • 2.6 cumulative GPA or better before the application deadline/participant limit. First-semester UMD students who do not yet have a cumulative GPA may still apply.
    • Must maintain at least a 2.6 cumulative GPA until the start of employment in the RA position. Once hired, must maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA during employment.
  • Good judicial and financial standing with the university
  • Expected to hold the position for the entire 2024-2025 academic year, if newly hired
  • Eligible to work in the U.S. and successfully complete payroll requirements at the time beginning the position
  • Register for and complete the “RA Groundwork” in the Spring 2024 semester, if invited. Groundwork requires the ability to attend in-person discussion sessions.
    • Groundwork is a non-credit, blended-learning training course that will include online video content and four 90-minute discussion sessions. The video content and discussion sessions will be launched in the Spring 2024 semester at a date to be determined. The registration process and information will be included in an offer letter.
  • May not student teach during their first year in the position
    • In relation to the RA position, student teaching refers to a student teacher who will spend the majority of a semester, full-time in the classroom. This generally takes place in the final semester(s) of a student’s academic plan. Students who plan to student teach in the 2024-2025 academic year are not eligible to hold the RA position and therefore should not apply. Students who participate in educational field placements or teaching assistantships that are only a few hours a week are still eligible and encouraged to apply.
  • You may feel you have unique circumstances. If in doubt, please contact us to discuss your situation.

We encourage students from across the university to apply for the RA position. 

How do I apply to be a Resident Assistant?

  1. Attend an Information Session (between September 18 – October 6). This is a mandatory requirement of the application process
  2. Submit the application and sign-up for your first round interview. The RA selection process has a maximum capacity of 500 participants. The application and first round interview sign-up will close after 500 applications are completed OR by 4:00 p.m. on October 5 (whichever comes first). Complete the application and sign up for your first interview slot. Candidates will also submit the names and email addresses of two references while completing the application. Be sure to plan ahead and allow enough time to complete the entire application and interview sign-up process before the deadline.
  3. Have two references submitted on your behalf by October 13 by 4:00 p.m. Applicants who do not have two references submitted will not be considered for a RA position. We encourage applicants to follow-up with references as necessary to ensure the reference is completed by the deadline.
  4. Participate in your first interview (between October 11–20).
  5. Successful candidates will be notified on October 27 to sign up for their second interview by November 1.
  6. Participate in your second interview (between November 6–10).
  7. Applicants will be notified via email of their status in the RA selection process on November 21.
  8. Selected applicants participate in the Groundwork course in the Spring 2024. During the semester many applicants will be offered RA positions for 2024-2025. The remaining applicants may stay in the applicant pool and be considered for RA positions that come available later in the semester through Fall 2025.

Mandatory Information Sessions

All applicants MUST attend an Information Session as part of the application process. Most Information Sessions will take place on Zoom (1 in-person). You must log in on time and stay for the duration of the Information Session. We do not provide exceptions to this application requirement. Please plan accordingly if you plan to apply for the RA position.

At the Information Session, you will learn more about the RA position and selection process. Resident Life staff will also be available to answer your questions. You may submit your application before attending an Information Session; however, we strongly suggest you wait and submit the application after attending an Information Session.

Pre-registration is not required. Zoom sessions will be camera on and your attendance will be monitored for the duration of the session.


Date Start Time End Time Location
Monday, September 18, 2023 4:00 PM 5:00 PM Zoom
Tuesday, September 19, 2023 6:00 PM 7:00 PM Zoom
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 Noon 1:00 PM Zoom
Thursday, September 21, 2023 4:00 PM 5:00 PM Zoom
Thursday, September 21, 2023 6:30 PM 7:30 PM Zoom
Friday, September 22, 2023 1:00 PM 2:00 PM Zoom
Monday, September 25, 2023 4:00 PM 5:00 PM Zoom
Tuesday, September 26, 2023 1:00 PM 2:00 PM Zoom
Tuesday, September 26, 2023 7:00 PM 8:00 PM Zoom
Wednesday, September 27, 2023 5:00 PM 6:00 PM Zoom
Tuesday, October 03, 2023 7:00 PM 8:00 PM Zoom
Wednesday, October 04, 2023 5:30 PM 6:30 PM Zoom
Friday, October 06, 2023 11:00 AM 12:00 PM 1217 Pyon-Chen Hall
Friday, October 06, 2023 3:00 PM 4:00 PM Zoom

Optional Interviewing Workshops

These informative and interactive workshops will cover all the basics with regard to RA selection interviews. You'll get information on interview tips, best practices, and what to expect. Topics covered will include how the RA interviewing process works, the types of questions to expect and ask and how to prepare. You will also get a chance to ask any questions you might have about the RA position and the selection process.


Date Start Time End Time Location
Friday, October 06, 2023 1:00 PM 2:00 PM 1217 Pyon-Chen Hall
Monday, October 09, 2023 6:30 PM 7:30 PM Zoom
Tuesday, October 10, 2023 4:30 PM 5:30 PM Zoom

To help you prepare for the RA application, we will walk you through the application questions below.

Personal Information

Personal and address information displayed comes from your official University records. If any of the displayed information is incorrect, you may still complete the application and then make changes to your official University records. If you make any changes to your University records, please allow 48 hours for the changes to come through.

Please note that we communicate with applicants throughout the RA selection process via the email address on file with the University. All applicants should check their email regularly to ensure successful participation in the RA Selection process.

Housing Availability Preferences

Applicants will be asked to rank their preference for a 10-month (August to May) or 12-month (May to May) position. If you are selected for the RA position, we will collect additional information later in the process and prior to placement.

10-Month Housing (August to May)

  • RA positions in 10-month housing communities must be available to work from mid-August until shortly after graduation in May. 
  • This type of housing is available everywhere on campus EXCEPT South Campus Commons. 
  • Many positions include shared RA responsibilities over the Thanksgiving, Winter, or Spring Breaks

12-Month Housing (May to May)

  • RA positions in 12-month apartments must be available to work over the summer on a May-to-May contract. 
  • These positions include shared RA responsibilities over the Thanksgiving, Winter, or Spring Breaks
  • Over the summer RAs may request from their RD a limited amount of vacation time for travel away from campus.
  • This type of housing is ONLY available in the South Campus Commons Community.

Please keep in mind: we consider the strengths and weaknesses of all candidates when making final placements. If selected, departmental needs will hold priority over individual preferences.

Leadership and Volunteer Experience

Applicants will be asked to list campus and community activities in which they have participated, as well as the time commitment required if it is an activity in which they currently participate. Applicants will be asked to list their activities in the following format. Please note there is a 5,000 character limit (about 1 single-spaced page).

  • Organization
  • Position/Title
  • Dates (Month/Year)
  • Scope of Activity
  • Skills Acquired
  • Time Commitment Required

Employment

Applicants will be asked to list any jobs they have held in the following format:

  • Position/Title
  • Employer
  • Duties
  • Employment Dates (Month/Year)
  • Phone Number of Employer

Letter to Residents and Essay Questions

Each applicant will be asked to compose a letter to incoming residents and to complete three essay questions. The online form does not automatically check spelling. Writing your essays ahead of time will allow you to copy and paste your answers into the application. Responses for each item are limited to a maximum of 5,000 characters (about 1 single-spaced page).

Letter

Compose a letter for your future residents welcoming them to the community. At a minimum, your letter should include:

  • An introduction of yourself
  • An explanation of your role as an RA
  • The attitudes, behaviors, and relationships you hope to see develop in your community
  • Other information to welcome residents to the community.

Essay Questions

  1. Tell us what skills and attributes you bring to the Resident Assistant position and what skills and experiences you want to gain from the position.
  2. Describe a difficult decision you have made in the past year, perhaps as a student leader or with a peer group. What did you learn from it? What things did you consider in making your decision? Would you make the same decision again? Why or why not?
  3. Describe your experience working with people who are different from yourself, perhaps as a student leader or with a peer group. How might this translate to the RA position?

Submitting your application online is only one part of the application process; you must also sign-up for your first interview. In order to be eligible you MUST attend an Information Session, submit your application, and sign up for your first interview before the 500 participant limit or by 4:00 p.m. EDT on October 5 (whichever comes first). If these steps are not completed before the participant limit or deadline, you will not be considered for a RA position.

Additionally, throughout the application process, we will communicate with you via the email address you have on record with the University. You are responsible to check your email account for these communications. Generally, these emails will be sent from Resident Life accounts drlhr@umd.edu or no-reply@umd.edu. Please add these addresses to your "safe" list.

Applicants will submit the names and email addresses of two references while completing the application. You may submit more than two names to ensure that two completed references are submitted by the application deadline (Reference deadline: October 13 at 4:00 p.m.).

Once the names are entered and saved in the application, an email will immediately be sent to the reference writers with instructions for completing the reference questionnaire. We recommend that you enter your reference information into the application as soon as possible, even if you do not complete the application at that time. Be mindful of how much time you are providing your references to complete the questionnaire, as they may also be serving as a reference for other applicants. You will be notified as each reference is received. Separate letters of recommendation will not be accepted.

Individuals who have had the opportunity to work with you or observe your skills as they relate to the Resident Assistant position should complete the online reference questionnaire. Helpful references are individuals who understand the demands of a peer leadership position and can speak to your skills in the following areas: team membership, role modeling, multicultural understanding, interpersonal skills, decision making and critical thinking, administrative skills and personal balance. Examples of potential references include: Resident Assistants, high school guidance counselors, teachers/professors, organization advisors, etc.

Please note: References from close friends, roommates, parents, family friends, or other peers will NOT be accepted. Current or former RAs may serve as a reference.

You must have two references on file by 4:00 p.m. EDT on October 13. Candidates will submit the names and email addresses of two references while completing the application. 

It is the applicant's responsibility to contact their reference writers to ensure the references are submitted by the deadline. Failure to have two references submitted will negatively impact your candidacy and may exclude you from the selection process. Applicants may return to the RA application page and view which references have been completed.

As part of the online application, RA applicants will have the opportunity to respond to a confidentiality statement regarding reference information. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) opens many student records for the student's inspection upon request. Information such as the Resident Assistant reference is "non-confidential" unless you, the RA applicant, waive the right to access such information by doing so on the RA application. Please mark this item according to your wishes. Those who provide a reference will be notified if you have waived access to the reference information.

Complete the application and sign up for your first interview slot before the 500 participant limit or by 4 p.m. EDT on October 5 (whichever comes first). Be sure to allow enough time to complete the entire application and interview sign-up process by these deadlines.

Candidates will be notified if they have been selected for a second interview on October 27. Candidates who move forward will be given instructions to sign-up for their second interview by 4PM EDT on November 1.

Each eligible applicant will have the opportunity to participate in a first round interview. Your first interview will take place October 11 - 20. Second interviews will take place November 6 - 10 for invited candidates. All interviews will be conducted over Zoom by a two-person team consisting of a professional or graduate staff member and a current RA. Each interview will be 30 - 45 minutes in length. Applicants will be asked a variety of questions assessing their knowledge pertinent to the RA position and the skills and abilities they possess. To prepare for the interview applicants should read all application material thoroughly and be prepared to answer questions concerning their essays.

Applicants should also consider attending an Optional Interviewing Workshop. Additional tips on preparing for interviews may be found on the website for the University Career Center & the President’s Promise.

Be sure to communicate with roommates/household members about when you will be interviewing to discuss distractions and noise level expectations during your interview time. If you are seeking a distraction-free space to interview in, consider utilizing the following resources on/near campus:

  • Prince George’s County Memorial Library System offers Wi-Fi access, small study room spaces, and technology borrowing programs. For more information on the availability of these services at each location, as well as how to access these resources, please visit their website.
  • Huddle rooms are available at various locations around campus. Consult your Resident Assistant or academic college about where these spaces are located within your residence hall or academic buildings.

After the conclusion of all interviews, applicants will be notified via email on November 21 of their status in the RA selection process. Selected applicants will participate in the Groundwork course and continue in the RA applicant pool.

We believe the RA position is one of the most crucial positions in our Department. For this reason, we want to select individuals whose skills, interests, and experiences are best suited for this challenging and enjoyable position. Selection decisions are based on information from the application, interview process, and references.

After the conclusion of all interviews, applicants will be notified on November 21 via email of their status in the RA selection process. 

Groundwork Course

Selected applicants will participate in the Groundwork course and continue in the RA applicant pool. Groundwork is a non-credit, blended-learning training course that will include online video content and four 90-minute discussion sessions. The video content and discussion sessions will be launched in the Spring 2024 semester at a date to be determined. The registration process and information will be included in an offer letter.

The Job Offer

Job offers and placement into an RA position begin midway through the Spring semester. Most but not all applicants will receive an offer at this time. Applicants remaining in the candidate pool will continue to be considered for RA positions that come available later in the semester or in the summer.

Most applicants will receive an offer for placement by the end of the summer. Detailed information will be provided throughout the Spring semester related to placement.


three community assistants at a service desk

We have several office positions available year-round. Many students find it useful and practical to hold a part-time job on campus that can accommodate academic commitments.

Office assistants engage with residents and office visitors and perform a series of administrative tasks. If you have any questions about the Office Assistant position, please contact our Human Resources Office at (301) 314-5111 or drlhr@umd.edu.


program assistant working at desk in the Residential Engagement office suite

Many students find it useful and practical to hold a part-time job at UMD that can accommodate academic commitments and foster involvement on campus.

Program Assistants aid the Residential Engagement Programs suite in the Department of Resident Life. They perform a series of administrative tasks and assist with preparation and execution of various campus events.


Questions?

Contact our Human Resources Office at (301) 314-5111 or drlhr@umd.edu.

 

Additional Resources 

Explore available student positions on campus.

Back to Top