Last month, the University's Postgraduate and Research Students' Association's (PARSA) new executive team was sworn in. Over the next few months, we'll introduce you to each of the four new 2020 executives, starting with President Utsav Gupta.
What is your favourite movie and why?
Lord of the Rings trilogy is a movie series that I have seen multiple times and the level of detailing it offers in terms of imagination and perspectives astounds me each time. It would definitely count as one of my favourite movies.
What is one challenge you've experienced that you've had to overcome? How did you overcome it?
Breaking the norms of middle class society by leaving a well settled job with guaranteed growth in order to pursue further education in Anthropology is probably a big challenge that I had to experience in recent years. Despite a successful career, a constant struggle between the needs of intellectual pursuits and objective gains in life led to the sort of research that helped me in solidifying my arguments for undertaking such a risk. I consulted with people around me who genuinely care for my wellbeing including family and friends before taking further steps and communicating the risks appropriately. Needless to say it has paid off really well so far.
What is your favourite meal? Why?
I can consume a decent Kebab roll with grilled lamb, hummus, chilli and lots of salad repeatedly for days. Satisfies the taste buds each time!
Who inspires you and why?
There are many inspirational figures who inspire me but I would particularly like to mention A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Barack Obama here. I have always admired the unique combination of perseverance and humbleness which they possessed in addition to other skills. As a leader of some of the largest democracies in the world, they showed a composure and willingness to accept change as well as failure as long as it benefits the overall nation. These qualities can be hard to adopt but immensely effective.
What is a goal of yours for 2020?
As PARSA President, my goal for 2020 is to continuously learn from and positively contribute to the lives of the approximately 13,000 postgraduate and research students studying at ANU. We at PARSA strongly believe that this can be achieved by adopting a passionate and diligent approach directed towards our strategic themes of Support, Advocacy, Community building and Transparency. My new team is resolute in providing the student's voices to the University in an effective yet respectful manner and follow up with innovative activities/events. This year, we also vouch to grow PARSA's impact on the University's student community through additional endeavours like PARSA cycles (upcoming bike shop in Kambri), equity based catch-ups, and sports events etc.
Personally I would like to maintain a healthy work-life balance and appreciate the small bites of happiness through key relationships.