Jonathan Byrt

Jonathan Byrt

Jonathan Byrt

  • Degree Bachelor of Commerce
  • Current position Co-founder & Director at memobottle Pty Ltd

As co-founder and director of the social and environmental sustainable business, memobottle, my role is broad and ever changing. My key focus areas are accounting, strategy, campaign development and relationship management. Our customers, retailers, agents/distributors and suppliers are the lifeblood of our business, so it’s important that they’re nurtured.

My Commerce degree at Monash gave me the necessary skills, knowledge and perspective to start memobottle. The techniques I gained – for time management, lateral thinking and efficiency/effectiveness – have helped me juggle the requirements of being a chartered accountant and a CEO.

"I never thought I would be interested in geography, but I took it on as an elective. It developed my interest in conservation, which ultimately led me to where I am today."

Prior to starting memobottle, I spent many years within the four walls of the traditional 9-5 workday (or 8-10, depending on the time of the year!), so it’s extremely important to me that memobottle is a flexible workplace. While our head office is in Melbourne, our employees are encouraged to work remotely and the hours that are most efficient for them. We are passionate about what we do and it’s important that we have every opportunity to be inspired and work to our strengths.

As a young teenager, I visited my cousin at Harvard University and developed a strong interest in business, and when I finished high school, I thought I wanted to be a management consultant. I wanted to solve problems, but I also knew I wanted to be well rounded.

With so many interests, I struggled to put them into a single profession, but the Bachelor of Commerce really fostered my curiosity.

Although I majored in accounting, the broad nature of my degree ultimately provided me with crucial skills that I frequently use in the day-to-day running of our business - from the creation of marketing campaigns, costing and pricing new products, to managing our financing and investment.

Halfway through my Commerce degree at Monash, I took on a six-month voluntary role with AFL Cape York to promote healthy and sustainable lifestyles within disadvantaged communities, foster motivation amongst Indigenous youth, work on football development and education, and organise community-based funding and activities. This was a profound and life-changing experience for me.  It gave me greater perspective and opened my eyes to issues that I had little knowledge of up until that point.

My advice to current commerce students is to put yourself out there and take on new experiences. I never thought I would be interested in geography, but I took it on as an elective. It developed my interest in conservation, which ultimately led me to where I am today.

The Alumni community has provided me with networks and mentors. Running a business can be overwhelming at times, so having people available to bounce ideas and share thoughts and advice with is important.