Catching Up With: Michelle Fitzsimons Tramantano
Communications Graduate, Class of 2004
When Michelle chose to come to Molloy College, she selected the Communications Department because she liked to work with others and form relationships. It is a major that was broad enough to give her multiple career options after graduation and it contained many of her interests. While earning her undergraduate degree in communications, Michelle also minored in psychology. In describing her initial goals as a freshmen within the program Michelle stated, “My first goal was to complete school in four years and find an entry level position in NYC within a big organization where I would utilize the assets I acquired during my schooling and excel to more senior positions.”
There are many skills Michelle learned at Molloy that she applies daily at her current position. Michelle said, “For instance, I communicate with many different levels of executives as well as those of different cultures. A lesson I learned through the global learning department was being sensitive to other people’s values. While I was a student, I had the privilege of studying abroad in both Thailand and Belgium and through my travels, the learning experience was one that could not be taught in a classroom alone.” Additionally, she conducts weekly meetings with her senior management teams giving a formal presentation. Michelle credits her public speaking classes in helping her feel comfortable presenting a professional setting. She also thinks all students in every major should be required to take interpersonal communications. Michelle continued, “I think it is crucial to understand how to listen and develop relationships in order to grow within yourself both professionally and personally.”
Before graduating, advice she received from a Communications professor that continues to help her in her career is to do what you love to do. If you have a passion for something, you will be successful. Presently, Michelle is the Program Director for The Imaging Alliance, which is a trade organization within the imaging industry. She has held this position for the last seven years. In describing her daily responsibilities Michelle said, “On a day to day basis, I manage the business by P&L management to ensure fiscal resource utilization and solicit for new membership. I communicate industry personnel and newsworthy information to the Board of Directors who consist of senior level representation from Canon, Fujifilm, National Geographic, Nikon, Panasonic, Ricoh Imaging, Samsung, Shutterfly, Sony and other leaders in the industry.” In 2011, she formed a relationship with the USO and in 2015; she created the PMDA Salutes Photographers Who Give Back Event. In describing the relationship with USO, Michelle stated, “I coordinated onsite portrait studios, volunteer photographers and military families to come together to send free portraits to service members both deployed and stationed here in the United States. To date, over 10,000 portraits have been captured.” The PMDA Event is for photographers to give back to the community in creative ways.
Michelle wanted to give advice for freshmen starting their journey at Molloy College this semester. She said, “Take advantage of the very capable professors by talking with them regularly to help gain more insight and perspective into your own talents. Study abroad! Molloy had an amazing global learning program during my time there and I had some of my most memorable and valuable experiences through it.” Before closing our conversation, she also gave some excellent advice for students who have recently graduated. Michelle said, “Network, network, network! Talk to people. Listen to their experiences. It’s the best way to learn about yourself and what opportunities are out there. Also, don’t just take any job that comes up. Find something in an industry you find interesting, or within a company where you have room to grow. And don’t be afraid- you have nothing to lose!