My Spartan Success with Lauren Higgins

Lauren Higgins, 2015

How I Became an NBCUniversal Page  
An Interview with Lauren Higgins ’15
NBCUniversal East Coast Page

Conducted by Prof. Elaine Winship

When did you graduate and what was your major?
Lauren: I graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College in May 2015 where I received my B.A. in Communication Arts.

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How did you hear about the program?
Lauren: I was previously an intern at NBCU twice during college at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and the children’s network Sprout, where I worked with both current and former pages in production and marketing. They were extremely helpful in explaining the program to me and stated that it is perfect for someone who truly wants to work in the media and entertainment industry.

Can you explain the interview process?
Lauren: The interview process is fairly long. I applied in October 2015 where I filled out the online application, which consisted of a few essays and short answer questions. Once I advanced to the next round a month later, I had to do an online video interview where a few questions would appear on the screen and I had to answer them in the specific time frame they gave me. After submitting those, I did not hear back from the program until late December, where I was told I had made it to the final panel portion of the interview process. The panel consists of a group interview, individual interview, and a 2-minute presentation. I was notified that I was accepted into the program in February 2016 and began my NBCUniversal ambassadorship in early March.

What type of training did you receive for your role as a Page?
Lauren: I received 2 weeks of onboard training, which included studying the history of NBC and memorizing our tour script. Since I am conducting studio tours and assisting in audience coordination during the first 3 months, I was given the opportunity to shadow current pages on their tours. I also attended tapings of The Meredith Vieira Show and Late Night with Seth Meyers to get an idea of the different roles the pages play in audience services. I had various tests to determine if I knew the talent at NBCU, the different studios, as well as the overall history of NBC.

img_7929Can you tell us about some of the exciting projects you’re working on?
Lauren: Since beginning the Page Program, I have had the chance to work on several projects and events. I’ve assisted in various corporate and staff events including Innovation Day, Summer Chill & Chat, and the 10th annual Cable Entertainment Breakfast to name a few. Working these events involves everything from escorting talent to hair and makeup, handling the mics for Q&A segments, or distributing name cards and checking guests into the venue. I also was able to be an extra in a shoot for the TODAY show.

I began my first assignment post ambassadorship on June 27th. I am working for Global Media Studios, where I will gain production exposure in both studios and control rooms. The studios within Global Media are home to the cable network Sprout’s Sunny Side Up and Weekend NBC Nightly News. If The Tonight Show or Late Night need another studio space to film in, they will utilize this space as well. I will be welcoming all guests and talent and assist will all of their studio needs. I’ll also be responsible for assisting in the everyday operation of these studios and greenrooms, as well as scheduling studio and production times.

What has been your favorite experience?
Lauren: Along with the exciting projects I have been assigned to, I truly enjoy working with the other March pages. It’s been great having met a group of people who also have a strong passion for media and entertainment as much as I do. It’s great being able to look forward to coming in to work each day. I also really enjoy working in audience coordination for the late night shows. Depending on which position I am assigned to, sometimes I have the opportunity to stand in the studio and watch half of the show. I love how much insight into the media industry I’ve been given while only working here for 3 months.  

How do you feel your work as a CA major at STAC prepared you for this opportunity?
Lauren: I believe the various courses and assignments I completed at STAC as a CA major gave me the basic insights of what is required to work in the field of Communication.  Some of the courses that stand out to me include TV Production, Advanced Public Relations, and Communication Skills in Business, which really gave me an interest to continue to pursue this career path.

What do you hope to do after the Program ends?
Lauren: After completing a year in the NBCU Page Program, I will have an additional 3 months to stay at NBCU to apply and interview for open positions across the company. During this post-graduation period, I will also work on other assignments as well as giving studio tours if needed. My ultimate goal will be to secure a full-time position within the company.

What advice do you have for other STAC students wanting to be part of the Program?
Lauren: My advice for anyone at STAC who is interested in applying to the NBCUniversal Page Program is to be determined, follow up, and to network as much as possible. I actually applied to the program last August, and not make it through the first part of the interview process for the November start date. I knew I still wanted to be a Page, so I waited until the application for Spring 2016 was released in October and applied again. I think it is important to be persistent and keep going after what you want. I am so happy I did not settle for an entry-level job in which I could not see myself working in.  In the end, hard work really does pay off, and I am so thankful for the opportunities I have been given so far.