Why GPS: Finding solid ground after years overseas
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
By Philip Voris, 2018 MIA candidate | GPS News
I started at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) in fall 2016. Ten years prior, I had embarked on an overseas journey, finally closing the book on my short career as a dot-com engineer.
I had studied mass media and wanted to understand it from the inside, which I did. However, I also had studied language and politics, with the hope of someday teaching. It was time to get out and understand the world.
Stepping into my new life in Japan, I ceased using English outside of work and slowly wrapped my head around not just how that society functioned, but why. I gained the confidence to feel confident that I was on the right path and had the experience to offer something to others. What I lacked was the academic scaffolding upon which to build the career I envisioned.
When I returned to the states, it was not back to my prior role in the San Francisco IT world, but to a position helping teach folks who worked with the mentally ill now omnipresent in the city.
Surrounded by M.A.’s of all stripes, their advice informing my efforts, I evaluated my options for graduate school. Having experienced firsthand the difference a global, Pacific-focused outlook could bring, I wanted to be put in contact with others who embraced this value.
Still driven by the practical application of classroom knowledge, I wanted a school that was focused on solving the real-world problems of our time using strong evidence-based approaches rather than theory in isolation.
Surprisingly, the list of schools that met my requirements was short. When I received word of my acceptance to my first choice, I was thrilled. When I later learned that through the independent diligence of GPS I had been selected to receive a Sylff Fellowship, I was flabbergasted. It was as though I had spotted land after years of travelling by sea.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
The program has the mix of theory with technical problem evaluation that I wanted. In fact, it has so many opportunities to grow that the biggest challenge may be choosing where to focus my limited time resources. Even in that, I am grateful to have the input of a cadre of professors who candidly offer their advice and support.
The people at GPS: professors, colleagues and staff are the most encouraging, open and motivated people I have met. Each brings something I didn’t know I needed in my life until I met them.
Living, studying and enjoying holidays with my colleagues, I am more aware than ever of how unique this experience is.
GPS students nominate one another to contribute to this series. Read “Why GPS: Pursuing a different tune,” authored by Adriel Taslim, 2018 MIA candidate, who tagged Voris to write this excerpt.
- Alumni-nominated spotlight: Alisha Tomita-Yu ’16 of Oracle
- Student group puts focus on China
- Decoding the Hong Kong protests – and more
- Is the MPP the right degree for me?
- Through knowledge we gain understanding
- Mapping a cleaner San Diego
- A day in the life of a NCAA Woman of the Year Honoree
- Nirupama Rao defines the future of Indo-Pacific relations
- Winter reading for the bibliophile
- Alumni-nominated spotlight: Booz Allen Hamilton consultant Maura Deignan
- Leading from the front
- Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies expands research on drug war and migrant crisis
- A marriage of policy and advocacy
- Decarbonizing the grid
- Sylff Fellows translate vision into reality
- Stanford study finds poor air quality responsible for one in five infant deaths in sub‑Saharan Africa
- Office hours: Associate Professor Jennifer Burney
- Class of 2018 graduates embody global citizenry and leadership
- Science Policy Fellows program nurtures effective interdisciplinary scholars
- Building cross-border relationships
- Geoengineering a greener future
- Sponsored Student Spotlight: Adnan Saygili
- Celebrating academic excellence
- Painting the picture of an MPP student’s day
- Gregory Lee looks at the future of digital health and technology
- A sustainable seafood hero
- Pass the pen: Alumnae nominated spotlight
- Campus recognizes alumni as leaders and changemakers
- Innovation in mobile technology
- Ian Johnson chronicles the rise of religion in China
- Writing the book on China’s economic policy
- Broadening horizons through international experience at BCG
- Office hours: Professor Gordon McCord
- New evening option for working professionals
- China's infrastructure investment as a development strategy
- Rethinking the war on drugs in Mexico
- Creating theoretical frameworks
- Nurturing future leaders at TechPolis
- The future is female
- Jamal Russell Black on Veridian Analytics' entrepreneurial spirit
- Love is in the air
- A day in the life of an MCEPA student
- Health and human capital
- Eduardo Porter finds journalistic inspiration at GPS
- Technology assessment at the nexus of STEM and policy
- IGCC receives coveted UC research grant
- Battery storage at the center of energy policy
- Researching how humans and the environment interact
- Office hours: Professor Ulrike Schaede
- Fighting wildfires with web based imagery
- United we dream
- Our 2017-2018 Boren Fellows
- Applying game theory to study behaviors
- Students craft views on climate change at COP23
- Molding future technical experts
- Why GPS: A niche in life
- The art of entrepreneurship
- Solar energy and pursuing the policy dream
- Social entrepreneur and first time author Ken Davenport ’90 of “The Two Gates”
- Why GPS: Discovering a passion for all things math
- Our 2017-18 Dean’s Fellows
- A Living, Learning Laboratory
- A ‘Prep Program’ for success, before day one
- Office hours: Professor Gordon Hanson
- Adding to a truly interdisciplinary academic environment
- Why GPS: Apply now and figure it out later
- Sponsored Student Spotlight: Noritoshi Kurokawa
- West Coast-Trained for a Washington, D.C. Think Tank
- Linked in Latin America
- Facilitating a ‘family affair’
- Nico Ravanilla retreats to Oxford for research
- 2016 alumni remember their first year in the real world
- Pioneering international excellence
- Research at the border: A living laboratory of transformation