Alumni Profile: Allie Eliot
Allie Eliot graduated with an MA in International & Intercultural Communication in 2020.
What is your current professional position and what do you love about it?
Just about a month ago, I transitioned from a position as the Press and Community Engagement Coordinator in the Colorado Lt. Governor's Office, to a Principal with a small public affairs firm called Freestone Strategies. So far what I'm loving the most is the opportunity to work at the intersection of policy, politics and communications - we get to think about how to tell the stories of the policies and politics that will affect Colorado and the West for the next decade and beyond.
Tell us a little bit about what your job entails. What's your day-to-day routine?
So far, my days include a lot of writing - press releases, media advisories, social copy and strategy documents. I've been working with each of the co-founders on existing projects, learning the clients and their unique voices. We spend time pitching local and national journalists and speaking with clients about their goals and upcoming needs. I've also had the opportunity to spend a few days at the Capitol, as the legislative session wraps up, lobbying on a couple pieces of legislation.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I think my favorite part is, again, just getting to work on some of the challenges that are going to play a big role in the future of the state and the region. And, even more, I love that we get to think about how to drive those politics and policies through effective and compelling storytelling.
Why did you choose DU?
I felt like the IIC program fell into my lap, but I ultimately chose to come to DU because the program itself was unique. I was coming to grad school having taken a very different path in college, and I knew that I wanted to be able to explore lots of different kinds of classes, and IIC was the perfect fit.
Where did you complete your internship?
I did my internship in the Office of Governor Jared Polis. It was a great first exposure to the inner workings of state government and helped me start to learn how to pick up voices other than my own in my writing.
How has your time at DU prepared you for your current role?
There are so many different ways! One of the biggest, though, is a true understanding that every interaction we have is an intercultural one. Each requires care, respect and understanding, and as communicators and storytellers, we have to remember that and write and make decisions accordingly.
What is something you’ve learned along the way that you wish was taught in the classroom?
I mentioned it briefly before, but one skill that wasn't taught that I've enjoyed picking up and getting better at is writing in someone else's voice. Whether it is a huge company or an elected official, being able to quickly adapt to their style and linguistic preferences is really valuable, and it isn't something that everyone does well.
What is next on your list? Where to from here?
Getting this job with Freestone was really exciting. I'm looking forward to continuing to settle in and finding the policies and people that I'm most interested in working with. I'm also working on my own writing projects on the side!
Do you have any advice for current students?
Enjoy your time! Grad school can feel like such a roller coaster ride - I say let yourself ride it, get to know the people around you, do your best to take good care of yourself and take advantage of all the opportunities presented to you, even if you don't think they perfectly line up with your "plan." So many of the opportunities that have come my way since I graduated have been because of people I knew and the connections that they helped facilitate; it's a small world, kindness and hard work go a long way!