Mt. A lies within the beautiful landscapes of New Brunswick in the quiet town of Sackville, and holds a vessel of memories and experiences for countless students. For Mt. A alum Aakrit Kunwar, the halls of Mt. A hold a special place in his heart. For him, Mt. A was not just a university, but a place where he forged lifelong relationships, grew remarkably in his capabilities, and had experiences that placed him successfully in the esteemed corporate world.
As someone who knows Kunwar intimately, I have observed his attachment to this university with the strong emotions he expresses whenever he reminisces about Mt. A, going as far as calling it his second home. The interview process brought back numerous memories for him, and I observed his overwhelming delight when asked to talk about his time here. Aakrit’s experiences and recollections unravel the impact that Mt. A left on him, and the growing influence it continues to leave on him years after graduation.
Kunwar attended Mt. A from 2014 to 2018, and obtained a Bachelor of Commerce. When asked why he chose to attend Mt. A, he said, “Mount Allison University left a lasting impression on me when their representatives visited my high school in Nepal.” He noted former students’ enthusiasm and passion as incredibly persuasive. “As I delved deeper into what Mount Allison had to offer, the option to attend the university became increasingly clear. The combination of a welcoming community, academic excellence, and the genuine warmth exuded by its representatives made it an enticing choice for my higher education,” Kunwar said.
Currently located in Toronto and successfully working in finance, I asked him about how his experiences at Mt. A shaped his career path. “During my time at the Commerce Department, I was fortunate to witness the inception of an exciting internship program. This initiative opened doors for me, ultimately leading to a remarkable internship opportunity in Toronto,” Kunwar said. After he graduated, he interned at the company and moved to Toronto. “None of it would be possible without the support of the faculty and department,” Kunwar adds. To complement his statements, I asked him if there were any professors that had a significant impact on his success particularly, to which he stated, “All of them.”
As we continued the interview, he started to enthusiastically convey the growth he acquired during his time at Mt. A: “The knowledge in my field helped, but more than that I developed my critical thinking, research, and communication skills, […] Mount Allison emphasizes learning from a broad range of departments, and I think helped in making me a more well-rounded person in regards to my career.” After hearing this I immediately asked him if he had any career development or networking advice for current students to which he responded, “Mount Allison has a ton of resources so I would start by utilizing them. Don’t be afraid to reach out to potential contacts and put your name out. Remember, networking is about more than just jobs; it’s about building valuable connections and learning from others.”
After listening to all the positives about Mt. A, inquired whether there were any challenges that he faced here, to which he answered, “I moved to Sackville from Kathmandu. Being more than 8,000 miles away from home was challenging. However, thanks to the community and the resources on campus, I was able to adapt and grow. Over time, Sackville ended up being a second home which I cherish and miss.” He then expressed how his involvement in extracurricular activities and clubs positively impacted him, “I was involved with the MTA Soccer club where we organized pickup games on a weekly basis. It was a community of people who enjoyed the sport so we would all look forward to it. It was a nice break from the hectic nature of a student’s life.”
I also asked Kunwar whether he had any advice for current students at Mt. A, to which he responded, “Be involved! There are lots of groups and opportunities on campus to be involved.” He then started to reminisce about his time here, so I asked him what his go-to spots were here in Sackville. “Song’s was always a go-to spot for me and my wife. We would meet up during the day since we had very different schedules and stop for some yummy japchae and bibimbap.” I decided to ask him a sudden silly question to change the mood, “If Mount Allison were an ice cream flavor, what would it be and why?” to which he responded, “Pistachio — it’s not for everyone and it’s niche but for those who do [enjoy it] there is nothing quite like it.”
Moving on from reminiscing, I asked him, “If you had a time machine and could give your freshman self a quick pep talk, what would you say in just three words?”, to which he said simply, “Don’t skip class.” We conversed about Friday nights in Sackville, and he mentioned that, he remembers ““Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift would be playing everywhere on a Friday night.” As we laughed this off, I asked him how he felt about choosing Mt. A at the time, to which he gleefully responded, “Seventeen-year-old me didn’t make a lot of smart decisions but choosing Mount Allison was definitely one of the best ones.”
Running out of time, I had one final question to sum up our interview, ” What’s your favorite memory from your time at Mt. A that still makes you smile?” He smirked and responded, “Meeting lots of new people from all over the world was certainly a highlight. I met my wife during the first week of school and that always makes me smile.”
Since his graduation, Aakarit has spent five years working in finance. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario with his wife Myfanwy Jensen-Fellows, his rescue dog Tila, and his cat he rescued during his time in Sackville, Lulu.