"It Takes Courage to Start, But Character to Finish"

Touro Law Center and GSB Alum Jonathan Z. Cohen Shares Insights on Succeeding in Today's Evolving Business Climate

August 07, 2023
Jonathan Cohen standing in front of Queensboro Bridge overlooking Manhattan
Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan embarked on his academic journey at Touro, driven to blend legal knowledge with business acumen. "My passions for personal and professional development were cultivated by Touro and still resonate in my professional practice today." Touro Law Center and Touro GSB provided the perfect platform to achieve this goal, offering an opportunity to pursue two degrees and learn from professors and students with remarkable work experiences.

But why Touro in New York City? "Touro GSB offered a premier location in Manhattan, which was an ultimate goal for me as a student, and in turn a professional, to get to NYC," Cohen explained. Additionally, he credits the challenging schedule of attending classes at night while maintaining a full-time job instilling in him a strong work ethic, further shaping his personal and professional development.

Currently, Jonathan serves as an Associate General Counsel for PNY Technologies, a computer and electronics manufacturer. This position entails multiple responsibilities including sales account management and security. Jonathan's success in this position is closely related to the lessons he learned during his time at Touro GSB. In particular, he fondly recalls his Organizational Management course as developing his insight into an organization's broader economics and internal structure. Similarly, the MBA Capstone class (MBAN 695) equipped him with the necessary skills to adapt to changing environments and serve effectively within a global company.

Reflecting on his time at Touro Law, Jonathan takes pride in his role as president of his mock trial team. The team orchestrated community-building events hosted engaging panels with prominent attorneys and organized an intra-school competition to showcase the talent within their institution. These initiatives eventually led to an “honor society” status for the trial advocacy program, leaving a lasting imprint on the Touro Law Center. Jonathan also led the team to a victory against Yale University in an intercampus competition.

When it comes to the key traits and qualities that have propelled Jonathan to a successful career, he notes many he fine-tuned during his time at Touro including integrity, consistency, perspective, and adaptability. Integrity and aligning personal values with his professional vision is fundamental to his career. Consistency played a significant role in his commitment to balancing a demanding schedule and fully immersing himself in his academic and professional pursuits. A keen sense of perspective and approaching situations with an opportune mindset, allows him to tackle challenges head-on and solve problems effectively. Adaptability has been a constant thread throughout Jonathan's diverse experiences. It has enabled him to navigate industries and embrace the changes brought about by changing times and advancing technologies. 

With an eye toward the future, Jonathan encourages aspiring business professionals to identify patterns and cycles in the world around them, allowing them to anticipate opportunities and potential pitfalls. “Whatever your venture is, it will take courage to start, but character to finish,” Cohen stated while encouraging individuals to have a clear vision of their future selves and to embody that vision in every aspect of their lives. 

In the face of doubt, Jonathan recommends harnessing uncertainty as fuel. “Let people doubt you. Then leverage doubt to fuel your work product so you can step into whom you are supposed to be, the very person you envisioned in your mind all along.” He reminds aspiring professionals to stay true to their goals, despite skepticism and naysayers along the way.

Jonathan's story serves to inspire current and future Touro students, business professionals, and leaders. His podcast, insidetheinspired.com, invites you inside the minds of inspirational professionals to “explore the intersection of physical fitness, mental toughness, and professional success.” Jonathan combined the skills and expertise he obtained as a law and business student at Touro to carve a successful path and leave a lasting impact in his dual discipline field.