Current Student Profile: Alex Bansleben (Q18)

Interview Conducted by Sophia Wu (Q18)

Who is Alex Bansleben? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a junior in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in International Development and Conflict Management. Home is in Columbia, MD but I’m very excited to live in Varsity this year! Besides QUEST, I am involved in Engineers without Borders, I lead trips with Alternative Spring Breaks, and, for my side job, I drive busses with Shuttle UM.


From the summer agenda you outlined for us in the last issue of QUESTPress, it sounds like you’ve had a very memorable summer. If you had to choose the best memory, what would it be?
I know this is not the answer you want to see, but I can’t choose! My favorite part of the summer was the tremendous variety of experiences I had. From a soccer riot in Morocco to exploring tapas in Barcelona, from watching the sunset in Paris with my family to drinking Coca-Cola out of a Zip-lock bag in Nicaragua, all of the experiences were incredible and unforgettable.

As a second year QUEST student, you have decided to be a mentor for the new Cohort 19 students this semester. What motivated you to become a mentor?
There are a couple reasons, but the main one is that I loved my 190 experience and my team (Q-Tips represent) and mentor (Emily Pearson) and I want to help guide incoming students and show them what QUEST is all about!

In terms of QUEST activities, what are you most excited about this year?
The QUEST activity I am most excited for is one that doesn’t even really exist yet. I have been talking with a bunch of other students in Cohort 18 to set up a special QUEST spring break service-learning trip to Panama! The trip will take QUEST students to the country for a week with a specific focus on business and consulting with locals in a community. This is still being set up, so keep your eyes peeled for more info!

If you had to give one piece of advice to Cohort 19 about QUEST Camp, what would it be?
I have two pieces of advice. Number one is to avoid that high-wire crossing that has only a top and bottom rope and you have to push out on the top to move across. Seriously, that scared me. Also, it is never too early to really go out of your way and meet other people in your cohort. You will be with them for three years, so start making friends now!

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