Ari Cohen. Loan Officer. Rise Asset Developments.

In pursuit of a path Ari Cohen thought he was supposed to take, financial success, the corner office and status- Ari slipped further into addiction until he hit rock bottom. His transformation to Purple Sheep is so inspiring because it reminds us of the power of resilience. One of the most amazing things about his career story is the courage and conviction Ari had to move forward and redefine career success by happiness instead of dollars. Now, as Loan and Outreach Officer for Rise Asset Developments, a non-profit that provides micro loans and business support to people with mental health and addiction challenges, Ari truly is successful.

Can you describe your role?

I’m a Loan and Outreach Officer at Rise Asset Developments. I work with the clients on their ventures- everything from providing advice to helping with business plans and cash flow statements. I am also responsible for doing community outreach which involves educating the community on what our programs do.

What’s a typical day like? 

There’s no real typical day, some days I could be out doing presentations to community organizations, meeting with clients or potential mentors. Other days I’m sitting at my computer, working on business plans.

Can you describe your career path? 

I got my MBA 12 years ago and jumped into finance world right away. I kind of became an accidental accountant over time but, to be honest, I hated it. I myself am a recovering addict, so in pursuit of the path that I thought I was supposed to take, financial success, status, and the corner office, I slipped further and further into my addiction, until I hit rock bottom. For a long time, I was defining success by dollars- how much I was making, or what car I was driving. I came to realize that I now define success by happiness- and as long as I can put food on table. I’m just over 5 years now clean and love working at Rise Asset Developments.

What do you find most fulfilling about your job? 

I get to take people who I can empathize with and literally change their life. They come in and can get a loan for $2,000 and they are more grateful than anyone I’ve ever seen, and more committed to the process- so it’s the feeling I get from that. In previous jobs, I could literally save a client $12 million dollars, but didn’t feel like I was adding any value at all.

Other than paycheque what is biggest perk?

The feeling of telling someone they got approved for a loan. Without a doubt the greatest feeling I’ve ever had professionally. Just being able to help someone and see them be successful, like when I get a call telling me that they made a sale, I’m just so happy for them.

Interested in Rise Asset Developments? See what it’s like working at Rise.



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