Where are they now?: An interview with Michelle Karamanov

A look into the life of an NDSU alumna

With graduation right around the corner, a common question asked to those who are graduating is, “What’s next for you?”

I decided to ask the question “What have you been up to?” to NDSU alumna Michelle Karamanov.

After graduating in spring 2018, with a retail merchandising degree from the apparel design & hospitality management program along with a business minor, Karamanov took the leap to the west coast with Fargo in her rearview mirror.

“Since graduating, I’ve moved out to Los Angeles, California … originally for an internship with a fashion public relations company, and along the way I’ve found myself assisting celebrity stylist Amanda Lim on a film, all kinds of photo shoots and celebrity red carpet fittings,” Karamanov commented on where she’s been since her time in Fargo. “On top of that, I’ve also landed a job with the company Show Me Your MUMU, working in their flagship store in Venice, California, as well as their headquarters in downtown LA with their PR and Social Media team.”

Needless to say, she’s done a lot in a year since graduating.

The differences between quaint North Dakota and downtown LA are astounding. When asked what it was like making the move, Karamanov remarked, “So many emotions, and so many trips to Ikea; it’s really been the best roller coaster ride.”

Originally from Wahpeton, North Dakota, which is just a hop, skip and a jump from Fargo, the hardest part for Karamanov was leaving her family and friends.

“It’s really been the best roller coaster ride.”

Michelle Karamanov, NDSU alum

“I’ve never been more than 45 minutes from them … but luckily I moved with one of my best friends, which made it a lot easier,” she said. “I’ve experienced so much more than I ever imagined in the seven months I’ve lived here so far. And I’m so grateful for the people who have helped me do it. It still doesn’t seem real getting to call LA my new home.”

When asked about one prominent thing she took from her time at NDSU,
Karamanov responded, “After meeting people who have graduated from other colleges across the U.S., I feel really lucky to have gotten an education from NDSU because of how caring and personable all of my professors were. They made an effort to get to know me and my interests to better educate me and prepare me for my future.”

For her successors in the program, she gives the following advice: “Network yourself any chance you get, especially during your study tour. Don’t be afraid to make connections with people and reach out to them in a time of need. It could really benefit you during your job search.”

During her academic career, she gives all credit to her parents.

“They have always been so supportive of everything I do, and without them encouraging me to fulfill my dreams I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

In just less than a year, Karamanov has done so much in her career. When asked where she sees herself in a year and even 10 years from now, she commented, “Right now, I’m still taking every opportunity that comes my way to gain as much as experience within the fashion industry as I can. So in a year from now, I see myself working in a more established role while still living in California. Ten years from now, I see myself starting a family and career-wise, being able to call myself my own boss.”

From North Dakota native turned downtown LA guru, Karamanov is ready for any opportunity that comes her way.

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