Name: Michael Dellatte
Major at Baruch College (Degree Obtained): Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications
Company: Citi
Title: Vice President
Graduation Year(s): 2010
School (if applicable) within Baruch College: Weissman School of Arts & Sciences

1. Please briefly describe your current profession/activities in-detail including your responsibilities and/or tasks.

I have been with Citi for over 5 years and am currently Vice President of Digital Channels. I lead channel development for internet and mobile and ensure Citi’s corporate key messages are communicated to our audience such as quarterly earnings, annual and global citizenship reports, branded content, and other key content that discusses the financial health of the company. These channels include the recent redesign of and Citi Blog. I also support global initiatives from a digital perspective such as the summer Olympics where Citi was a sponsor of Team USA. Prior to this role, I was on the Social Media team curating content for our social proprieties, measuring engagement, and building the Citi brand across social.
2. Please briefly describe your career path to-date, including the reasons behind career changes you made since graduating from Baruch College.

Upon graduating, I started looking for jobs like everyone else but nothing stood out that I was really passionate about. While I was searching, I was also working with a fellow Baruch graduate on a business plan around the idea of taking the flash sales business model, which was extremely popular at the time, and adding a philanthropic element to it. This element allowed people to donate to charity while purchasing opportunities around New York City instead of just receiving a discount. After the business plan was complete, charitubl was born. Being in a business college and specifically graduating during a disruptor period across various industries, it really made it seem like possibilities were endless and building a start-up was attainable. This created a really positive and collaborative environment around us and we had tons of support from friends and family. We then hired a web developer to build the front and back-end of the site, started connecting with local businesses who wanted to be featured, and reached out to charities around the country who wanted to partner with us. We had our beta launch a year later and I was responsible for press and social and my partner continued to curate opportunities with businesses. I became really passionate about building relationships with the charities and selecting the causes that would be most impactful and super transparent for our audience to understand. Overall, it was a great experience where we raised money for charity and I had a glimpse of what is was like to be an entrepreneur. Like most start-ups, we needed funding and started to explore incubators and seed funding and then the Citi opportunity happened. Looking back, the skills I gained during my start-up shaped me for not only the role I currently have but all future roles as well.
3. How did your experiences at Baruch College (e.g., academic studies, extra-curricular activities, student groups) prepare you for your career?

I would say my last two years at Baruch College shaped my professional career. I studied abroad in Spain junior year and experiencing a different culture allowed me to understand the globality of things from a personal and professional point of view. During my senior year, I was interning at Merrill Lynch and that is when I started connecting the dots between theory and application. I always recommend interning as soon as you can while in college, so what you learn in class runs parallel with what you learn in an internship. Two notable classes that stood out were Market Research and Branding – it was during those two classes when I realized I wanted to eventually work on the brand side.
4. What job resources (e.g., internships, work-study jobs, summer and/or other work opportunities, etc.) have influenced your career choice(s)?

I recommend a study abroad program to understand a different culture. This can help shape who you wish to become in your future professional career but also personally. I also recommend an internship. I landed my Merrill Lynch internship through the STARR career website. I also had internship offers with a fashion brand and a cable network which were all through STARR.
5. Today, what advice would you give to an undergraduate or graduate Baruch student interested in your field?

Since digital rapidly changes, my advice would be to constantly educate yourself, share information, and never be afraid to ask questions. It is often difficult for recent graduates because they don’t know who they are yet professionally but questioning helps you discover, start thinking strategically, and find solutions you might not have thought of. Advice I often give myself on a daily basis is to plan and prioritize relentlessly. With the pace of digital, you must be able to prioritize exceptionally well to complete projects from a tactical perspective but also to be a strategic thinker.
6. What do you like to do in your free time?

I am an animal advocate, so I am always helping local rescues and shelters in any way I can. I adopted my first rescue from Social Tees in the city and support the great work DAWS does in Connecticut. I believe in continuing education, so I am always reading up on digital best practices as well as emerging trends in the industry. I am a brand junkie and check up on the brands I am attracted to and see what they are up to. I have completed several certificate programs which I recommend because not only are you being taught by industry professionals but the network opportunities are endless.

How can people reach you?