Alumni Perspective: Nipun Vaiyda, Class of 2016

Getting connected with the Maine Mentor Program through the Career Center can prove to be an invaluable tool for University of Maine students. For 2016 graduate Nipun Vaidya, the program was a helpful resource and something he became part of as well.

Originally from Nepal, where his family still resides, Nipun enjoys soccer, drawing, traveling, and cooking. He speaks four languages, and has travelled to 11 different countries, which created a wide array of opportunities for him when it came time to think about college. When considering higher education institutions Nipun wanted a university with a strong Accounting and Finance program that offered excellent opportunities for financial assistance. UMaine met both of those requirements. The Maine Business School’s AACSB certification along with the friendly, knowledgeable faculty drew him in and the International Tuition Scholarship he received sealed the deal. In addition to his education, Nipun created many fond memories, lasting friendships and recalls the three years he spent on campus as being “the best” of his life.

While at UMaine, Nipun’s favorite class was Advanced Cost Accounting with Professor Wendy Coons. While most of his accounting courses centered on theory and involved a lot of “number crunching”, Professor Coons’ unique curriculum allowed Nipun and his classmates to be actively engaged in their learning. Students created products from scratch, accounted for the raw materials used and amount of hours put into the production. This experience allowed Nipun to learn how cost accounting applies to manufacturing companies, which directly correlates to pricing and costing decisions.

In addition to being one of his favorite professors, Nipun credits Professor Coons with helping him forge the right connections and is very grateful for her assistance. She connected him with mentors, which led to his first two internship experiences. In addition to Professor Coons’ mentorship, Nipun had great experiences with other faculty on campus, and believes the strong curriculum with a focus on preparing students to enter the workforce helped him meet his goals. The skills he developed in communication, leadership and teamwork enabled him to feel prepared and confident during his job search. Nipun landed a position as an external auditor with Ernst and Young. Down the road, he plans to pursue graduate studies and to work as a consultant. Nipun encouraged UMaine students to take advantage of all offered opportunities. While college should be fun, he reminded students to take their academics seriously and to make the most of their education.

Nipun learned about the Maine Mentor Program from BJ Roach, the program’s coordinator. He had encountered some frustrations while searching for an internship, and BJ connected him with mentors who were UMaine alumni working in his field of interest. Nipun’s mentor was employed in the field he wanted to work in and was able to share job searching strategies, reviewed Nipun’s resume as well as worked on interview preparation with him.

Now a Maine Mentor himself, Nipun was motivated to give back to the program because of the wonderful experience with his own mentor. He recognized the difficulty of a job search and wanted to help others navigate what can be a confusing process. Since he has been through a job search before, Nipun can offer many of the same benefits his mentors gave him. He is also happy to share his industry knowledge and connections with other UMaine students.

Chelsea Stanhope
Career Counselor