11 Oct 2016

MILE Alumni Profiles: Kholofelo Kugler

The MILE is a lot of hard work, but totally worth it!

Kholofelo Kugler, a trained lawyer from South Africa and graduate of MILE 14, says the programme was a “natural next step” when she discovered an interest in international trade law. She now works at the ACWL in Geneva that gives advice and training to developing countries on World Trade Organization law.

Tell us about your current job and what it involves?
I currently work as Counsel at the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL). My job involves providing legal advice, support in WTO dispute settlement proceedings, and training (capacity building) to our developing country members and least developed countries.

What was the first step on your career path after leaving the WTI?
Immediately after the MILE, I worked as a junior associate at WTI Advisors in Geneva providing trade policy advice on trade in services and technical assistance to developing countries on WTO matters.

How did the MILE prepare you for what you have been doing since?
I can safely say that without the MILE it would have been quite challenging for me to work in the field of international trade law. The MILE has given me a solid foundation upon which to build my career. The fact that our studies covered a wide range of topics in international economic law has provided me with the tools and confidence to know where to look when I am faced with something new.

What was it made you decide to embark on the MILE in the first place?
From very early in my university studies, I knew that I wanted to work in a field that is at the intersection of law and economics because I am very interested in how one influences the other. I thus pursued undergraduate studies in Economics and International Politics as well as Law and took courses that exposed me to the various aspects of international economic relations. I actually learnt of the MILE during my International Trade Law course in the final year of my LL.B. and kept it at the back of my mind. After a few years in legal practice, I knew that I wanted to specialise in the field of international trade law and at that stage, applying to the MILE programme was a very natural next step for me.

How would you sum up the MILE experience in one sentence?
It is a lot of hard work, but totally worth it!