Jill Ramsey’s “Real Simple” internship provides potential career opportunity
Many college students pass their down time reading magazines, but one Oklahoma Christian University student spent her last semester to helping to create one.
Junior Jill Ramsey took an internship at Real Simple magazine in New York for the fall semester of 2006. Ramsey encourages all students to pursue internships even when they seem out of reach.
“It’s about making up your mind that you’re going to accomplish things and doing what it takes to do so. People give up too easily because they think that things in their life are just going to be handed to them,” Ramsey said.
Real Simple, a New York City based magazine targets women in the demographic age of 25-50, with the average reader being 38. The tag line for the magazine is “Life Made Easier.” The stories that readers will find in the magazine are organizing, meals, cleaning, life skills, health and beauty tips, and other aspects to make life easier.
“I worked in New York in the summer of 2006 as a camp counselor. I told my best before I left that she needed to go with me on vacation to New York City,” Ramsey said.
During Ramsey and her best friend’s stay in New York at the end of last summer, they met a girl who said that she was a junior in college that was about to start an internship at Real Simple magazine. Encouraged by her information, Ramsey decided to try for an internship also.
“I called and set up an interview. My friend had already told them about me and that made them want to hire me before I met with them, and then they offered me an internship and said ‘lets give you a start date’,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey experienced many activities and events throughout her internship. One of Ramsey’s experiences included helping out with a fashion shoot for the magazine. This photo shoot took place in what happened to be the MTV show’s “Real World: Back to New York” house.
“There was anything from the make up artists rushing to powder the models’ faces after every shot, our fashion departmentb ready to change the model clothes quickly for the next outfit, and the photographer trying to tell the models certain scenarios in which they would have to react with a specific mood for that picture,” Ramsey said.
In addition to the excitement of day to day activities, Ramsey enjoyed watching one page of a magazine come alive by seeing the behind-the-scene aspect of the work done.
“It was all such a big realization of what it takes to put a story together visually,” Ramsey said.
A freelance tailor at a fashion photo shoot told Ramsey stories about working on Beyonce Knowles’ dress and Sarah Jessica Parker’s house. One of Ramsey’s favorite moments was when she got to go to a luncheon that was for the Mr. Clean product line. Mr. Clean greeted her at the door and showed Ramsey to her table.
“We were served a 4 course meal at very expensive restaurant. I got to sit down next to the Proctor and Gamble Public Relations main representative. It was fascinating to hear their marketing techniques. I even left with a 50 dollar Gap bag,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey loved how hospitable and giving Real Simple magazine was to her.
“One of the greatest things about working there is all the free products you get. Companies send Real Simple tons of products to try. When Real Simple knows they don’t need a product they put it on the ‘free table’,” Ramsey said.
Throughout the internship, Ramsey also took college classes online to prevent her from getting behind in school. She recommends the experience to any interested.
“It didn’t put me behind at all. I took 12 hours online. It gave me an opportunity to see inside a world I could have never imagined! It was most definitely worth it,” Ramsey said. “The experience of working with talented people couldn’t be replaced with anything.”
Ramsey wants other students to know that to get an internship such as this it is important who you know and what connections you make. Yet, even if one had no such connections, you can apply online at the Real Simple website. Time Inc. has internships for only juniors. If a student’s current classification is a junior, this would be a great opportunity to consider.
“Take advantage to ask question at every opportunity. Everyone working there loves what they do and you can become more efficient if you watch and ask what the employees do daily.”
Ramsey is faced with many options after graduating from Oklahoma Christian. After graduating, Ramsey has a potential career at Real Simple magazine if she desires but is open to working in any field of communication.
“I am looking into either a teaching program in another country or in an inner-city school administrator. I am also seriously considering going back to working at Real Simple in publishing as a writer,” Ramsey said. “I love traveling, and would love to be a motivational speaker working with parents and teens.”
“I learned that God’s plan is real and if I show up he will make sure I am where I need to be. God showed me a place for me in New York, and so I went. I think that’ll be the story of my life,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey encountered many rewarding experiences through her internship.
“I could say the most rewarding thing about this internship was getting to work at one of the best magazines in the nation with talented individuals in my favorite city, but even better than that was getting to be a Christian in a non-Christian environment. My faith was strengthened by being challenged, and I know that God showed Himself to people that had forgotten about Him through my experience there, and getting to see that was the best part by far,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey’s initiative serves as a source of encouragement for not only her peers but faculty and administration as well. Ramsey’s study abroad sponsor Mickey Banister takes pride in her accomplishments.
“I am very proud of Jill for taking a semester in getting some of life’s experiences in New York,” Banister said. “Her ability to adapt to different surroundings and meeting people with a smile are both instrumental in helping her to achieve her goals.”
The experience gained during the internship will continue to help Jill throughout the rest of her college career.
“With this experience I know that Jill will have so much to share with everyone at OC this semester,” Banister said. “Spend some time with her and you will understand how life is different in the corporate world of New York City, and how much she appreciates the friends and family she has in Oklahoma and Texas. I am extremely happy Jill returned to OC this semester to complete her degree.”