On January 30, Trent alumnus and CEO of Pita Pit Global, Chris Fountain ’94, addressed approximately 30 business-minded students at Bata Library. His talk, Adventures in International Business from a Canadian Perspective, gave insightful glimpses into global entrepreneurial opportunities for students and young grads. In doing so, he joined a long list of Trent alumni who have returned to the University to pass on their wisdom and share their experiences.
The CEO of Pita Pit Global, Mr. Fountain has many responsibilities as he guides the fortunes of the restaurant franchise’s 600-plus outlets to the satisfaction of his partners. That makes his clear commitment to the success of Trent students, via his involvement with the Life After Trent mentorship program, all the more impressive.
Life After Trent Networking Sessions encourage upper year students or recent graduates to meet Trent alumni who have transitioned from university to the work force. These are informal, in-person sessions where students receive tips on networking, listen to the alumni experiences, and can talk to them. Mr. Fountain has mentored students the past two years.
“I didn’t have a mentor, so I went through a lot of challenges and mistakes,” says Mr. Fountain, who graduated from Trent’s Economics program the year before Pita Pit’s humble beginning as a single outlet in Kingston. “When I was asked to be a mentor, I thought it was a great opportunity. Hopefully I can help some entrepreneurs prepare themselves for the future better than I did.”
Mr. Fountain’s talk made quite an impression on students.
“It’s cool meeting alumni who have met great success and have made a place for themselves,“ noted Philosophy student Izy Seymour. “It’s good to know that students and young alumni are all going in similar directions, with expectations to find a career – and to hear how others found theirs. It’s also good to hear that your degree major doesn’t have to limit the career you choose. That your degree opens up options.”
For his part, Mr. Fountain, who opened his first business when he was just 21 years old, says giving his time to Life After Trent is rooted in his appreciation for the life and business lessons he learned while at Trent – lessons that still apply today.
“Trent taught me how to learn, how to keep my mind open, and how to adapt to anything that’s thrown at me. My time at Trent has been instrumental to my success.”