Damon (BSBA ’96) and Karyn Frost (BSBA ’97) met as undergraduate business students at Ohio State, got married and have each established successful careers at P&G.
The couple shared their thoughts about their journey, their affinity for Ohio State and Fisher, and their desire to give back.
What brought you to The Ohio State University?
Damon: I was born and raised in Cincinnati and always aspired to go to college. I attended several schools growing up, including one beyond my immediate neighborhood. At that time, being in an unfamiliar environment was a dual-edged sword: it challenged me on a day-to-day basis to navigate my way to success in circumstances that were not always ideal, but it also exposed me to a number of things I otherwise may not have experienced.
Initially, I had thoughts of going to law school. But after interning at Procter & Gamble through the INROADS program, I learned about IT and business operations. I also developed a better understanding of my capability and career goals, and I discovered I enjoyed math and computers. I chose Ohio State for a number of reasons. It had a very good engineering program and, due to my advanced placement curriculum in high school, I received a scholarship and entered the engineering program immediately. My first impression here was that it was a very large campus with so many options for its students. The campus environment allowed me to explore and discover how I “fit.” After my first quarter at Ohio State, I realized that I enjoyed doing the type of IT work that I experienced at P&G, however, this was not what I was learning about in engineering school, so I changed my major to Management Information Systems at Fisher.
Karyn: I grew up in Buffalo, NY, and honestly had never thought about leaving the state for college. However, I had a guidance counselor who encouraged us to think outside the box. That led me to visit Ohio State. My high school was a small honors school, and I was impressed with the size of Ohio State and the variety of majors I could study.
How did you meet at Ohio State?
Damon: Karyn and I met at Ohio State. More specifically, we both had a work study job in the music library. We became friends during that time and stayed connected via mutual friends and student organizations at the College of Business. We did not start dating until my senior year.
Describe the shared connection of being Buckeyes.
Damon: Ohio State and being Buckeyes will always be part of our love story. We got married two years after I graduated in 1996 (and one year after Karyn in 1997), and soon thereafter, we began to attend Ohio State football games, including the 2002 National Championship win in Phoenix over Miami. After that, going to Ohio State football games became our “thing,” and we now have had season tickets for Ohio State football for over 10 years. Most of our good friends are connected to Ohio State in some way shape or form, so Ohio State is part of the air that we breathe.
You both have paid forward in support of students and programs at Fisher and Ohio State. What is your motivation for doing so?
Karyn: I firmly believe that if it were not for people reaching back and supporting me, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I did. In fact, if it weren’t for people like David Harrison (senior director of Fisher’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Services) supporting and believing in me, I wouldn’t have been able to finish my degree, let alone secure internships and eventually a career at a company like P&G. I would like to think that I could be a great influence and have an impact on future leaders at Ohio State.
Damon: We love being associated with Ohio State, so any way we can give back, we are willing and able. We feel like we have a great story to tell, so giving back allows us to tell that story to others so that they know how special Ohio State is. For me personally, the Alumni Board was a great way to give back, and it allows me to stay connected with the college.
What are some of your favorite Ohio State/Fisher memories?
Karyn: Hanging out with Damon at the Music Library, of course. Also, attending “Block Parties” on campus, and graduation (even though I was part of the Class of 1997 that got rained out!).
Damon: There are so many, but three that stand out for me: meeting Karyn (as that has impacted over 20 years of my life), receiving a Pace Setters award during my senior year, and pledging Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, Kappa Chapter.
What advice/insight do you both have for Ohio State students and alumni interested in your career field?
Damon: As a new student entering college, there are so many changes you experience in a relatively short time — challenging classes, new friends, new environment and often being responsible for yourself for the first time. Take advantage of all the resources Ohio State has to offer. It is a truly unique environment that fosters growth. Throwing all your energy into activities, organizations and causes that speak to you will help you grow in both the short and long term.
In terms of career, position yourself to meet with a range of companies during recruiting season to explore the possibilities. Learn as much as you can about the craft, attend workshops and engage with like-minded individuals. Finally, be a lifelong learner! Knowledge is and always will be the key to growth.