Where are they now – Jarrod Rouhan (SPC 1993-98)
November 30, 2021
The College recently reconnected with Old Collegian Jarrod Rouhan (SPC 1993-98), who has enjoyed a successful career in the design and digital world and met his wife through his continued love of rowing. Jarrod talks about the staff who have inspired him including teacher Peter Ryan and Br Breach’s words of wisdom.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
After finishing at SPC, I went onto study Design at Ballarat University for four years. This was largely before the internet existed… so the core of design then was in what is called print.
My first role out of university was with Quiksilver as a men’s wear designer. I pretty much spent my mornings surfing, then go to work in Torquay to draw and paint all day and make t-shirts. Best job ever!
I then spent some time travelling around Australia for about six months, driving all around Victoria, New South Wales and southern Queensland. I met some extraordinary people on my travels and had some life changing experiences, quite possibly the best thing I did in my early 20’s.
From here I had the travel bug and went to the UK for four months. I made my way to Oxford where I was very fortunate to land the job of Men’s and Women’s first VIII rowing coach at New College for the college rowing season. Founded in 1379, living in the college was like being in Harry Potter (they actually filmed the movie in the College’s of Oxford University)
On my return to Australia, I moved straight to Melbourne to work in the design industry again. Here I worked as a Graphic Designer for about 12 years. I got to make TV ads, billboards, magazines, packaging and clothing for some unbelievable jobs.
As technology began to advance more, smart phones, internet, apps, I made a career change around 2012 and put down the design tools and became an Account Manager. From here I would evolve again after another four years into a Project Manager working solely in digital projects.
I now manage teams across the globe in 12 different offices on large scale multi-million dollar mobile app projects.
I consider myself fortunate to be able to work in the creative/technology industry. I worked on many great projects and clients like the AFL, NRL, Telstra, Omega watches, 7-Eleven, Porsche, Mazda, BMW, PwC, Penfolds wines, Dan Murphy’s, R.M. Williams and Nike.
I still reside in Melbourne and have an amazing wife and two kids, aged 6 and 10.
How is the ongoing coronavirus pandemic affecting your work and industry?
I am fortunate that my industry, specifically my role managing projects, has not been severely affected by the current pandemic. Working in the digital industry, there is a strong demand for business, governments and organisations to either upgrade or transform their current practices to new digital platforms or services.
Do you have family ties with SPC?
My family has a long tradition of attendance at SPC. As well as attending myself, my younger brother also went to SPC – Nicholas Rouhan (SPC 2001-05, PY2006). My father (Francis Rouhan) and his brother (James Rouhan) attended SPC around the late 1960s to early 1970s. My grandfather (Thomas Rouhan) had also attended in the 1940s.
What are your fondest memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
My fondest memories were always around the annual ‘Boat Race’. I was fortunate to be a rower at SPC and participated in five Head of the Lakes. The buzz around the school in the weeks leading to the event was always electric, and the day before was always exciting. The Boat Race assembly, march to the boatshed for one final session with the cheer squad, and the well wishes from fellow students.
I also still manage to get out in a boat now and then these days with Melbourne University Boat Club.
Incidentally I met my now wife at a rowing regatta in 2005.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
I hear he is actually still around: Peter Ryan! He was young 20 years ago… He always had a passion for teaching and would explain by doing to ensure you had grasped what he was showing you and why. He also had a great energy and sense of humour.
How has your education shaped your professional life?
On my first day of Year 7, our class had a talk from Br Breach. A great man and great servant of the school community for many decades.
He talked to the young class about what it means to be a part of SPC and what is expected of us. He explained that it didn’t matter what you wanted to do or be in life after leaving the school, just be the best at it. You could be a teacher, doctor or even plumber, it doesn’t matter, but don’t just be any doctor or plumber, be the best at whatever it is you want to do.
He instilled in me a sense of having passion for what I want to achieve in my life, both my career and family life.
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
The core values I gained from my time at SPC were honour, integrity, loyalty and respect. These values were developed from my many teachers and classmates through my time, not only in the classroom, but through the sporting endeavours I pursued at SPC.
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to fail. You are going to experience many obstacles in life, highs and lows. The biggest learnings I have received in life are from when I have gotten in wrong. Sometimes if you don’t take that leap of faith into the unknown and try something different, you won’t get the rewards from attempting something new.
If it doesn’t work, that’s ok, try again or a different approach. But just don’t give in.
I’ve had many failures and low points in my life, but I am a better person for them.