Cougar Spotlight: Jeffrey Gutowski
By Jasmine Demers, Tukwut Life Student Assistant—Communication, 2016
Jeffrey Gutowski is a strong and active student leader at CSUSM whose dedication and hard work shines through in everything that he does.
A graduating senior, Jeffrey has strived to achieve every goal that he set in place with the goal of setting a good example for his peers. He came to CSUSM from Hemet and is finishing up his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in political science. He will be the featured student speaker at the College of Business Administration’s commencement ceremony on Friday, May 15 at 10 a.m.
What organizations are you involved in on campus?
I have been involved in many different organizations as I have forged my identity at CSUSM. My freshmen year I was heavily involved with CSUSM College Republicans. I walked door-to-door during elections, traveled to statewide organizations and networked with fellow organization members in southern California. My sophomore year I attended SDSU concurrently to join Air Force ROTC. While attending ROTC I joined the John Burdette-Binkley society, which is an intense extracurricular training designed to push cadets to their limits and create more effective leaders—it did both for me. I have also been involved with Model United Nations and competed in six conferences—one was in Washington D.C. and the other (the largest competition of over 6,000 students) was in New York. I remained undefeated in all conferences that I attended, taking home many top awards. I have also been very active in several different College of Business Administration organizations and taken advantage of internships and leadership programs.
What are your plans after graduation?
I am currently interviewing for a position with the global law firm Latham and Watkins in their downtown Los Angeles location. If hired, I will be rotationally trained in all business functions including business development, operations, accounting and finance, information technology and litigation services.
What will you miss the most about CSUSM?
I will miss being involved in the daily life and culture of CSUSM. I feel that this is my large extended family. As the ASI vice president of External Affairs, each day I do a job that I love. In addition, I will miss all of the classes because I love learning. I will continue reading books and listening to lectures to make sure that I don’t stop having this new insight.
As a commencement speaker and student leader, what advice do you have for your fellow graduates?
Often I feel that people don’t look at life in multiple points of view. It is so important to have goals that are short and long-term. If I were to talk to myself as an 11-year-old boy and tell him of all the things he would eventually accomplish, I can’t imagine he would believe me. Actually, I believe that that boy and I are so different that he would not even have spoken to me because I was no one he knew—we would have had little in common. And for this I consider myself successful and blessed beyond all measure.
Goals need to be taken day by day. We cannot look at our final goal and say, ‘well, it is unobtainable and too audacious, we will surely fail.’ In fact, most goals just take a little bit of dedication each and every day. This law of momentum is evident when looking at a tremendous mountain that you set out to hike. The first step is not difficult, the next step follows suit, after a while you are comfortable being uncomfortable. The sweat feels natural and your racing heart becomes a welcome feeling. After some time you turn around and you see the entire city underneath you and, in this context, you are successful, one step at a time. Life works just like this. There really are very few things in life that, after giving everything, failure will present itself. If you are willing to work, remain focused and pursue your daily goals, one day you will look back in amazement. Each day choose to take one more step forward, and remember the view is always the best from the top.