“Instead of trying to measure an ever-changing world, I realized I wanted to learn how to make impactful decisions.”
Bryce Johnston, US
2nd Lieutenant, US Army
- Program studied
Taking opportunities to change the course of the future
Before the Master in International Development, Bryce was studying his undergraduate degree in American Politics and Arabic at the United States Military Academy, also known as West Point. He was intrigued by governance, national security and how the world is measured, so he read Poor Economics, which sparked his interest in international development.
During his time at the academy, he was fortunate to take part in Air Assault School where he learned to attach loads to helicopters and rappel. Having not come from a military family, the experience was a big adjustment for him. Life as a cadet was very regimented, but the experience showed him how to overcome challenges using grit, planning and hard work.
Bryce discovered IE University through his academy’s partnership with the Fulbright Program. He found that IE University offered four different tracks—governance, technology, finance and climate—and thought the governance and technology tracks would provide him with the tools to measure the world around him. Within a few months at IE University, his passions changed. As he made friends with people studying the MBA or the Master in Finance, he became intrigued by the financial world. Learning more about the world outside of West Point proved how life is not governed by the same rules as it was when he was a cadet. Instead of trying to measure an ever-changing world, Bryce realized he wanted to learn how to make impactful decisions.
Bryce particularly enjoyed the interdisciplinary nature of his program. His cohort was very diverse and the different courses catered to everyone’s unique experiences. In one class, he would hear firsthand about the intricacies of bond pricing, while in the next, his friends would explain legal issues in Latin America.
Bryce didn’t expect his program to be so closely linked with IE Business School, but he saw this as one of its strengths. He says that governments and NGOs don’t work in a vacuum, and it’s important to understand the power behind the private industry to address change. He has learned to be open to unconventional solutions when it comes to solving complex problems. He discovered creative solutions which he didn’t think were possible before coming to IE University.
At IE University, Bryce learned to be open to unconventional solutions when it comes to solving complex problems.
Bryce’s accelerated program was ideal for his career timeline, and he hopes to leverage his IE University resources and network to progress to the next level of his Army career. But he has so many new ideas to explore in the future; for example, he is fascinated by how we shape the environment—either physically or digitally—in positive ways. We hear a lot about how humanity is on the precipice of destroying the world with the technology we’ve created to make our lives more productive, but Bryce believes we can use our knowledge to shape the world into a better place. In the next five to ten years, he wants to be part of this endeavor by building the tools to make this possible.
IE University’s many clubs and groups mean there’s something for everyone outside the classroom too. Whenever prospective students ask Bryce about IE University he always tells them the same thing: be proactive about getting involved. In Bryce’s words:
“Seeking out opportunities early will allow you to make the most of your experience and help you discover a new passion.”
Bryce describes his experience at IE University as “eye-opening.” His program focused not only on the future but also on the past, thinking of solutions to the challenges that shaped humanity into where it is today. He started his program during the pandemic, but through discussions with his classmates, he realized that he’s in the middle of a point in history where it’s possible to change the course of the future.