ACUHO-I Tips and Advice
The only reason I chose a NODA internship over an ACUHO-I internship was because I wanted a different experience on my resume while I was in graduate school. However, there is nothing wrong with choosing a housing internship over the summer, even if you already work in housing for your graduate assistantship! In fact, it could lead to more ideas you have for housing processes. If you want to work in housing as a full-time professional, it will also give you a more diverse housing experience too!
Some tips and advice I have for the ACUHO-I process/experience:
If you don’t have housing experience, talk about why a housing position interests you.
Do you want to eventually transition to housing? Do you have some cool student training that you would like to incorporate into RA/CA trainings? Did you hope to gain experience with summer conferences and residence life?
Research the housing office at the institutions.
See if they have learning communities, and if they do, talk about them!
Do they have traditional summer programs they do in their halls? Do they work closely with orientation? Are conferences housed within residence life, or is there a separate conference office that handles that area? When is their move-in day? Do they have traditional move-in events? Also, READ THEIR MISSION STATEMENT. As a full-time professional, I have seen our mission statement be analyzed over and over again as we ask if it most accurately reflects who we are and what our culture is like. So, if you know their mission statement and resonate with it, that’s very important!
Do they have an online tour option?
Many schools are moving towards this, so if they do have one, take that online tour! You can learn a lot about the halls and the student body they work with.
Are they building over the summer, or renovating?
Some institutions have different types of internships. Some interns may be focusing only on creating training materials and curriculum for the student staff, whereas another intern may be working on the housing operations side of things, concerning move-in logistics, room occupancy management, etc. Make sure you read the internship postings thoroughly to make sure you know what your job will consist of, and if you are up for it. If you apply for a housing operations internship at an institution that is building a new hall over the summer, you may have a different experience than if they were not building a new hall. Either way, it’s great experience!
Again, read the benefits/pay package carefully!
Not all ACUHO-I postings provide housing, or some may provide housing, but no stipend, etc. Some schools pay for all of your travel out there, and others do not. Make sure you know what will work best for you. Some postings will say it is negotiable, but others may not be able to make that adjustment.
Check out my post on the NODA process here.
Stay tuned for my post on balancing both the NODA and ACUHO-I processes at once!