Jelly Beans for Cheetas: Students participate in an internship at publishing company, SissyMarySue

By Maggie Weiss

One of the best college experiences that prepares students for the outside world is an internship. The best part about an internship is that students can work almost anywhere to get experience needed for the future. For a group of St. Kate’s students, working for local publishing company SissyMarySue is the greatest place to be.

Wendy Muhlhauser, the owner of SissyMarySue, is in charge of the project, and is responsible for giving so many St. Kate’s students a chance to experience publishing as part of an internship.
“I was encouraged to seek out St. Kate’s students by many sources, and was compelled even more once I did my own research to learn of the focus and offerings of the school,” Muhlhauser said.

Muhlhauser traveled to Africa, and witnessed firsthand the life-changing benefits of fresh water given a tribe in Tanzania. She was inspired to share her experiences with others and decided to write “Jelly Beans, The Cheetah and Hope” under the pen name SissyMarySue. The story is written in the form of a rhyming children’s book that explores humanity and the shared empathy between the unlikely pairing of a child and a cheetah over jelly beans.

Communications major Major Ngoc “Emi” Nguyen ‘15, is one of the interns working on the publication of “Jelly Beans, The Cheetah and Hope.” This publication is her first time working up close and personal with the publishing process, though she has had previous experience writing for other publications on an international level.

“I hope to learn about the process of publishing a book,” Nguyen said. “I used to be a writer for [a teen’s] magazine in my home country of Vietnam. While I was working, Wendy was looking for the Art Building and I showed her the way. [She] asked me about my major and she told me about her book.”

The internship is not just for communications majors; junior Stacy Dahl is marketing major and also has an important role in the creation of this project. She created the social media promotion for SissyMarySue.

“Out of the internship, I hope to gain real world experience that will prepare me for life after I graduate from college,” Dahl said. “For my part of the internship I have been focusing mostly on social media. I have created the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for SissyMarySue. My job is to update content on these social media sites. I will also be writing a press release for the company to send out to local newspapers. My job as social media/marketing intern is important because it is my job to help [spread] the word about the company.”

She heard about the internship through a friend, and then she recommended Olivia Skyberg, who is also a junior and marketing major, to apply for a position.

“I hope to get experience from this internship,” Skyberg said. “That will help me in the real world after college. Since I am minoring in marketing [and] communication design, I hope that I can gain experience for those areas [and], in addition, learn more about the marketing and business perspective from this internship.”

These three Katies are looking to the future and finding their passions within SissyMarySue. This internship not only gives them real-word experience but also great connections and support.

“These St. Kate’s students are amazingly, passionate, bright and driven women,” Muhlhauser said. “They all have beautiful hearts of service concerning our world. As interns they are diving into this project and delivering exceptional work that is a great support to me and the project.”

Maggie can be reached at maweiss@stkate.edu.

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