Riverside resident makes the most of her degree in work

Ariana Berkemeier | Banner | Alyssa Digangi, a project manager for her family's company Stronghold Engineering in Riverside, Calif., started working for the company at 14 years old. Now 27 years old, she advises young professionals to follow their passions.

Sometimes people end up in careers in which they never imagined themselves. This is exactly what happened with 28-year-old Alyssa Digangi, project manager and realtor associate.

Digangi was born and raised in Riverside and went to college at Loyola Marimount University to get a business degree with a studio art minor and planned to own her own music venue. How- ever, she would later be called into the family construction business where she would and her true calling.

She started college as a biology major. This changed after she did a summer internship and found she did not enjoy that line of work.

“I was going down that path and I took an internship that summer and I really did not like it. Thank goodness I did that; it changed my perspective and put me on a completely different path with which I was much happier,” Digangi said.

She switched to a business degree with a studio art minor because she wanted to pursue things about which she was passionate. During her time at Loyola, she worked for the campus radio station as program director. She had her own weekly show and managed up to 75 DJs. She would also cover when DJs couldn’t come into work.

Digangi then interned at a record store in Echo Park where she helped with social media and marketing to help raise awareness for the store. Her boss there helped her get her first job out of school work- ing at the Echoplex, Los Angeles music venue, doing social media marketing. She said she had hopes of eventually owning her own music venue.

She also helped create the website DoLA.com, which is dedicated to showing people what Los Angeles has to o er. However, despite these op- portunities, she had second thoughts about her aspiration to own her own music venue in Echo Park.

“I started to think about coming back to Riverside and working with my parents. I was doing great in my career there, but I started to think long- term. There were places to grow (in my current field) but not in what I was looking for,” Digangi said.

She reached out to her par- ents to see if they would hire her to work for their construc- tion company, Stronghold Engineering, and they hired her.

Dennis McGahey, the vice president of Stronghold Engineering, said Digangi has all the qualities Stronghold wants in an employee.

“It’s not often we nd people like Alyssa who are intelligent, open-minded and hard-work- ing. She is motivated to do what it takes, which is what we look for at Stronghold,” McGahey said.

She worked as a social media marketer and as the ground marketer, in which she told the brand’s story. This went well for her and she was soon promoted to being a direct assistant for her parents.

Digangi still wanted something different, so she took on the role of project manager for Stronghold Engineering’s renovation of Los Angeles’ General Service Administration building. This is where she said she really came into her own.

There were numerous challenges, but she gained valuable communication and organizational skills. During this time, she also got her real estate license, which allows her to fill more roles in construction and development projects.

Digangi continues to work on projects with Stronghold. She said as a freshman she never would have guessed that one day she would be a project manager and realtor.

Elizabeth Romo, executive assistant to Digangi’s parents, said Digangi is always pushing herself to grow and learn all the aspects of a job.

“I enjoy working with her. She is never stagnant. She always wants to learn more in her field and master it. She becomes a jack-of-all-trades,” Romo said. “She is knowledgeable and makes it a priority to understand her job.”

Digangi continues to work on projects with Stronghold and said she enjoys what she does. She keeps an open-mind, tries on different hats and always strives to grow professionally.

Given her winning attitude and solid work ethic, she will likely go far in her career.

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