As a commerce undergraduate at UNSW Business School, Jonathan Barouch (BCom’05) didn’t understand why he had to learn about P&L and other aspects of Accounting 101. He was interested in game theory within economics and finance, and didn’t particularly enjoy learning about the basics of business.
“Now ten years later as a business owner, I’m grateful for that knowledge,” said Jonathan, speaking to new UNSW Business School students at Orientation Week.
“I can read complex financial reports sent by my investors in Singapore, for example, and really understand how the business is working.”
Jonathan is the CEO and Founder of Local Measure, a location-based social media monitoring and customer experience management system. Starting his first business, Fast Flowers, at just 17, entrepreneurship has always been Jonathan’s focus. He ran the company for 11 years before its sale in 2010 to 1300 Flowers. Fast Flowers continued to grow while he was studying for a Bachelor of Commerce at UNSW Business School.
“I would take business calls between lectures,” said Jonathan.
“One particular day I kept leaving the tutorial room to take calls. The lecturer took me aside after class and I explained I was running a business outside of uni. Instead of reprimanding me, he invited me to speak to the class the following week about my company. That was the moment I realised the unique approach to learning at UNSW. It’s a place where you’re really encouraged to get out there and learn by doing.”
Jonathan’s advice to incoming UNSW Business School students is to make the most of every opportunity on offer including internships, volunteer roles, social opportunities and networking.
“Get involved. See where the activities are happening and put yourself there,” said Jonathan.
“Create relationships that will stick with you for life. Make friends with people outside your own faculty. When I was launching my first tech start-up and looking for staff, I wished I had made friends at UNSW with students from engineering and computer science.”
Jonathan is also passionate about ‘giving back’ to the UNSW community and supporting the current generation of students. He sits on the board of the new Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, is involved with New South Innovations projects and the UNSW student entrepreneurship program.
“Remember to give back to the community. Use what you learn to train the next batch of students coming through. It’s incumbent on all of us to help the next generation.”