Since landing a prestigious internship on Broadway, Public Relations major Maura Consedine has spent the fall semester experiencing what she calls “outrageously memorable moments.”
Maura, a junior at St. John’s University, recently worked her very first opening night, red carpet event. She was backstage to assist with tapings of musical performances broadcast on Good Morning America and National Public Radio. She was also on hand for the filming of a performance for the Tony Awards.
Her greatest thrill since joining Vivacity Media Group, a Manhattan public relations (PR) agency that specializes in theater productions, is seeing her name printed in the Playbill of the award-winning musical Jagged Little Pill, earning credit for tasks that help promote the show, such as handling RSVPs from journalists and celebrities.
“I fell in love with Jagged Little Pill soon after it opened in my freshman year. To now be a small part of what goes on behind the scenes of my favorite Broadway show is a massive honor,” said Maura, who expects to graduate in 2023 with a Bachelor of Science degree from The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies (CCPS).
Her daily routine is packed with photo shoots, press events, searching out pitch opportunities for clients, and tending to a ton of details that also include updating media contacts, drafting press releases, and helping to oversee social media accounts for Vivacity.
“Public relations is a fast-paced and unpredictable field, and while, sometimes, chaos rules the day, I find joy in all of the craziness that I am experiencing now that Broadway has reopened after an 18-month shutdown,” said Maura. “I feel incredibly lucky to be part of Broadway’s reopening process during this historic time.”
She harbors no doubt that she truly is in her element. “PR really allows me to showcase my creativity and individuality. I had pink hair for a semester, I am a huge Broadway nerd, and I love wearing fun, colorful clothes,” said Maura. “I desperately want a career that enables me to embrace my identity rather than forces me to subdue my personality in any way.”
“As soon as I switched my major to public relations,” she added, “it was clear that the entertainment industry, specifically the theater, is where I was meant to be.”
There was a time when Maura thought otherwise.
When she first arrived on the Queens, NY, campus, Maura had her heart set on a career as an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and wanted to major in Homeland Security. “But I realized after my freshman year that the program, while incredible, was not for me,” she said. “I look back now on that version of myself and chuckle, because it is so out of character for me.”
Maura’s mentor believes she made a wise move. “Maura is destined to make an indelible mark on Broadway and the New York City entertainment industry. It is incredibly satisfying to witness the successes of such a wonderfully warm and passionate person,” said Tiffany L. Mohr, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Mass Communication, and Program Coordinator, Public Relations, within the Division of Mass Communication at CCPS.
Maura, of central Pennsylvania and Colorado, wanted to attend St. John’s because she always dreamed of living in New York City. “I wanted to go to school in New York, regardless of what I decided to study, because the city offers incredible opportunities for anyone involved in any major,” she said. “I love that St. John’s provides me with the traditional college experience of residing and studying on an enclosed campus, while also allowing me to spend most of my free time working in Manhattan and exploring the city. I am still in shock three years later to be fulfilling this dream at 20 years old.”
She also listened to her parents. “One of the biggest things my parents instilled in me when I was choosing a college was to pick a school that offered a wide variety of excellent major programs in the event that I decided to change mine.”
But she almost ignored their advice because she was certain as a high school senior that her career path would lead her to law enforcement.
“I am so thankful that I paid attention to what they had to say,” Maura said. “I made a significant change of majors, but St. John’s made that process incredibly easy. I never felt like I was making any sacrifice, academically, during the transition.”
“St. John’s,” she added, “offers so many incredible resources that provide students with the tools they need to pursue their dreams.”