During her time at St. John’s University, Public Relations major Katie Flynn has said yes to every opportunity that came her way—and that has made all the difference.
“They always say that your comfort zone kills you, and I truly believe that,” she recently said. “I can’t imagine how different my time at St. John’s would look if I didn’t build up the courage and go for every opportunity that came my way.”
Katie recently completed a remote internship with The Dr. Oz Show, where she was responsible for assembling daily press clippings, pulling and transcribing show clips, writing press releases, and developing contacts, among many other responsibilities. “I learned so much about the world of entertainment public relations through this internship, and obtained essential communication and writing skills that you simply can’t learn in the classroom,” she stressed.
Katie credited Tiffany L. Mohr, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Mass Communication, The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies, with helping her prepare for the internship interview. “I was so nervous, so Dr. Mohr conducted two practice interviews with me and reserved a quiet office space for the actual interview. She is the reason why I gained confidence, nailed the interview, and landed my dream internship,” she said.
As President of the St. John’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), Katie’s goal is to bring new students interested in a public relations career into the fold, while increasing the number of on-campus opportunities for discussion and networking.
“Our main goal is to go into freshman classrooms and help students who were in our shoes just a short time ago,” Katie stressed. “We want them to understand public relations and recognize the benefits of an organization like this. Now that we are going back to in-person learning, we want to have as many meetings as possible so we can build a strong community within our organization.”
Katie has formed lasting relationships with the majority of her professors. “They are personable and willing to help. There’s only so much you can learn from a slideshow, and my professors have provided me with hands-on experience, internship opportunities, leadership roles, and more. I feel fully equipped to launch my career postgraduation.”
Katie recently accepted a fall internship at NBC to work on the public relations teams for The Today Show, Dateline, and several other national programs.
“Katie is a wonderful young woman and the kind of student every professor loves to teach,” Dr. Mohr said. “She is kind, passionate, driven, and a joy to be around. She has been instrumental in developing the St. John’s chapter of PRSSA, which will benefit public relations students for years to come. I, and the Public Relations program, are proud to call her one of our own. I expect great things from Katie.”
A native of Franklin Square, NY, Katie chose St. John’s because it was close to home and New York City, where many of the world’s top public relations firms are located. “I also loved its diversity, smaller class sizes, beautiful campus, and study abroad opportunities,” she noted, adding that she studied in Rome, Italy; Paris, France; and Limerick, Ireland, but the experience was cut short when the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown occurred midsemester.
“It was really hard for all of us to go from the best time in our lives to the scariest in the blink of an eye,” she recalled. “We were all just happy that we made it home safe and healthy.” Katie added that the University made her transition to remote learning seamless.
Participating in service activities has been her priority. She was part of the Rendu Freshmen Service Experience and has been involved in University Service Day and several Midnight Runs. Through her sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, she has been involved with fundraisers for P.S. 48 in Queens, NY, and St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside, NY. “I was the fundraising chair for our sorority when COVID-19 hit, and I was able to organize a virtual fundraiser for the Thirst Project, the world’s leading youth water activism organization,” she said. Katie and her sorority sisters raised more than $1,000.
Katie believes St. John’s provides endless opportunities for students to find their niche. “At St. John’s, you can make the best of your experience and find your people through so many different outlets. I have friends that love Greek life, their service fraternities, or student organizations. There is always a place for students to fit in and thrive. Trust the process—and say yes. You won’t regret it.”