By Melody Vallieu
NEW YORK — If you ask Jeremy Robbins, he’s got the best job in the universe.
Robbins, a 2011 Miami East High School graduate, is completing a six-month internship with the Miss Universe headquarters in New York City.
Robbins, the son of Mark and Amy Petkus of Troy, said he’s had an obsession with movies since a very young age. It wasn’t until seventh or eighth grade, though, that he began thinking of it as a possible career.
“Once I got to high school, I took a film studies class where we created our own mini-movies and that was where it really solidified me that this was what I wanted to do,” he said.
Toward that goal, Robbins graduated in May from Ohio University with a degree in video production with a film minor. He landed the internship, which is offered through OU because Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe organization, is an alumna of the university.
Robbins is in the Digital Multimedia department at Miss Universe, where he shoots and edits his own content for the Miss Universe website and YouTube channel.
“They give you a tremendous amount of creative freedom and responsibility to create good content with your own personal touches,” Robbins said.
Robbins said he worked with each one of the 80 contestants in the pageant prior to the actual contest. He said he learned a lot about the women — including that beauty isn’t all they have going for them.
“Getting to be backstage and getting to know all these women has really shown me that they are all extremely smart and talented women and it was really amazing to experience so many different cultures in such a short amount of time,” he said.
Travel also has been a benefit of the internship. Robbins said through the experience, he has been to Yankees games and traveled to West Point for a football game, as well as going to Six Flags. He also got to go to Washington, D.C., and got to meet several congressmen and women and got a private tour of the Capitol building. He even spent a week in the Bahamas for the Miss Teen USA pageant.
Prior to being in Las Vegas for three weeks with the Miss Universe Pageant, Robbins said he traveled abroad to Colombia to attend the Miss Colombia Pageant.
Much of the work Robbins was assigned to do for the Miss Universe Pageant that aired on Dec. 20 was done prior to the pageant starting, so the actual show was restful for Robbins.
“For the most part, I got to relax and enjoy the show,” he said.
Following the contest and the crowning of a winner — Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach — Robbins will continue to travel with her media tour until the end of his internship in mid-January.
Robbins said while the internship has been busy and challenging, it has all been worth every bit of the effort.
“I’d have to say the best experience I’ve had so far was seeing work that I did broadcast to millions of people. I spent three weeks in Las Vegas working every day and it was extremely exhausting … but seeing my work on the screen like that was so rewarding and made the entire experience worth it,” he said.
Robbins hopes to work in film/television in the camera department as his career. Working on a show similar to “Game of Thrones” or “Breaking Bad” — both intense dramas that have very high production values — is Robbins’ goal. His two favorite actors, Michael Fassbender and Oscar Isaac, are tops on his list to film, he said.
“It’d be a dream to work with them as well,” Robbins said.
Robbins said making any sort of video — from a movie to a silly video for the Internet — takes a lot of work, but is how he plans to make his mark on the world.
“When you’re willing to pour hours and hours of work into creating something and still have fun doing it, I think you should try as hard as you can to make a living doing it,” he said.