Bryan Metzger, who graduates this June with a degree in international relations, says his major allowed him to explore his interests in international security and the Middle East through its wide array of course offerings.
One course that particularly stands out is POLISCI 114S: International Security in a Changing World, which he took his sophomore year. “In many ways, I consider this class to have been the real introductory class for international relations, as it provided me with the theoretical frameworks through which to view the international system as a whole,” he explained. “Thus, as I continued to take other classes at Stanford, I had a set of concrete theories and ideas that guided my analyses of both regional issues and historical events.”
As he looks back on the last four years, one of his favorite experiences was spending a quarter abroad at Oxford University. “I became acquainted with a different (and in some ways, more challenging) academic system while deepening my understanding of the Middle East and Persian Gulf region. This program offered me both academic and personal growth, and in some sense I'm grateful that the IR program mandated that I spend a quarter abroad,” he shared.
During his time at Stanford, Bryan also served as a research assistant to Andrew Grotto, the William J. Perry International Security Fellow at Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center. Additionally, he wrote a thesis while participating in the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) honors program. While the coronavirus pandemic has significantly disrupted his senior year, he says the silver lining has been having ample time to prepare his thesis on "Information Warfare in the Middle East."
Next year, he is looking forward to starting a coterminal master’s in journalism through Stanford’s Department of Communication. “I am most proud of having the courage to change career paths in the middle of my senior year,” he shared. “After coming to the realization that I was not interested in government service, but rather journalism, it took a fair amount of self-reflection and consultation with professors to come to a decision. Now, I couldn't be happier to be pursuing the journalism co-term next year.”
His interdisciplinary major has helped prepare him for his master’s program in many important ways. “International relations allowed me to explore both political science and history, which has equipped me with an ability to analyze events and phenomena through numerous frameworks and approaches. I hope to bring this way of thinking with me as I begin to pursue journalism!”
Please join us in congratulating the class of 2020! As the academic year draws to a close, we are highlighting students graduating from across our 14 programs. Click here to view more student spotlights.