From one Residence Fellow to another
Mateo Peralta is a third-year journalism student.
My name is Mateo Peralta and I’m proud to be a third-year journalism student and Residence Fellow for the Leadership Themed Community on the ninth floor of Glengarry House at Carleton.
My days usually involve rushing between courses and various locations in Ottawa to interview sources for article assignments I’m working on. When that’s done, I return to Carleton Residence and have incredible conversations with students who live on my floor. In a recent conversation with my students I was asked why I chose to study journalism and become a Residence Fellow.
These questions got me thinking – why did I chose to study journalism and why did I become a Residence Fellow? After reflecting, I realized that the reason behind these two tremendously important parts of my life was about the human connection and communication aspects that both of my roles revolve so profoundly around.
My Residence Fellow position is extremely multifaceted. Predominantly, I am striking a balance between being a resource for the students in my community, supporting my teammates, encouraging healthy relationships while creating engagement through building a community, and maintaining proper conduct for a safe and respectful living environment.
As an aspiring journalist, I’ve always been enthralled by the human connection aspect of my field. Not only do I love to speak and to share my ideas with people, but I also love to listen and learn from the people I am communicating with.
The parallels within my field of study and my role of a Residence Fellow are clear. The central aspect of being a Residence Fellow is to develop solid communication and rapport with students to help them feel like they are part of a community. In regards to my expanding journalism career, I’ve learned how working well and working productively within a team is a pivotal component of succeeding in the newsroom.
Within my experiences, I have seen the emphasis on team building mirrored perfectly. At the end of the day, it’s the readers and the students who see the positive impact of the work produced within a cohesive team of individuals.
The role of a Residence Fellow isn’t an easy one. It requires a lot of time and commitment. However, in the time I’ve spent as a Residence Fellow, the role hasn’t taken away from or hindered my professional development as a journalist. Instead, it has complimented it and fundamentally strengthened it. Being a Residence Fellow has given me a diverse set of skills, including how to manage my time, how to work within a diverse team while balancing the needs of myself and others. These are skills that I’ve applied and will continue to practice in my professional development as a journalist.
While being a Residence Fellow has helped me advance myself in the field of journalism, the professional development hasn’t stopped with me. In my role I’ve had the pleasure of seeing my peers in completely different fields -ranging from engineering, science, and humanities- have the same experience I’ve had. As Residence Fellows my peers and I have been presented with experiences in which we have had the opportunity to learn something new every day. We’ve been challenged in a variety of ways and as we’ve overcome these challenges we’ve grown in ways we never thought possible, both as a team and as striving professionals in our fields.
Becoming a Residence Fellow has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me, I’ve experienced one of the most engaging periods of my life as I’ve had the opportunity to do what I love most, and what drove me to study journalism: communicate with people and give them a voice. Learning from people and giving them a platform to speak is what drives me, and as a Residence Fellow I’ve been able to practice this in the most incredible way.
The next time a student asks me why I became a Residence Fellow, and why I chose to study journalism, I can feel confident in knowing that the answers to both questions are deeply intertwined.
The Residence Fellow application opens mid-November. The online application is found at https://carleton.erezlife.com/login/?next=%2Fstaffapp%2F. For more information, please go to http://housing.carleton.ca/rf/.