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.
What year was 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, and I remember having to take two bus journeys 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 2011-12. In addition to this, I have 1 cap for Wales.
The one thing I have learnt playing rugby is that values play a massive part in rugby. It taught me about teamwork, pride and respect of others and it shaped me into the person I am today.
After my career in rugby, I knew I wanted to start my own business, and I knew it was going to be in food, as it is my passion. It all started when my wife brought me a sausage maker at Christmas in 2008. Fast forward, I am now the co-founder of The Jolly Hog, alongside my two brothers. I believe I have took everything I have learnt in rugby into my business. Everyday I am learning different things, having to 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 had some great memories from St Brendan’s, and if it wasn’t for St Brendan’s, I generally wouldn’t of got into rugby. I have a lot of respect for my previous teacher Mr Gee, he pushed me in the right direction and encouraged me to use 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 couldn’t thank him enough for the amount of support he gave me at that time. You know you will always remember that one teacher that you will never forget, well 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 have been given the opportunity to play rugby for so many years and also get paid for doing something that I love. 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.