Alumni Spotlight—Brian Smith
- Recreation Sport and Tourism
- Brian Smith
- Alumni Spotlight
- College of Applied Health Sciences
- University of Illinois
- Mike Raycraft
Alumni of the College of Applied Health Sciences have myriad career options thanks to the tremendous diversity of programs. We periodically will put the spotlight on an alum to find out what they're doing now, what experiences they had and what AHS means to them. This week, we talk to Brian Smith, who got his bachelor's degree in 2005 in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism Management, and got his master's in Sports Management in 2007. Currently, Smith is a digital strategist and social media manager at an advertising agency.
Q: Why did you pick AHS?
A: I just had and still do a real passion for sports, concerts, and events. I love the idea of working as a team to accomplish goals, problem solve, and to put something on that’s fun for people. I also enjoy the rush of the moment of things like live events that are happening in real time.
Q: Which professors had the most impact on you?
A: Professors Ryan Gower and Michael Raycraft, because they made learning fun. And as a disabled individual with a speech impediment, they made me feel very welcome and treated me just like any other student.
Q: What course did you most enjoy?
A: It was a long time ago so I don’t remember the names, but basically the ones that dealt directly with sport and event management.
Q: Did you enter AHS knowing your career path, or did AHS help you decide?
A: They helped me decide. I was debating between going into sports management or just a business degree.
Q: Did your AHS experience lead to your current job?
A: Unfortunately no. After I graduated I had went through some physical changes due to my disability, which hindered some of my capabilities, so my job search took some twists and turns.
Q: What is your current job?
A: I’m a digital strategist and social media manager at an advertising agency.
Q: When did you graduate and with what degree?
A: I got my bachelor's degree in ‘05 in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism Management. I got my master's in Sports Management in ‘07.
Q: What was your favorite on-campus experience?
A: I just enjoyed being a part of a major university and there’s nothing like a Big Ten atmosphere, and all the great friends I made. One great memory I have is celebrating the ‘05 Final Four basketball team.
Q: What would you say to recommend AHS to a prospective student?
A: You won’t regret your time at U of I and the College of AHS.