Reporting from the Republican National Convention: Nicole Gaddie, ’14

Posted by Izzy Gardon on Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 11:06 AM PDT

Nicole Gaddie, ’14, the former Seattle University student body president and captain of the women’s golf team still practices her swing from time to time, but recently she’s spent more time working behind the scenes at one the most important political events in recent memory: the Republican National Convention (RNC).

Nicole, who received her degree in journalism, is putting her Seattle University education into action as part of the prestigious NBC Universal Page Program. In 2014, roughly 16,000 individuals applied for the program and only 212 were invited to participate – as Gawker points out, this makes the program far more selective than the undergraduate admissions process at Harvard University. 

Prestige aside, the program gives access and experience that many journalism and media buffs would relish. Every three months Nicole rotates to a new NBC property and division, giving her a taste of the varying operations of the $30 billion company. For those familiar with the show 30 Rock, which received 16 Emmy Awards, Nicole’s experience is hardly anything like that of Kenneth’s, a fictitious NBC page.  Nicole gives far fewer tours (if any) and has spent more time closer to Donald Trump and Mike Pence than she has Tina Fey.  

Nicole’s recent rotation with the Decision Desk – NBC’s political analysis and research operation – led her to the RNC. From making sure famous anchors were prepared with the right materials before they went on air, to pulling delegates from the convention floor, Nicole could be seen just about everywhere at the RNC. 

“I did whatever needed to get done,” says Nicole, “I monitored the program to see who was speaking – and watched to see if any speakers were added or removed. I monitored social media, pulled senators and delegates from the floor and made sure scripts got to everyone who needed them – including Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd – before they went on air.”

Nicole, who can’t discuss her own political views as an NBC page, says that the convention “was an inspiring moment –– no matter your political ideology.” She adds, “It was inspiring to see the Republican Party go through this democratic process – this process that America is built on. It gives you the sense that despite the controversy connected to this upcoming general election, democracy does work.”  

She adds, “When you go to a giant political event, no matter your politics, it gives you a sense of hope for our country...watching this democratic process – watching delegates cast their vote for president – it’s a moving experience.”  

Covering the news isn’t over for Nicole, even though the RNC is. In the next few months she will complete the NBC Universal Page Program. Upon completion of the program, Nicole will interview for a fulltime job with various NBC divisions –– including the Decision Desk. Stay tuned, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton aren’t the only ones who are looking for a promotion come November.