Intern Blog

Principles to Live By (Especially in a Pandemic)

Jan 29, 2021

Great People First, Teamwork, Competitive Spirit, Courage, Adaptability, and Optimism. These are the principles of Cohen & Company. You could see these terms as just words on a paper or you could do something so much better with them; you could believe in them. These simple fundamentals are not just pretty sounding words that help attract clients and employees to the company. They’re powerful ideas that should be adopted into our lives. Let’s start with “Great People First”. People are the lifeblood and energy of any great company and Cohen is no exception. From the CEO to the newest intern, the people who come into work every day and share their life with the company are most the important part. I think every company should base the decision to hire a new employee on what kind of person they are. Anybody can learn the technical skills, but it takes a great person to really impact the company.

The next principle is teamwork. I can’t think of a more important trait in today’s work environment than being able to collaborate, share ideas, and listen to others. Life was not supposed to be lived alone, the same goes for accounting. We need each other to complete projects and take our success to the next level. The importance of this is even greater due to the pandemic we are currently living through. Now people can’t meet up with each other, have face to face meetings, and talk to clients in person. We must rely on technology and our social skills to make up for the lack of in person interactions. Those who have strong teamwork and social intelligence will succeed while those who are inefficient at communication will take a detrimental hit to their business.

The third principle is two for the price of one, competitive spirit and courage. Competitive spirit is what drives innovation, invention, and success. True competitive spirit is not malicious or of bad intent. Instead, it pushes yourself to become the best person you can be. In result of this, it also pushes your co-workers to put out their best work and grow as a professional. Courage ties in with the idea of competitive spirit. It takes a lot of courage to give a project your all knowing that it could be heavily criticized. Out of all these “Cohen Qualities,” I believe courage is the one we need the most. Courage to speak up, create change, and challenge outdated tradition.
I feel like a broken record at this point, but adaptability is necessary in today’s society. It seems like it’s either you adapt, or you get left behind. Cohen has done a tremendous job at adapting to what can be considered as the future of how we work. Never in a million years would I have expected to be writing this blog from my bedroom. When I thought of my first internship, I expected to be in a loud and busy office every day. I do come into the office a few times a week, but it does not have the feeling that I was expecting. I had to quickly adapt to this new situation and create new expectations. Even though the office is not the same, the people in this company are still present, bright, and full of life. This just further proves my point that a great company is not the building, land, or product; it’s the people.

The final principle is optimism. It’s not easy to be optimistic when it seems like the world got turned upside down, but now is when we need it the most. There is really no point of optimism when things are going great. Optimism is not hoping good things will happen in the future; that is foolish thinking. Optimism is believing in the future because you are willing to put in the work to get there. I am optimistic for the future because I think that even though we have faced many tragedies this last year, we have grown not only as professionals but also as humans. It is important in unprecedented times like these to remember the great things we still have. As Anne Frank said, “I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”

I know that Cohen and I are willing to put in the work through competitive spirit, courage, adaptability, and with the help of great people in order to achieve our optimistic goals.