Stories from Our Community

Why GPS: A cross point to connect the dots

As part of an ongoing series, we give students the creative liberty to opine on their favorite memories from the School and “why GPS” is a solid fit to pursue their graduate education

May 9, 2017 | By Shunichi Muto, 2018 MIA candidate | GPS News

The UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) is a place I can connect all of the dots in my life. Now, I’m not trying to sound like Steve Jobs. This expression just best describes what GPS is to me.

When I was pondering master’s programs, I struggled finding what defines me and my academic interest — I’m a Japanese guy studying Spanish in the U.S., with knowledge of economics, statistics and conflict resolution. There seemed to be no program which fully matched my diverse background and academic interests.

Then GPS popped up in my Google search.

Prior, I had applied to five other programs mostly on the East Coast. GPS’s amazing mix of international studies and quantitative methods — and Spanish! — fascinated me.

I had no doubt about choosing GPS when I got the acceptance offer.

Since arriving here for Summer Prep, all aspects of GPS — academics, student clubs, faculty research, friends and so on — have assured me that my decision was right. Everybody at GPS is ever-growing, including all of the faculty members.

GPS is a cross point of the East and West; North and South; theory and practice; and science and humanity. Being able to stand at this cross point and connect my own dots is what gets me excited to come here and study every day. Here, I feel that nothing in my life is wasted, but rather that everything is integrated to produce more academic ideas and motives.

Shunichi MutoI am increasingly passionate about econometric analysis, and my goal before graduation is to complete at least one piece of econometric research and publish it in our Journal of International Policy Solutions.

Also, I have been fortunate to serve the GPS community as VP of finance for GO GPS. Though it requires much commitment to make sure all our financials are handled healthily, I find it more and more enjoyable and rewarding.

I want to continue expanding my academic horizon, and thank all the amazing classmates who are always encouraging and stimulating me.

GPS students nominate one another to contribute to this series. Read Why GPS: Finding the awe in other ways of life,” authored by Juan Pablo Feregrino, 2018 MIA candidate, who tagged Muto to write this excerpt.