AUP Community Blog

How the GPS Program Helped Me Tell My Story

Motse Kuswani '22

Motse Kuswani '22 used the GPS Program as an opportunity to pave a pathway from his student leadership experiences and personal values to his dream career.

By Motse Kuswani

When I started AUP, I knew I would be applying to law school as a postgraduate student to earn my JD in order to pursue a legal career. I was certain about what I wanted to do and why I wanted to achieve it. However, one piece of the puzzle was missing: how exactly would I get there? This question, like many questions revolving around career growth and development, is multifaceted. I soon came to the realization that I needed specific tools to support me through my degree. How would I define success? How would I do right by myself and my career goals and values? And, most importantly, how would I stay fulfilled and maintain a sense of happiness in my career?

Enter the Global Professional Skills (GPS) Program. The GPS Program bridged the gap between my academic degree and the professional world. With the help of GPS coordinators and advisors such as Darcee Caron, Lilyana Yankova and Vester Smith, I was able, slowly and steadily, to understand the connections between these two seemingly close, yet in practice distant, realms of my life path. Although I started GPS late, the program has been and will continue to be an eternally rewarding part of my AUP experience.

From the initial Designing Your AUP workshop to the final Designing Your Narrative workshop, the GPS Program equipped me with tools and skillsets that bolstered my academic journey. The program helped me visualize and realize what I seek to gain from the goals I have set and helped me communicate the values I hold dear. From identifying strengths and weaknesses and channeling them into concrete objectives to using my academic and personal journey to curate what are known as STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) stories, my GPS experience has made me appreciate just how much growth I’ve undergone while at AUP.

Most importantly, I was able to mobilize all the work I had done both in a curricular and extra-curricular context in my career path. While studying for a double major in international economics and politics, philosophy and economics, and while working intensely as a student leader, I developed many valuable skills such as growth, leadership, cultural intelligence, critical thinking and analysis. Thanks to the GPS Program, I was able to take these individual pieces of the puzzle and assemble them to create an image of who I am professionally and personally. The program coordinators helped me realized the ways in which club leadership opportunities, internships and academic research could help me stand out when applying to law school.

By far the highlight of my GPS journey was my GPS Narrative Panel Presentation. I was one of five finalists presenting a personal narrative that represented the culmination of our values, strengths and personal objectives; it was nothing short of one of the most rewarding experiences of my time at AUP. Though nerve-wracking, the experience allowed me, finally, to paint a picture of who I am, which goals and values I’m fighting for, and how I define success, all while using the tools I gained from the program’s various Design Thinking Workshops.

My narrative contextualized my initial drive in coming to AUP before heading to law school as a way to fight for justice and change within – and by representing – my community. Presenting my story in this way gave me insight into who I am and who I wish to be as I pursue my passions in law. The GPS Program was an integral part of my AUP journey; I truly wouldn’t be as aware of who I am today if it wasn’t for the support of my advisors. It was not only complementary to my studies; it was an essential part of my growth and goals in college.