WCU alum works for the Democratic National Convention

Western Carolina University alumni Meredith Oakley has had her own share of jobs since graduating this past May, but none of them quite compare to the task she underwent at the beginning of this month.

Oakley was hired by RK Productions as a Production Assistant where she worked at the Democratic National Convention to begin the setup of what was the largest political stage on the road to the presidency. Oakley spoke about her time in Charlotte, where the convention was held, and how things were a lot more hectic than you might think.

“The DNC was a hectic place to be”, said Oakley. “But If I had to be around the DNC, smack in the middle of it is where I would have wanted to be. From the first day in the arena secret service guys with bomb dogs were present checking every single truck load which was brought to the arena. The closer the convention got the busier we became and the higher security got. We always had to wear credentials which were assigned to us and scanned in every time you entered the building but once they created “the perimeter” you had to go through body scanners and get your back pack x-rayed and all trucks with deliveries to downtown were scanned.”

Her job carried high importance in making sure the stage and convention setup was ready to go by September 3.

“I distributed credentials to all the daily staff that worked with RKP and handled several of the problems with credentials not working or arena staff not being educated on which credentials were acceptable. I took location photos of the arena- where things were located in relation to other things. We set up, adjusted when the stadium moved to the Time Warner Cable Arena, and broke down all the hair and makeup rooms, the green room, speech holding rooms, talent holding rooms. I was able to assist Shannon Mizell from NBC and the Media Pool with several tasks that were office related questions. I received packages and made deliveries.”

As for what’s next for Meredith after the DNC?

“Networking. Always networking. I met people from NBC, free lancers in may fields, and their production assistants that are local to the area. I’m really hoping these connections I’ve made will lead to my next job.”