Maria Tuttocuore graduated in 2002 with an MS in Tourism Management. She currently works in the NYC office of the Destination Marketing Organization for Monaco. In this post, she looks back on her career journey since graduation.
December 2, 2019
Tisch Center Alumni Spotlight: Maria Tuttocuore, Monaco Government Tourism Office
What has your journey been like after graduating NYU?
I graduated from NYU in 2002. I remember I had finished all my classes before 9/11 happened, but I handed in my dissertation later. That period was a rollercoaster due to everything happening in NYC. I moved to the Washington D.C. metro area, but I returned to New York City in February 2002 and started my relationship with the Monaco Government Tourist Office in March of that year. Time really flies; it seems like I began my journey yesterday. I worked in different positions, but I knew that I had always wanted to pursue destination marketing. The numerous facets of the public sector have always fascinated me.
Can you talk about your current role at Monaco Government Tourist Office?
I am currently in charge of leisure development as senior executive for Northern America. I maintain existing relationships and develop new ones at a B2B level, working directly with our supplier partners in the Principality. I also establish, cultivate and generate business with luxury consortia and deploy targeted marketing campaigns throughout different channels, mostly digital.
What are you passionate about in the work that you do?
I truly love the destination; it never ceases to surprise me. Monaco has a strong history and tradition, but its outlook is towards the future. It is the second smallest country in the world and can fit into half the size of Central Park in New York, but it has lots to share with its visitors. There is some magic storytelling about the country that makes it such a unique place. The country is synonymous with luxury and is perceived as exclusive. Our role at the tourist office is to show that Monaco can be a great place to celebrate a milestone in people’s lifetime. It can be the right place for that very special occasion such as a proposal, a career promotion, or an anniversary.
In what ways has your NYU experience had an impact on your career and shaped who you are today?
I already had experience in the travel industry before attending NYU. NYU helped me to focus better on the importance of the human network. This is paramount in every industry, but even more so in the travel industry. While taking classes at NYU, I was also able to complete two internships. One internship was at the Leading Hotels of the World and the other one was at New York State Division of Tourism. Having two internships certainly kept me busy as I dedicated my time to one internship in the morning and the other one in the afternoon while also attending classes in the evening. These two experiences combined with my Masters in Tourism and Destination Management literally opened the doors to the Monaco Government Tourist Office a few months after graduation.
What career advice would you give to NYU students?
Do not be shy. NYU can be a powerful career springboard if you take the opportunities that it offers. Attend networking and industry events, volunteer, and do internships. Do not be afraid to ask questions and find a good mentor. This is the time that you should dedicate to explore what you really would like to do as a career and mistakes are allowed. You started a journey and are just at the beginning of your career at NYU, but already on the right path!