Alumni Profiles

Jason Cohen

United Kingdom

Jason took part in our Company Programme at Mearns Castle High School and is now a Senior Associate at PWC

60-Second Interview

What three words would you use to describe your Company Programme experience?
Entrepreneurial, insightful and inspiring.
In more detail, tell us about your journey (what was your product/what was your role/learning experiences)
Back in 2011, starting out with a team of around 17 people, we recycled our school’s paper waste to create a paper-mache pot, providing organic herb seeds and a compost disk to enable customers to grow small plants in their own home. Our company was called ‘Sow Good’ and our tagline was ‘Sowing seeds for a sustainable future’.
We offered three main products ranging from £3.49 - £8.99 in price, with two of the offerings allowing customers to request customised designs and patterns on their plant point. Each pot was hand-crafted and hand-painted making it a very labour intensive process. We also managed to build our own website and generated a small amount of sales from across the UK.
I was voted in as Managing Director (MD) half way through the year and managed to steady the ship to help drive our team to win numerous awards at a regional and national level. I personally also went on to win the IoD Managing Director of the year award and was asked to present at the IoD’s MD’s annual award ceremony at The Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews.
How do you feel the Company Programme helped you prepare for life after school?
For me, the company programme provided a safe but challenging learning environment to understand some of the skills that are fundamental in business. As a team we gained exposure to working with different suppliers, business advisors and contractors at a very early stage. This helps you to develop communication skills to work with different types of stakeholders.
What has your journey been like post-school? (University/Employment/life experiences)
On reflection, my experience with Young Enterprise Scotland undoubtedly steered me into studying Accountancy and Finance as I developed a stronger interest in business through the company programme. I have since gone on to become a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA) training with EY (Ernst & Young) in Glasgow, before finally graduating in March 2019 with ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland). More recently, I have joined PwC working in Transaction Services within our Deals team.
What advice would you give to anyone setting out on this journey?
1. Build and use your network. Map out who do you currently know and what type of individual or organisation do you want to get to know.

2. Say yes (or should I say YES) to opportunities that come your way. Even if the outcome isn’t what you thought it would be, you will learn.

3. Don’t plan too far ahead. I think being open to new ideas and opportunities will lead you to gain experience and know more about what you want in the future.

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Our Vision is for Scotland to be a place where all young people are given the opportunity to have a rewarding future in work and life - no matter where they start
their journey.

Our Mission is to inspire & equip all young people to learn, develop and reach their full potential through enterprise.

In everything that we do, we will work with the following values: Integrity, Enthusiasm, Creativity & Collaboration.

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