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Carrie Davis, C’97

Chief Communications Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Beverly Hills, CA

English Major

When I graduated I wanted to work in entertainment, so I took a number of informational interviews. People looked at my resume and said, “Oh, you’re an English major. You should do public relations,” and many moons later, here I am. I ended up working in the music business initially. At the time, record labels were farming out a lot of the PR work when it came to hip-hop artists, so I went out on my own and started a company at 23. It was tough, but turned out to be a formative experience.

When it comes to choosing a career, you can’t expect a linear path … you have to learn how the industry works, what the ecosystem is, and how to maneuver in it.

I went on to work for the now-defunct Tommy Boy, one of the original hip-hop record labels and then for Blackground Records, which was home to R&B star Aaliyah. After Napster fundamentally started to change the landscape of music distribution, and 9/11 struck, I felt like it was time to make a change, so I moved to the west coast. I eventually landed at Yahoo! Music and Entertainment, where I ran PR, and then transitioned to Disney. I worked there for almost five years and then got this opportunity to come back to the music business in a very different way.

At Live Nation we handle about 35,000 shows a year in more than 40 countries. We have more than 100 festivals in our portfolio, manage upwards of 500 artists via our artist management division, and through Ticketmaster, sell about 500 million tickets per year. There are always new products launching – from festival sponsorship integrations to technology that makes the ticketing experience safer and easier.  It’s a very progressive, entrepreneurial and decentralized culture which makes Live Nation a dynamic place to work.

No day is like the next. A crisis can hit at any time and you need to react as fast as possible and be as transparent as possible, which means telling people what you know, even if the information you have is incomplete. It’s also critical to communicate with your employees.

When it comes to choosing a career, you can’t expect a linear path. The entertainment business is changing every year in big ways that affect what jobs exist and what new skills people are going to need. You have to learn how the industry works, what the ecosystem is, and how to maneuver in it. — March 5, 2019 • Photo by Brooke Sietinsons