Rajmilan Poudel is University Canada West’s Valedictorian for Summer 2022.

Born and raised in the beautiful hills of eastern Nepal, just below the Himalayas, Rajmilan was going to medical school and on the verge of becoming a doctor. However, he decided to change the course of his life and turned his passion for food, travel, people, emotional engagement and cross-cultural exposure into a career.

“Fortunately, this allowed me to travel around, make new friends and learn invaluable social skills,” he said.

Rajmilan, who is known as Milano by his friends, completed his undergraduate studies at Tribhuvan University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management and was named the Goodwill Ambassador of his graduating class, and received the Best Research Paper and Academic Excellence awards.

Before coming to Canada in 2020 to pursue his MBA degree at UCW, Rajmilan worked as an event coordinator in Nepal and co-founded a startup, which piqued his interest in furthering his education in business and management.

He arrived in Canada in December 2020 and started his studies in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, completing his first three terms online. However, he was able to finish his final two terms on-campus and earned straight As throughout his program.

“I had so much fun exploring and learning different business dimensions along with Canadian, and global, traits and trends,” he said.

During his Valedictorian address to his fellow graduates during the July 14 ceremony at BC Place, Rajmilan shared the happiness he felt getting to see his classmates in person.

“It’s an absolute moment of bliss, recognizing one another at first glance and sharing smiles as if we have known each other for ages,” he said, going on to recount the challenges of earning a degree during a global pandemic.

It’s wonderful to stand here and relive the memories of the past two years. We set out on this journey on an utterly unchartered path, full of uncertainties,” Rajmilan said. “We graciously accepted and excelled with online learning when the world was traumatized by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Kudos to all of us for fueling this journey with selfless love, unshakable dedication, immense resilience and enduring passion.”

Before the ceremony, Rajmilan said he felt blessed to be chosen as Valedictorian.

“I am honored to represent my class, which has such a broad spectrum of talent and professionals, who resiliently thrived through the last two challenging years.”

Published on July 14, 2022.