Trio of internships keep student busy in New York City

Trey Miller
August 07, 2015

Editor's Note: This is the 11th in a series of stories about College of Communications students completing summer internships.

With a little bit of luck and a lot of strategy, senior film-video major Monica Mazel was able to fit three internships into what turned out to be a busy and highly beneficial summer in New York City.

“I really wanted to make sure this summer was jam-packed with production experience so I would be prepared once I graduate and enter the real world of production,” said Mazel.

Mazel, a Pittsburgh native, has already completed internships with the Tony Awards, PineRock Productions and Anatomy Media.

The Tony Awards internship started in May and wrapped up following the live show on June 7. There, Mazel was able to help with production and post-production, working with a live television broadcast.

“That was my dream internship,” said Mazel. “I am so passionate about both theater and production, so being able to combine the two was absolutely a dream come true. The best part was being in Radio City Music Hall and experiencing the show in real life. I've watched the Tonys every year on TV since I can remember. I never would have thought that at 21 years old, I would be at the live show. It was an experience of a lifetime.”

Directly after completing her internship with the Tony Awards, she started at PineRock and Anatomy. Mazel spent Monday through Wednesday with PineRock and Thursday through Friday at Anatomy. These two companies give Mazel a different type of experience than the Tony Awards, as they work with clients to create and produce projects.

At PineRock, she spent most of her time doing pre-production and production, She got to go on sets, make preparations for video shoots and shadow producers and directors. The Anatomy internship consisted of more post-production, which included a lot of editing, as well as some social media experience.

“I was always an extra hand if somebody needs help with anything,” said Mazel. “I got a very well-rounded experience of production.”

Persistence defined Mazel’s summer. Originally, after interviewing with the Tony Awards, she was told the organization would no longer be able to offer the internship due to credit reasons, causing her to have to jump through hoops to make it happen. She didn’t take no for an answer, and worked with Bob Martin, assistant dean for internships and career placement in the College of Communications, to make sure it happened.

“I didn’t need to light a fire under her,” said Martin. “She was motivated to pursue multiple internships this summer all on her own.”

Mazel was offered the Anatomy internship first, and the company was flexible enough to let her start a week later than it originally wanted so she could intern with the Tony Awards. After realizing she still needed time to fill because she was only interning two days a week with Anatomy, she tracked down some connections and got a spot at PineRock, which was willing to work with her schedule as well.

“It all fell into place, magically,” said Mazel.

Balancing three internships, Mazel also learned to become more organized by keeping a planner and using Post-It notes regularly to assist her with time management. Her involvement on campus has also helped prepare her. Last year, she was vice president of the Penn State Thespians and this year will serve as director for the group’s fall production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical!”

"To stand out to my supervisors and coworkers, I ensured that I was always working on something," said Mazel, whose overall plan was simple. "Don't be lazy, ask questions and when you have downtime, ask your coworkers if you can help them with anything."

Mazel certainly was not lazy, using the opportunity to help her fill a career goal in production, a field she realized she enjoyed early on. When she was young, she started out by making home videos with her father’s camera. Then, in high school, she took a video production class and realized she had a passion for it -- and was good at it, too.

“Originally, I was kind of leery about it because of how hard it is to make it into the industry, but once I got to Penn State, I realized this is what I need to do,” said Mazel. “I love this. The people who are most successful in the industry are the ones with the biggest hearts for what they do. I have that drive, so I went for it. It was the best decision of my life.”

On top of the experience gained, Mazel also had the opportunity to meet celebrities like Kristin Chenoweth, Bernadette Peters, Larry David, Vanessa Hudgens, Alan Cumming, Matthew Morrison and other well-known members of the Broadway community.

Last Updated June 02, 2021