Owen Jobson, MBA ’94: Owner/founder, Blue Rock BBQ
Jobson has positioned his business as providing “the best barbecue in town, great value, and ease of use.” Offering items such as smoked pulled pork and Alabama-style chicken, Jobson draws on the Southern tradition of barbecue as “a celebration of flavors, aromas, and good times with family and friends.” But Jobson’s motto is “barbecue without borders,” and so the menu also features Cuban pressed sandwiches and Indonesian beef-pineapple skewers.
Jobson attributes the Johnson School with helping him develop the necessary skills for his startup. In addition, he notes, “I said in my application that I was going to be an entrepreneur — so I had to make good on that commitment!”
Jobson remembers Professor BenDaniel mentioning that one path to potential success is to replicate something that’s working in another location. “We grew up enjoying pulled pork sandwiches at Buddy’s BBQ in Knoxville, and thought that folks in San Jose might like something similar.”
Words spoken by Frank H.T. Rhodes, then president of Cornell, at the MBA Class of ’94 commencement, also resonate with Jobson: “A successful life can be marked by something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for.” Says Jobson, “I remember this often, and would encourage folks to not wait too long to pursue dreams.”
-- Irene Kim