A career gamble that paid off

4 Jan

Alison for blog

More than 320,000 people gathered in Las Vegas last summer for one of the largest music events in North America: The Electric Daisy Carnival. For three nights, fans were entertained by more than 150 musical acts, 500 theatrical performers, and 12 large-scale interactive installations and pyrotechnic displays.

Alison Monaghan (’05 journalism/mass communication) was there. A senior account executive for Kirvin Doak Communications in Las Vegas, Alison worked through the night, making sure the needs of the media and the artists’ publicists were being met.

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) is a year-round account for Kirvin Doak, and Alison handles the publicity aspects of the mega-event.

“I work with media coverage,” Alison explained. “It’s very cool to see your first story run in Rolling Stone. It’s one of those pinch-me moments.”

Alison works not just with EDC but with other clients including those involved in Las Vegas entertainment, nightlife, resorts, and real estate. (Once, a story she pitched about bilingual casino dealers made it on the front page of the New York Times.) She also works for clients in the nonprofit world, specifically with the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, a golf tournament in the fall series of the PGA Tour.

The Las Vegas strip is a world away from Alison’s rural hometown of Guthrie Center, Iowa. After she graduated from Iowa State, Alison knew she wanted to travel and live in a big city in a different part of the country, but she wasn’t sure where.

She asked herself: “Where can I move to be on my own and prove I can do it?” She sent resumes to New York with no luck, then moved to San Diego. From there, she was told that Las Vegas was the best place to get a job in public relations.

Alison gambled and won. She’s been in Las Vegas for six years now, and she’s in no hurry to move on.

“For me, this is a place to put some roots down and stay here for a long time,” she said. “For where I am in my life, this is my dream job. I’m excited every day.”

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