Mike Brant ’09, M.S. ’10, who has degrees in recreation and sport management, has the title of boss of business at Red Frog Events in Chicago.

Red Frog Events is an award-winning production company in Chicago that hosts scavenger hunts, running events, and music festivals around the country. The Firefly Music Festival, Warrior Dash, American Beer Classic, Great Urban Race, and the Epic Fail Challenge are just some of the many exciting events coordinated by Red Frog. Customers and participants are the core of the business, and Brant’s job is to find brands to partner with for events that occur around the country and world. These partners include TOMS, Garnier Fructis, PepsiCo Inc. and CamelBak.

A perk of working at Red Frog Events is the opportunity to travel. Brant has visited as many as 20 states as well as Australia representing Red Frog Events. Traveling to different places and meeting people have broadened his perspective and helped him become more resourceful in his work. At the same time, he notes that the travel demands can account for the some of the toughest parts of his work because he is gone so much. Finding the right balance of work and life is essential and Red Frog embraces this. Red Frog offers unlimited vacation, which allows for employees to recharge their batteries after long road trips.

Back to his time at Illinois State, Brant’s favorite memories involve his professors. “They really cared about us and making sure we had the tools to be successful,” he said.

Brant advised current recreation management students not to be afraid to network and talk to as many people as possible. “It isn’t as difficult as you might think to simply ask professionals to tell you about their work and what they do on a daily basis,” he said. “Connecting with professionals will increase your communication skills and will help them get to know you.” You never know to whom you might talk and where those conversations can lead down the road.