January 03, 2011
Margaret Monahan ‘09CPS, ‘10MPS smiles broadly whenever
she speaks about her two-month internship in Barcelona this past
summer. As part of the requirements for her
M.S. in International Communication, she secured an internship
with WOW Time Media, a
Spanish public relations firm. The assignment extended from the
last week in June through the first week of September 2010.
Margaret, who majored in advertising as a St. John’s undergraduate,
is happy she chose the “right college for my personal development
and career goals.” She also considers herself “unbelievably lucky”
to have had supportive professors like
Basilio Monteiro, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Mass
Communication. Dr. Monteiro introduced her to the idea of enrolling
in the graduate program on international communication. The program
has led her to extend her horizons to learning about media
opportunities in other countries.
were asked by Dr. Monteiro what we wanted to do to gain hands-on
professional knowledge. I said I wanted to get an internship
overseas,” she noted. By the end of the semester — thanks to Dr.
Monteiro’s contacts — Margaret was on her way to Spain to work at
WOW Time Media. “I had no time for second thoughts,” she
Summer of Living Magically
Except for participating in a conference in Vienna along with fellow
International Communication students — Margaret had never been
abroad or on her own. “At first, I was a little anxious,” she
admitted. But, with Dr. Monteiro’s encouragement, she jumped right
in and embraced the opportunity.
“My rule was to say yes to everything that I encountered there,”
she said. “Thanks to this program, the whole experience was
strong public relations foundation which she acquired as an
International Communication student, gave Margaret the skills she
needed to perform well even in a Spanish-speaking firm. In
addition, “Dr. Monteiro and I Skyped weekly in Spanish, helping to
keep my vocabulary up to speed,” she said.
“It didn’t take long to transition from tourist to living like a
local,” said Margaret. She rented a three-bedroom apartment
and ate at neighborhood restaurants, sampling the local seafood — a
food she had always avoided. She toured museums, soaked in the
beauty of Gaudi’s architecture, took trips to magical places like
Costa Brava and Majorca, attended a flamenco dance club — and did
all this by sailing through the streets on her rented motor bike.
She also found time to bond with her coworkers who have promised to
visit her here in August.
Today, Margaret is a global citizen whose mind and heart
are open to trying new experiences. “I am looking for full-time
positions in Paris and London as well as at media companies that
maintain overseas offices.” She is also considering positions with
New York companies.
“Being in Barcelona taught me that I was taking NYC for granted.
Everyone I met wanted to know about the City so I decided to try
seeing it the way they did.” As a result, Margaret has embarked on
her own Discover New York journey, visiting its many cultural and
historical sites. “Life has become an adventure,” she said. “I’ve
learned not to make pre-judgments and to get the most out of any
experience I am offered.”