Alumnus Josh Frost’s mom is also a Syracuse University graduate, but that’s not what drew him to the same school. Frost was drawn to Syracuse as he felt the iSchool was the only program that would allow him to learn to “solve people problems, using technology.”
Growing up, he remembers being the kid who strove to fix things. If the DVD player wasn’t working, he would be eager to figure out a solution. So for Frost, who ended up being a triple major in Information Management and Technology, Spanish, and History, the iSchool seemed perfect. He said he remembers sitting in the iSchool high-school seminar thinking, “Yes, this is exactly what I want.”
Once in school, Frost tried to embrace as many different classes and activities as possible.
“I always thought it was important to be fluent in multiple languages,” he said. “Which has a literal sense, but also being able to speak to both technical and non-technical people and connect them.”
Frost emphasized how important he felt his iSchool public speaking class was. Although he was on the mock trial team and a confident speaker, Frost said that throughout his career, there has been nothing more crucial than being able to communicate effectively. He thanks this class for helping him to learn to defend his decisions and keep calm during tough questioning after a presentation — something he said is the reality of the work world.
Before his graduation in 2008, Frost was convinced he was going to law school — he even took the time to take his LSATs. But as everyone else was securing jobs, he realized that perhaps, being a lawyer and attending law school right away was not what he wanted.
“I had gotten really passionate about web design and development,” Frost said. “I was doing it and I was getting better at it. I went to the iSchool and said that I wanted to work in NYC, I wanted to work somewhere small, and told them my skills. From there, they connected me with people at Major League Baseball (MLB). I was in the right place at the right time and I got to start at MLB two weeks after I graduated.”
Frost’s first role was a front-end developer for the Cleveland Indians, and then after a year he got to work for the Chicago Cubs — as a self-proclaimed “die-hard Cubs fan,” Frost couldn’t have been happier. In 2011 however, he was looking for a little bit of a change and sought out guidance on how to jump to a new team.
“I realized people who advance did it for themselves,” he said. “They made their case and hunted for it. So I did that and connected with a mentor who brought me onto his product team of two. The team now has 25.”
Frost said this role was important in his career as he got to help with that growth. He said the product team was going through a reboot and he really got to sculpt a new vision and bring that to life. In order to do this, he learned how important data and analytics were, something he stressed students should be mindful of. To figure out why certain products were working and others were not, they had to look to their audience and figure out how to maintain or change their behaviors.
In April of 2018, Frost felt he was ready to try out something new for the second time. MLB had given him so much but it had also grown and shifted and Frost was looking to get back to a small company that felt like a startup. This is how he ended up at Barstool Sports. With only about 120 employees, Frost was intrigued by the environment and passion within the organization.
Today, Frost is the Head of Product at Barstool. This means he spends his days overseeing Barstool’s website, and mobile apps plus several apps for One Bite (helping pizza fans find their favorite slices) and Rough N’ Rowdy (an amateur boxing series). Needless to say, he is busy.
“Yeah, prioritization is so hard,” he laughed.
That being said, Frost loves it. He said it is awesome that everyone always has a say in the company decisions. Even if they aren’t always right, employees are always able to share their ideas and genuinely care about delivering the best product possible. For Frost, this is how he knows he is in the right job.
“It’s cliche but when it doesn’t feel like work, I think you are in the right place,” he said. “Do you enjoy talking about your product not just at work but after work as well? Are you friends with the people you work with? Some of my friends from MLB are my close, dear friends I will have forever. I recognize that I have been very spoiled to work for great companies and there is never a day I don’t remember that.”
Even though he feels like he can attribute a lot of his success in work to “being in the right place at the right time,” Frost said he hopes students will try to identify their passions in school so they can seek out employment that they will enjoy. For him, he said he would have never discovered this if he hadn’t tried to get a taste of everything while in school.
“Be authentic and true to yourself,” he said. “Don’t do what some recruiter is telling you to do, or even what your parents are telling you to do. You have so many opportunities to build what’s right for you, so do that. It’s your life and you need to own it.”