Ronald Johnson II
“I’m a curious adventurer with an affinity for life.”
Hometown: Orange County, California
Fun Fact About Yourself: My dad was attacked by a Great White Shark and was on Discovery’s Shark Week. Yes he’s fine.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Southern California – BA, Economics
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: US Army – Senior Operations and Logistics Manager
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Imperial’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school? Why was it so important to you? By far, it was their focus on innovation. Imperial College Business School has embedded innovation into their core coursework, electives, career journey, and even their infrastructure, with a brand-new campus fully devoted to bringing students, faculty, and professionals together to create ideas that will change to world. Imperial’s focus on innovation was important to me because it showed me that they cared more about how you are going to make an impact on the world, rather than how you got here. Coming from humble beginnings, this was the culture I was looking for to start the next chapter of my life.
What club or extracurricular activity excites you most at this school? It was getting involved with the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment. Going to Imperial is like being a kid in a candy store if you are at all interested in STEM. The amount of world-class resources, academic talent, and organizations on campus is astounding. With ambition to enter the renewable energy industry upon graduation, the opportunity to work with some of the leading minds in the field within the Grantham Institute is incredibly exciting.
What makes London such a great place to earn an MBA? How have you taken advantage of London to further your business education? Diversity, resources, and access. London is, and forever will be, a global city. Studying here is a great opportunity to increase your cultural intelligence and your capacity for empathy as we all try to make the world a more inclusive and understanding place. Secondly, the resources in this city are endless – the financial institutions, human talent, and simply the creative inspiration. Whatever you need to propel your career forward is in this city. Lastly, access to politicians, global business professionals, and global academic minds is unmatched. Personally, I have already culturally immersed myself in the city with my classmates, tapped into the academic minds on campus, and met several professionals in my industry while grabbing a pint. You never know who you will meet at a pub here.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Before leaving the US Army, I was awarded the Order of Saint Maurice – a medal awarded to individuals who made an outstanding contribution to the infantry community during their service, and who represented “the highest standards of integrity, moral character, professional competence, and dedication to duty.” Being a part of the infantry community during my time in the Army was by far the most rewarding part of my experience. I will never forget the friends I met, the leaders I learned from, and the soldiers I had the honor of leading. Being recognised as a contributor to such a historic and decorated community was truly an honor.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? After being deployed to Europe with the Army in 2018, I found my way to London and had an overwhelming feeling that I wanted to move on to the next phase of my life. After I decided to leave the military, I could think of no better way to transition into my civilian career than to get an MBA. The natural transition was a perfect time to go back to school, refine everything I had learned thus far, and acquire new skills to propel myself forward.
What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? Getting accepted into the University of Southern California for my undergraduate studies was definitely my defining moment. After graduating high school, I attended community college to continue on my path to becoming a collegiate football player. One morning, I acted on a gut feeling and stopped playing football because I felt I had more to offer the world outside of the sport than in it. After I stopped playing football, I started to focus on the person I wanted to be, and the processes to take me there, rather than the goals that defined my life. That paradigm shift led me to a successful military career, and now on to Imperial. I plan to continue focusing on my processes during business school and I’m excited to see where it takes me next.
DON’T MISS: MEET IMPERIAL COLLEGE’S MBA CLASS OF 2021