Oliver Kohn (Ex international rugby player & co-founder of The Jolly Hog)
Attended St Brendan's 1997 - 1999
Subjects studied: Business Studies, Art & Design, Theatre Studies and Psychology.
When were you at St Brendan’s / What subjects did you study?
I was at St Brendan’s 21 years ago and I studied Business Studies, Art & Design, Theatre Studies and Psychology. I was living in Winterbourne at the time and it was a big move for me. I remember having to take two buses to get to St Brendan’s, but it was totally worth it.
What did you go onto do after St Brendan’s?
After St Brendan’s I automatically got a contract with Bristol Rugby (now Bristol Bears Rugby). I then moved to Harlequins and won the English Premiership with them in the 2011-12 season. I also won a cap for Wales.
One thing I have learnt playing rugby is that values play a massive part in the sport. It taught me about teamwork, pride, respect for others and it shaped me into the person I am today.
After my career in rugby, I wanted to start my own business, and I knew it was going to be in food, as it is my passion. My wife brought me a sausage maker at Christmas in 2008 - fast forward to today and I am now the co-founder of The Jolly Hog alongside my two brothers. I have taken what I learnt at St Brendan's and in rugby into my business. Every day is different and I face the ups and downs of any business owner, but I really enjoy it.
How did St Brendan’s support you to get to where you are today?
I have some great memories from St Brendan’s, and if it wasn’t for the college I would not have got into rugby. I have a lot of respect for my teacher Mr Gee, he pushed me in the right direction and encouraged me to reach my potential. He saw something in me, I had the build and the determination so he trained and ran with me every Tuesday around the college grounds and I can’t thank him enough for the amount of support he gave me at that time. There is always that one teacher that you will never forget, well for me that was him, Mr Gee.
What piece of advice would you give to current students?
Whatever you decide to do after your studies, you’ve got to feel passionate about it. I was lucky to be given the opportunity to play rugby for so many years and also to get paid for doing something that I loved. I always think of what Eddie Jones says to his players, “get comfortable feeling uncomfortable.” The transition from playing rugby every day to going into the real world at the beginning was difficult, but I believe you have to put yourself in these situations to get to where you want to be in life.