#WhitmanWatch: Michelle Truong ’21

The first time that Michelle Truong ’21 visited Syracuse University’s campus also happened to be her move-in day. 

Truong, from San Jose, California, made the decision to cross the country because of the unique opportunity to pursue a dual major in marketing management at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and public relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

She admits that her family was a bit hesitant to send her thousands of miles away, but she says, “I love putting myself in uncomfortable situations because that is where you grow the most.”

Before leaving California, Truong attended a new-student send off in San Francisco. This event introduced Truong to a love for networking and connecting with Syracuse University alumni, which she applies in her service with the Forever Orange Student Alumni Council.

Truong poses with other students who are apart of Forever Orange. (Please note, this image was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and does not reflect current public health guidelines.)

Busy is an understatement to describe Truong. On campus, she serves as chancellor of Delta Sigma Pi, works as a resident advisor, volunteers with Balancing the Books and stays active as vice president of business for the WJPZ radio station, among other activities.

“I was a DJ my first year at the station, then became the public relations promotions director, where I planned an alumni banquet. As you can tell, I love working with alumni. Alumni are so helpful and give great advice.” She adds, “One of my favorite parts of WJPZ is being a host on the Morning Zoo 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. We talk about pop culture and play games and whatever else it takes to keep people energized in the morning.”

Truong also spends time working as a desk assistant in the Dean’s Office, one of her favorite student experiences. “The opportunity has allowed me to get to know a range of Whitman employees and the different roles that help Whitman run every day,” she says.

Attending Syracuse University has helped Truong in her personal growth, as well. She shares, “Once I saw myself standing out on campus, I thought that I should be prouder of who I am as an Asian-American.” Truong has also gained a stronger desire to educate herself on diverse topics, which was one of the reasons she elected to earn a Spanish minor and spend a semester in Madrid, Spain.

Truong poses with her host mother in Spain. (Please note, this image was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and does not reflect current public health guidelines.)

“I’m a big advocate of learning about different perspectives and listening,” says Truong, who recently became a Lagrant Foundation Scholarship recipient. 

Truong is working towards a career in the entertainment communications world. “I love entertainment, in fact, I was named after Michelle from the show “Full House,” she says.

Truong is working as an international communications intern for ViacomCBS. From developing press materials such as one-sheets and internal newsletters to creating coverage reports, writing press releases and coordinating interviews between press and talent, she has been able to expand her knowledge in the communications world. Additionally, Truong regularly meets with international colleagues. “I get to work with staff across all continents. It’s so insightful to have weekly meetings and talk about what’s happening in their roles around the world,” says Truong.

Kavell Brown ’16 (iSchool), corporate social responsibility coordinator at Viacom, taught Truong that “We’re a product of so many things,” something she understands even more so with every new experience. Truong is grateful for all the experiences that the Whitman School has brought her, like group projects and impactful professors. She also attributes her values and morals to her mother. “So many people have shaped me to be where I am,” she says.

Truong’s future goals are simply to learn and keep an open mind. She says, “I don’t have a work preference yet, but, with everything I do, I want to create a positive environment for other people to live in. At the end of the day, my career goal is to use communication to foster community. I want to promote inclusion and involvement everywhere I work.”

Learn more about Whitman students and their experiences.

Truong poses with her WJPZ team. (Please note, this image was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and does not reflect current public health guidelines.)
Maya Bingaman
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