Dec 21, 2015
Though he entered the fast-paced world of politics just a few years ago, Gage Nicholas ’13 is already working in Tallahassee at a place he’s admired since elementary school: the Executive Office of the Governor.
“The way everything just clicks, how much one person can really matter within the system—it’s always fascinated me,” said Nicholas.
As a political science major, he was pushed by Associate Professor Bruce Anderson to get experience in the political process. He helped spearhead the organization of the College Republicans and the Model United Nations Club.
Then a friend who had worked as an intern for U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross of Lakeland urged him to apply for the same position. Nicholas was chosen over about a dozen applicants and spent the spring 2012 semester in Washington, D.C., in Rep. Ross’s office. He helped with correspondence, assisted the congressman’s staff with clerical matters, and helped with visiting constituents.
“The internship touched a lot of basic operations in a congressional office. It gave me an exposure to political communications, and it gave me a great understanding of policy. You have ideas about how these things work when you study them, but once you experience it, you see it in a whole different light,” he said.
Nicholas worked on the 2012 presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, and after graduating, he was Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign liaison for Polk County, overseeing grassroots operations and recruiting local volunteers. Campaign officials noticed Nicholas’ enthusiasm and commitment, and in January, he was offered a position as proactive outreach assistant in the governor’s Office of External Affairs.
“It’s been a great experience up here already. “It’s definitely a blessing to get up in the morning and work in the field I love,” said Nicholas.