Bansal emerges as potential leader on campus

Pradyut+Bansal+strikes+a+fierce+pose+while+modeling+a+funky+fresh+shirt.+The+class+of+%E2%80%9917+approves+of+his+mystical+ways+and+elected+him+to+MCSG+with+an+astonishing+number+of+the+class+vote.+The+tribe+had+spoken.

Pradyut Bansal strikes a fierce pose while modeling a funky fresh shirt. The class of ’17 approves of his mystical ways and elected him to MCSG with an astonishing number of the class vote. The tribe had spoken.

Pradyut Bansal strikes a fierce pose while modeling a funky fresh shirt. The class of ’17 approves of his mystical ways and elected him to MCSG with an astonishing number of the class vote. The tribe had spoken.
Pradyut Bansal strikes a fierce pose while modeling a funky fresh shirt. The class of ’17 approves of his mystical ways and elected him to MCSG with an astonishing number of the class vote. The tribe had spoken.

Ask anyone who knows Pradyut Bansal ‘17–and there are many who do, as he was elected an MCSG Freshman Representative with 45.6 percent of the vote in September–and they’ll tell you he seems to be everywhere.

“He’s the person that is in six places at once at all times,” said Sally French ’17, a close friend who met Bansal on the Macward Bound pre-orientation program. “He legitimately just hops around from person to person, knows every single person on campus, but…in a way that he actually cares about the people.”

MCSG President Kai Wilson ’14 experienced Bansal’s zany, welcoming brand of friendship firsthand at an outdoor MCSG retreat, when Bansal and his phone’s strobe light somehow managed to turn a quiet night under the stars into a dance party.

“Slowly more people came down to where we were hanging out,” Wilson said, “…and everyone just started dancing and going really hard on this MCSG retreat and it was hilarious. You would not have expected it.”

Wilson, who was clear to add he sees this same potential in each of the five Freshman Representatives elected to MCSG, said Bansal has a lot going for him.

“He’s very outgoing, but at the same time very honest, and it’s cool to see that in a first-year for sure,” Wilson said, adding that Bansal’s also “not overconfident… He shares his mistakes and I admire that.”

According to Francesca Zepeda ’15, one of Bansal’s Macward Bound leaders, Bansal’s outgoing nature isn’t so simple though.

“He wants to know people not just so people know who he is, but he wants to know people and make connections with them…” Zepeda said.

“Especially when you first get to college there’s that pressure to just be friendly and say hi to everyone, but he really invested himself.”

The idea of taking initiative, whether it’s meeting people or running for student government, is not something new to the Bangalore native. He describes his parents, a HR consultant and a wealth manager, as incredibly hardworking business people who always put an emphasis on independence.

When Bansal was in high school, he decided it would be a worthwhile challenge to start a one-man baking company to support some charitable cause.

“I wanted to do something good with the money, I just wasn’t sure what to use it for,” Bansal said. “Eventually I realized that the best way to probably help the community and help anybody is to educate them.”

Bansal attended a private boarding school for eighth and ninth grade before switching to a public school. Some local children didn’t have any access to public school however, so after repaying his parents’ start-up loan, Bansal donated his profits—nearly $2,500—to cover the private school tuition of five underprivileged children.

It comes as no surprise that Bansal, who on certain days spent nearly 12 hours in the kitchen, demonstrates a similar commitment to his fellow students and has said that helping others is one of his most important characteristics.

“If you ever needed me at one in the morning and I was dead tired, I would still help you out,” he said.

First-years like French and Jeffrey Perala-Dewey ’14 describe Bansal always making time to help others with homework.

“We do lots of small group work, and he is always an active participant in these collaborations,” said Professor Andrew Beveridge, who teaches Bansal’s Discrete Mathematics class.

Zepeda said Bansal was always trying to help in their Macward Bound canoeing group, which was nicknamed, fittingly, Pradyut’s Brownies.

“I don’t know what our trip would’ve been without Pradyut…” Zepeda said. “Every day after lunch he would get all the kayaks ready and pack all of them and pull them out. Obviously we were helping him but he took initiative in a way that was very impressive.”

For his part, Bansal knows being able to accomplish his goals of helping others won’t be simple.

“Suddenly being thrust into [MCSG] is not easy,” Bansal said. “It takes time to understand the procedure, understand a committee, what a committee does…”

But he relishes the challenge.

“It’s been hard but I think it’s worth it, especially if MCSG can expand its reach a little more…so it has direct influences on students,” Bansal said.

Knowing Bansal, that recipe for success might not be far away.