When you introduce yourself to new acquaintances with the job title Residence Assistant, many questions arise. "What exactly are you doing there?", "What are your tasks?", "You are what?". So, what does a Residence Assistant actually do? Of course, the most important task is to make sure that the offered apartments are let. This means planning viewings, showing apartments and holding sales conversations.
When students then decide to stay with us, the Sales team in our head office in Frankfurt takes care of the rental contracts and financial matters. When it’s time for move-in, we, the team on site, take over again: We hand over the keys to the students, show them their apartments and make them familiar with the residence. To make settling in and finding new friends easier, we among other things organize events to make our residents feel at home. That’s the theory. But what does the daily routine of a Residence Assistant really look like?
It is 9 o'clock in the morning, I arrive at the Management Office at the Albia in Dresden. Yes, I arrive earlier than Residence Manager Nico. My phone is ringing, Nico is having posters printed for our upcoming bowling night, but he'll be here in five minutes. I use the time to prepare coffee for our team. In the meantime, Thomas, our Residence Technician, joins me. He has been here since 8 am and has already had some appointments for repairs. As soon as our three-person team is complete, we have some coffee and walk through the daily schedule. Some external technicians will be at the residence today and telephone conferences are also on the agenda. Besides that, e-mails need to be answered and of course we take care of the spontaneous requests of our students. The first parcel delivery is already in front of our door with a dozen packages.
At the moment, the number of packages arriving is still moderate, but that will probably change before Christmas. Thanks to the redesign of the office and the reorganization of our premises, we can handle all the packages well. Unless, of course, bulky items such as bicycles are delivered, but even these we gladly accept for our students. Handing out packages is a nice way to get in touch with our students and get to know them better. The service is more personal, and we are closer than any post office, so our parcel service greatly appeals to the students. After all the packages have been sorted by floor and safely stowed away, Thomas disappears to tend to his technician duties and Nico behind his two computer screens to tend to his e-mails.
I take care of my upcoming tasks. We have a hiking tour with our students in the Saxon Switzerland coming up. A lot of students have already registered for the event and we are excited about the great interest. The food for the event has been ordered: A lot of finger food, cereal bars, fruits and drinks should arrive at the residence tomorrow. The posters, designed by the Marketing team in Frankfurt, have been promoting our tour for a week. Now it's time for the exact route planning.
Nico, who has far more outdoor experience than me, suggests to go to Königstein: Easily reachable by train and a great hiking route for beginners with fantastic sights and breathtaking views. With this trip we also want to encourage our students to explore the National Park Saxon Switzerland on their own in the future. While we are planning the tour, some students stop by our Management Office. The most common question is asking for the vacuum cleaner, which they can borrow from us. Other residents pick up their parcel, others report that something in their apartment is not working properly. Thomas and Nico are always happy to help with repairs. In the meantime, I'm taking care of the Social Media posts that have to be scheduled this week, which is my favourite task. First of all, I always look at what’s going on in Dresden and the surrounding area and what might interest the students. Often a funny snapshot of the team that was taken in the residence during the week will serve as a post idea.
We also announce our own events or draw attention to various theme days with photos from the residence. I also really like to include our students in our posts. After sending the post-ideas and answering all my e-mails, my day is over. Everyday I’m surprised how quickly the time passes in the residence. The tasks are different every day and I am looking forward to going to work every morning. Especially because of our lovely residents and the great team. Not only the colleagues here on site, but also those in Frankfurt or the other residences.