Her Campus at Emmanuel is thrilled to present our Student Leader Spotlight Series, a series of articles featuring student leaders from a variety of clubs, jobs and organizations. For this installment, we interviewed Resident Assistant Alyssa Holland. Read on to learn more about how she balances her demanding roles and who has inspired her along the way!
Name: Alyssa Holland
Class Year: Junior class of 2021
Major: Biology with a concentration in neuroscience and a minor in communications
Involvement on Campus: Resident Assistant
Her Campus at Emmanuel: Thank you for agreeing to talk with us, Alyssa! Can you tell us about your roles on campus?
Alyssa: This is my second year being a Resident Assistant here at Emmanuel! Last year I had the pleasure to work with first year students and help with the adjustment into college. It allowed me to build so many relationships with my residents along with members on my staff. This year I was able to continue working with the same residents as sophomores which I love. This job definitely takes up a majority of my time, but I wouldn’t change any of it! I have been able to help guide them throughout college so far and it is something I am so thankful for! Outside of Emmanuel I am a lab assistant at Harvard Medical School in a genetics lab which has given me a great opportunity to further my interest in biology. I also just recently started an internship at Boston Children’s Hospital where I work in the transplant department! That has by far been my favorite opportunity outside of Emmanuel.
HCE: How did you find things you are passionate about at Emmanuel?
AH: Honestly, working at the front desk of St. Joes Hall when I was a freshman (where I am an RA now) really allowed me to find my niche here at Emmanuel. It was here that I got the opportunity to meet RA’s and other students within my major. I met people who encouraged me to apply, and I got to ask many questions about the role as well. There were juniors whom I worked with who told me about internships they held and what they wanted to do after college and that really motivated me. Seeing others be successful in things I also wanted to do really pushed me and made me want to succeed.
HCE: Do you have any mentors? Tell us a little bit about them?
AH: Yes! I have so many mentors on and off campus! On campus my greatest mentor is Melissa Allen! I met her my freshman year working at the desk and then was able to work with her my last two years being an RA. Similar to me Melissa is a biology major who is so incredibly smart. She has motivated me to do well in my classes and always been such a huge supporter throughout all my roles I have had in the last few years. Within the RA role she has also been such a great mentor since she has been doing this job longer than me. Whether she knows it or not she truly mentors me in more way than one! She recently got a job for post-graduation and even this has pushed me to continue to work hard and be successful post-graduation. Outside of Emmanuel my greatest mentor will always be my mom! No matter what I do she will always be my greatest supporter and challenger. She pushes me to be a better me every day and no matter what I do she is always there to guide me. Seeing her work so hard every day and be such an amazing mom has shown me exactly who I want to be. I am so lucky to have such strong mentors in my life like Melissa and my mom.
HCE: What are some challenges you face as a student leader?
AH: I mean time management is always a challenge learning to balance four classes, duty shifts, two jobs, and a personal life isn’t easy. It definitely took me a little to balance everything once I started being an RA. It is nice to know that I have so many support systems because of this job though. Also, it can be hard to know that you are always a student leader and you are held to a higher standard.
HCE: How has being a student leader helped you?
AH: This role has allowed me to gain so many employable skills that has helped me in multiple job interviews at Harvard Med and Boston Children’s. Outside of the work world this role has allowed me to be much more confident. I find myself knowing my place and knowing what I am capable of in and outside of Emmanuel’s campus. Beyond this, being an RA has given me the best friends. This job has truly given me a second family who I know will be there for me through it all.
HCE: What advice do you have for students who want to become student leaders?
AH: Do it! It is seriously such a great way to be involved and find your niche on campus. Even just applying can teach you something. I know for the RA process specifically; the interview is set up like an actual job interview which can be super beneficial just for the experience. Also, if you are on the fence about it ask current student leaders!
HCE: What would you tell your freshman self?
AH: Just relax! I was so stressed about everything and had my entire college career planned out. I wish I could just tell myself to just worry less and that it will all work out how it is supposed to! I am so glad I decided to be an RA it was the best choice my freshman self made.
We thank Alyssa for taking the time to interview with us and share her experiences as a student leader! If you are interested in being featured or would like to nominate a student leader to be featured, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.