Meet Jade Ovadia
College: Cornell Law
Major: BS in Communications ’21
Year: JD ’25
Campus employment: House Director for Phi Sigma Sigma (Current), Resident Assistant and Senior Resident Assistant in Dickson Hall (Former)
Career Readiness Competencies gained:
- Career and Self-Development
- Equity and Inclusion
Students work at campus jobs and internships ranging from office support to peer advisor to intramural referee -- many of which are hosted within Student & Campus Life. In the interview below,learn more about Jade Ovadia, who is employed as a Sorority House Director currently, and previously worked as a Resident Assistant (RA) and Senior Resident Assistant (SRA).
Out of all the opportunities on campus, why did you choose this one?
House Director was an easy choice because I had a lot of interaction with Greek life, and I felt passionately about it and saw how much people enjoyed it first-hand.
My sister had been a resident assistant, and some of my other siblings had been RAs in undergrad, and it seemed like a great experience. I was on Dickson Hall Council my freshman year, and I loved it. I loved the programming. I loved helping people. It was the perfect role for me. I don’t think I could recommend something more in terms of skills you don’t learn in the classroom, like how to crisis manage, how to create dialogue, skills I knew my siblings had developed in their roles as RAs that I wanted to develop.
Describe some of your responsibilities.
As an RA and SRA, I was on call once every other week, meaning I was managing situations and calling for back up. I assisted with running the weekly RA meetings. During last semester I was focused on team building and hosted game night, for example, as a way to build community and encourage team bonding. We went apple picking and pumpkin picking. My year, for the residents, we started the Dickson pumpkin pursuit. We hid 100 mini pumpkins in the building and the people who collected the most, go ta prize.
As a House Director, I helped to coordinate move-in. I do maintenance administrative work, file incidence reports. I coordinate between the residents and the people hired to clean the house, as well as the chef.
What skills have you developed in your campus job?
So many. As much as I have learned in the classroom. It’s hard to work jobs during school, but I am so grateful that I did.
- Communication: I’ve learned how to write professional emails. I have expanded my network and become more comfortable communicating with people professionally. When you’re leading a meeting of 60 people, a floor meeting, I now know I have to command a room. These lessons are invaluable now that I am going to law school.
- Career and Self-Development: My responsibilities include crisis management. I have experience and know I need to call for back-up on every phone available. I can navigate situations quickly on my feet,like when someone has their laundry stolen from the laundry machine. I have experience coordinating with authorities. And I also have experience with mediation and helping people find compromise before a crisis develops.
- Equity and Inclusion: I have learned about community building, how to do this and how to make people coming from all different backgrounds, walks, ideological perspectives, came from money, didn’t come from money accept that we’re all living in the same space, find commonality and share the space, work together, treat each other with respect, not play music at 3 a.m., make sure we’re all communicating.Leadership: I’ve learned how to manage a team and be a leader. Working as an SRA and RA made me not socially scared to take control of a situation.
What comes out of your position that most surprised you?
Being an RA changed my perspective. I see things from all points of view, like when people are arguing. I can inquire and understand what led someone to believe what they do and act the way they act. I know now not to take things at face value and not to make assumptions.
What experiences or skills have you developed that you feel will help you down the road in your career?
Being able to see all perspectives will be helpful because being a lawyer, you have to be able to approach a situation from all different avenues. My experience public speaking will be helpful if I want to do litigation. I will also need to think fast on my feet as I have in my roles here, and command a room.The analytical, communication, management, administrative, multi-tasking, and team work skills will all be helpful.
As an RA, I had to manage so many different things at once. I managed multiple issues and problems and logistics at the same time. Kept me on my toes and aware. And as an RA, there was so much paperwork and incidence reports, and emails that improved my writing because I had to create dense emails that the residents would actually read. All of this will be helpful to me as a lawyer.
What advice do you have for other students interested in an on-campus job?
Become an RA. I learned so many skills and got paid. I gained so many skills I was not learning in the classroom. Seeing how much of an impact you can have on other people – you might be the first person they are seeing in a day and you can smile and greet them and be helpful. It is a beautiful thing. You never know what someone is going through, and you can show you care. It’s great to make someone feel seen.
Don’t be afraid to do something outside of your comfort zone. You never know who you are going to meet, and maybe you will find your newest passion.