Ignacio Murillo graduated from the Meek School in 2014, and already has landed a job that lets loose his creativity and passion for design, fashion and photography. A photo assistant for Harper’s Bazaar magazine in New York City, Murillo said his job is the most stressful yet most enjoyable thing he’s ever done.
Murillo’s job search was anything but traditional. He Photoshopped pictures of himself with Harper’s Bazaar special projects director Laura Brown and tweeted them to her: #Thiscouldbeusbutyouareplaying.
“I would say that I was getting pretty annoying, but she finally liked one of the photos that I tweeted and replied to me to call her office,” Murillo said.
He was given a test for a features internship that took him about 10 hours to complete. He didn’t make the cut for that job, but impressed them enough that his contact information was passed along to other departments.
Murillo moved to New York, crashing at friends’ apartments while he continued his search for a job. He made regular contact at Harper’s Bazaar, and it paid off: an internship with the art and photo department.
In November, shortly before his internship ended, he was offered a job — on his birthday — as a men’s fashion assistant at a PR company where he had interned two years earlier. In the middle of March, he heard that Harper’s Bazaar was hiring and he reached out to the photo director.
“I had to interview with three editors before I got the answer I had dreamed about since I was 10 years old,” he said.
“The best — funny — part of my story is that the image and tweet that opened the door for me was related to the ‘Game of Thrones’ TV show and the first issue I worked on with my name on the masthead featured ‘Game of Thrones’ leading lady Emilia Clarke as the cover star. It might sound stupid, but I took that as a sign that I was at the right place.”
Murillo said his work days run the gamut from routine to glamorous, including meeting celebrities.
“I help the photo department produce our well/back of the book photo shoots,” he said. “I help with the historical, fine art and commercial research that goes into producing a shoot. I help manage our in-house studio for all the front-of-the-book pages. I help manage our interns to ensure everything is completed thoroughly and efficiently. One day I could be focusing on invoices and the next day finding new locations for upcoming stories.”
Throughout his years as a student at the University of Mississippi, Murillo had internships and worked at the Magazine Innovation Center and the Student Media Center. He was a photographer and award-winning designer for The Daily Mississippian and The Ole Miss yearbook, and said he learned a lot about journalism and working on teams.
“Most my learning has been on the job because there were no classes on how to produce a photo shoot that costs thousands of dollars in another country,” Murillo said, laughing.
“The best advice I have for current students is to intern as much as possible. I was hired by both companies where I was an intern here in NYC. Don’t be afraid to go big. I think one of the things that helped me get where I am was that I was never really scared to just go out there and get it.”