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Jessa Rodriguez

Leadership ALE

ALE Reflection Residential Leader


For the last 2 years I have been a Residential Leader at Tarleton State University. My first
year I was in Legacy Hall with 50 residents, which was overwhelming at first. Throughout the
year I built relationships that will last a lifetime and learned the ropes. Currently I am in a
wildlife learning community in Heritage Hall with approximately 40 residents. With my first
year under my wing, this year has been smooth and I again have built amazing relationships.
My job doesnt just consist of relationship building however. I have grown exponentially
with this position. From improving my incident reports, to building a better community, and
growing as a person myself. This job teaches you a lot about yourself and this is an experience I
will continue to use for quite a while.
Within the Discipline
Even though I am graduating with a wildlife degree with two minors in business and
biology, several of the courses I have taken have been a huge help while working as a Residential
Leader.
In my Wildlife Techniques class we were required to develop a study and present it by the
end of the semester. Working on the presentation and presenting it to the whole class helped to
develop my speaking skill, which is a much needed skill for the job. We walk with future Texans
and Texanns during Texan Tours to present the residence hall we are currently in. These groups
can be large or small and we have to be able to catch their interest in s short tour of the building.
Presenting in class has helped me develop skills to catch the audiences attention and just over all
speak well to the crowd.
A presentation was also a large portion of my Senior Seminar class. One of the only
major grades we had for the class was a presentation over an internship, study abroad trip or

Jessa Rodriguez
Leadership ALE
something we are knowledgeable about. This in addition to my techniques course have helped to
develop my speaking skills and help me improve as I give Texan Tours.
Within my business minor I had a Human Resources class that has greatly impacted me
as well. For the class we talked about working with other workers and supervisors which is a
major part of Residential Living and Learning. The class was able to teach me about working in
a company and common etiquette within the work place that has helped keep my time as a RL
smooth.
Beyond the Discipline
Those classes everyone thought they would never use actually have come in handy.
Fundamentals of Speech helped me develop speaking skills before techniques and senior seminar
both. I just didnt recognize it until after I had taken them all. This class helped me get the
position as well as help build my connections in the hall through the communication skills
learned.
The freshman Composition course was much needed when it comes to the paperwork on
the job. Incident reports are a major portion of our work and without basic writing skills, those
reports would be even more of a struggle than they already can be. The skills learned from this
course have helped to keep my writings professional and well formatted. Errors in reports can
cause more work for my supervisors and make me seem unprofessional.
Surprisingly my biology classes have helped as well. For labs in biology courses you
have to plan things in a lab report before doing the experiment. I connect this to planning my
events within my hall. I have to sit down and plan the event and list the steps and materials
needed to make the event work. However the even can be like an experiment in that it may or

Jessa Rodriguez
Leadership ALE
may not be successful. Sometimes people dont always want a pizza party or movie night. Its all
trial and error.
Beyond Academics
I keep repeating communication, but it is such a key role in this position. When I first
started this position I knew I needed to work on my communication skills. Not so much talking
in front of others like I previously stated. More towards communicating positively and not
forcefully. Sometimes I can come on strong or say things that I dont mean to. Throughout my
two years of working as a Residential Leader I have built a better platform for my
communication. I am still growing and have some work to do but I do know I have grown
greatly. I have also gained a sense of responsibility and ability to handle things alone. When I
first started I would always turn to my boss for help or to make sure what I did was correct. I
wanted reassurance. While now I may still do it on occasion, I have gained confidence in how I
do my work and have even had coworkers come to me when they need reassurance. Being able
to work alone and get the job done is something that will take me far in the work field and I glad
I have been able to develop that skill.
Interconnectedness
While working as Residential Leader I have been able to see that my academics both
within my discipline and outside, as well as extracurricular activities are very beneficial in the
work place. The skills I have learned while here at Tarleton State working towards my degree are
very valuable to working in the real world. These experiences will not only help me in the real
world but also help me to go above and beyond expectations during my career
Global Awareness

Jessa Rodriguez
Leadership ALE
Before becoming a Residential Leader I was not vey culturally diverse. I had moved a lot
but was always around a city and people tended to be similar. I had no experience with people
outside of that setting and for some reason thought my residents would be no different. I was
biased about cultural backgrounds. When my first hall of 50 residents arrived I had it all. From
small town country boys, to students born out of the country. The position helped me expand my
horizons and even prepared me for my study abroad trip the summer after my first year.
Broader Implications
Being culturally diverse and having strong communication skills are major for this job.
The global issues I faced were cultural stereotypes and communication issues. Working as a RL
you see students come in with previously built stereotypes of people outside of there norm. As
the leader of the hall I have to work towards breaking the barriers and helping residents grow as
well as do well within school. In the halls bringing everyone together to learn about each others
backgrounds while also communicating in a respectful and positive way is everything. Without
this there can be a negative reflection on Residential Living and Learning, as well as on myself if
I dont help keep and safe and positive environment for the residents to grow.