The Voice and going places: Our interview with Tim Cole

Resident directors play an important role in students’ college experiences. This is the second in a series of interviews with resident directors to help students get to know them better. You can read our interview with Jocelyn Bullock here.

The Echo: Could you tell me a little bit more about your responsibilities as an
assistant RD?

Tim Cole: I handle a lot of emails from students; I do a lot of work orders for the
building. A big part of it is—I remember when I took this job Michael Houston talked
to me, and he said ‘We see you as an RD, and we want you to be an RD.’ And, so it’s
been really cool being able to make the relations, and helping with programming,
and doing the programming. Like, this Friday night we are doing the Paint Games,
and that’s going to be awesome. So, my role is really, I would say, just like the other
RDs, minus like a few little things, some of the different stuff on the computers that I
don’t have to take care of yet.

The Echo: How did you transition from just graduating to getting this job? What was
the process like?

Cole: Crazy Story! Awesome story! Last year at Lead Retreat our bus broke down,
and it was only me and Michael Houston, director of residents; I ended up driving
with him. I had no idea who he was at that point, but then we got to talking, and
I kind of shared my heart with him, told him how I have a heart for students and
want to work with students. And then last semester, spring of 2012, he came up
to me and said, ‘Hey I might have a job opening for an Assistant Director. Would
you be interested?’ And, I like freaked out! Yeah, absolutely I would! We talked
more about it, and looked at the process more. He kind of told me what some of
my responsibilities would be. I would be in Hills, but I would also help out with
Snowbarger a little bit, and that kind of thing. He just said, ‘You know, I see a lot of
qualities in you. I think you would be a great RD.’ For me, I’m like, “Oh gosh, I hope.”
It was really exciting to hear that. Then I got the job; that was really cool. I got the
job probably at the end of the school year, around May sometime. I came in for an
interview, and they let me know I got the job.

The Echo: Before graduating, did you have any significant leadership roles on
campus that helped when transitioning into a more “official” leadership role?

Cole: I was an RA last year, and then the year before that was my first year here.
I was actually a transfer… there was no doubt in my mind this was where I was
supposed to be. When I first came here it was mainly for baseball. Then I started
getting really involved in the school, and I loved the people here, and I loved the
community and everything. And, I thought this is where I’m supposed to be by far.
So, that was my first year. I had some friends that I was really close to who said, ‘You
know, you should apply for the RA position. I think you would be really good at it.”
So, I went and applied, and I was kind of at the mindset where, you know I get it –
I get it. I don’t – I don’t. And, I ended up getting it and getting hired onto Hills. So,
I was an RA in Hills last year; now I’m an Assistant RD in Hills. So, that’s just been
really cool to see how God has been working in that process and everything.

The Echo: Being an RD is really stressful, so what do you like to do for fun?

Cole: I love taking Casey [my wife] out. I do love taking her out on dates. But, some
hobbies of mine: I like to do really any kind of sports. I like playing sand volleyball
and I like playing tennis. And I like just running sometimes. Then, I go hunting with
my family sometimes. That’s always been a fun hobby.

The Echo: How have the expectations you had coming into the position been met or
changed since taking on the position?

Cole: I was expecting the job to be a lot, like how it is. But I would say that now I
have been doing the job, it’s been everything and more than what I thought it was
going to be. So, I knew I was excited and I was pumped for this job, but I don’t even
really want to call it a job for me. It’s been so cool how God has worked in it, and
how I’ve been able to have lunch with students and be able to pour into their lives
and that kind of stuff, and at the same time be able to come back and have a great
time with my wife. It’s just been really, really cool to see how this job worked out
and how much I think God’s called me to be in this kind of job, this kind of role. So,
I’m finding that out more and more, so that’s been a huge blessing.

The Echo: What are some challenges that come with working with students,
especially with just being a graduate yourself?

Cole: I think the hardest part for me is how I am very relational, and, being an RD,
there’s a lot of stuff that I’m going to have to say to them that I don’t necessarily
want to or kind of standing up to them and saying ‘That’s not acceptable.’ Or if
I hear, you know, profanity or something like that, I can’t just walk away from
it. I have to say, ‘You know that’s not how we do things here.’ That kind of stuff.
Because that’s really not who I am. I think positivity is my number one strength and after that relationships. And, it’s interesting to see how God’s maturing me, and I think he’s
working with me in that area.

The Echo: Do you have a guilty pleasure TV show?

Cole: I have actually been really getting into The Voice. Believe it or not, Casey is
the one who was like, ‘Hey, you have to watch this show.’ And I was like “Oh gosh,”
but we did, and then I was like “Can we watch another one? That was really good!”
So yeah, I’ll admit that right now I am a fan of The Voice and Modern Family. I’ve
always loved Modern Family.

The Echo: If you could have any superhero power what would it be?

Cole: I would say the ability to fly. You can go places you know.