jointheconversation's podcast (join the conversation podcast)

Time management. Customer service. Conflict mediation. Critical thinking. Teamwork.

Whatever your motivation for becoming a resident assistant, the position allows you to hone a number of incredibly valuable skills that carry over to any career you might choose to pursue. And though the field of student housing is less familiar to the general population, it affords the opportunity to give back and do work that truly matters, whether you’re working one-on-one with students as an RA or overseeing operations from the main office.

Jeremy Steed started his housing career as a resident assistant in 2010 while studying as an undergraduate student at the University of Alabama—Birmingham. Since then, he has worked in several roles with Capstone On-Campus Management at various institutions, and Jeremy’s experience ranges from working at a large public university to leading a management takeover at a community college. Today, he serves as the Operations Director for COCM, working under the premise that ‘each day presents a new opportunity to do something great.’

Jeremy joins me on Student Housing Matters to discuss how financial considerations and the need for leadership experience informed his initial motivation to become an RA. He shares the benefits of serving as a role model and mentor to students, explaining how the role motivated him to stay on top of his game. I ask Jeremy about his path from RA to Operations Director, and he describes the shift in priorities that led him to pursue student housing as a career. Listen in for Jeremy’s insight around listening first and tailoring your approach to the individual—and learn how the skills you develop as an RA can translate to whatever career you choose.

Topics Covered

Jeremy’s initial motivations for becoming an RA

The benefits of being a role model and mentor

How serving as an RA motivated Jeremy to succeed

Jeremy’s path to from RA to Operations Director

Jeremy’s ability to tailor his approach to the individual

The value in a career that affords the opportunity to give back

How working on-site differs from the main office at COCM

The skills you develop as an RA that translate to any career

Connect with Jeremy

Jeremy at COCM

Jeremy on LinkedIn

Connect with Leigh Anne

Student Housing Matters

Student Housing Matters on Facebook

Student Housing Matters on Twitter

COCM on LinkedIn

Leigh Anne on LinkedIn


Dr. Lisa Guion Jones joined us to discuss the pivotal role of persistence, passion, and people in higher education.

Direct download: Dr._Lisa_Guion_Jones.mp3
Category:Join The Conversation Podcast -- posted at: 10:54am CDT

Timothy Evans joins us today.  Timothy is the assistant director of operations at the University Village Apartments, an on campus housing facility at California State University San Marcos.

One of the biggest topics in higher education these days is student debt.  And Tim has such a neat back-story that makes him passionate about getting out of, and staying out of, debt.  And with where Tim works, he is in a unique position to speak into the lives of students staring down the possibility leaving school with substantial debt.

Direct download: ep73_TimEvans1.mp3
Category:Join The Conversation Podcast -- posted at: 11:45am CDT

COCM's Jeff Kirkpatrick shares his story of how a dangerous situation propelled him into being an RA and eventually a full time student housing professional.

Direct download: ep74_HIGISH_JeffKirkpatrick.mp3
Category:Join The Conversation Podcast -- posted at: 2:40pm CDT

In this "How I Got Into Student Housing" series, we've been talking to housing professionals to understand how they got into this field.  In every episode of the series, you’ll hear how a mentor and/or a situation guided each person into something they love.

In this episode we interview COCM's director of Towson Place Apartments, a student community at Towson University.  

Direct download: ep73_HIGISH_GretchenSmutney.mp3
Category:Join The Conversation Podcast -- posted at: 3:44pm CDT

Va'Shajn Parr, Director of University Village and the Quad (on-campus housing) at CSU San Marcos spoke with us about the service he is using to solve the resident package delivery problem.

Direct download: ep72_VashajnParr.mp3
Category:Join The Conversation Podcast -- posted at: 1:45pm CDT

How We Got To COCM - Doug Brown and Sandy Hill

President of COCM, Doug Brown and Executive Vice President, Sandy Hill sat down with us to talk about how they got into the student housing world and then to COCM. The conversation winds through their background, funny stories they’ve had while traveling, and where they see the future of COCM.

This is a special video podcast version of a series we’ve had on our regular podcast, “How I Got Into Student Housing.”  If you haven’t been following this series, the episodes are designed to be a fairly quick look into how these housing professionals got into this field.

Direct download: ep69_COCMDougSandy.mp3
Category:Join The Conversation Podcast -- posted at: 4:58pm CDT

The Relationship Between A Research University And A Fine Arts Department

This episode, Dr. Nancy Uscher joins us to chat with us about the relationship between a research university and its school of fine arts, and why that relationship is important. 

Dr. Uscher holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, a master’s degree in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and a Ph.D. in music from New York University.  She is also an Associate of the Royal College of Music in London, where she spent her junior year in college.  Additionally, she spent two decades as a concert violist, performing and teaching around the world, including six years leading the viola section of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, before transitioning full-time into academe.  She is also the author of dozens of articles and 2 books.

Direct download: ep70_NancyUscher.mp3
Category:Join The Conversation Podcast -- posted at: 3:25pm CDT

Utilizing Big Data To Improve Student Success

Jack Suess, the Vice President of Information Technology and CIO of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, joined us to talk about what they’re doing with “Big Data” on that campus, and how they’re using it to increase student success. We also talked about using the cloud to be a "greener" campus and the importance of quality WIFI coverage.

Direct download: ep68_JackSuess.mp3
Category:Join The Conversation Podcast -- posted at: 2:35pm CDT

Joe Cantona is a Site Operations Specialist for COCM.  In his role, he has worked on site at almost every one of COCM's sites across the country, performing tasks from opening sites for the first time, to filling the gap while critical staff when they are on leave. He joined us for the latest installment of our “How I Got Into Student Housing” series.

If you haven’t been following this series, the episodes are designed to be a fairly quick look into how these housing professionals got into this field.  In every episode you hear, you’ll hear how a mentor and/or a situation guided every person into something they love.

Direct download: ep67_HIGISH_JoeCantona.mp3
Category:Join The Conversation Podcast -- posted at: 2:36pm CDT

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