A Glimpse at Our History: Ambassador Bryan Lee on the MA in Strategic Studies (online programme), 2015-7

Bryan is a recent graduate of the Masters in Strategic Studies program at University College Cork. Before that, he earned a Masters in Development Practice from Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin and a Bachelors degree in Economics and Philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Bryan has previous experience in international development working in Rwanda and Tanzania. He is currently working at College of the Desert in California.

Bryan Lee Photo

Can you describe, in your own words, your experience on an Online Masters programme at UCC:

– What subject matter did you study that most interested you and why?

– How did that affect or help your subsequent career choice and path? How do you think it will affect or help your subsequent career choice and path?

My experience in the online Strategic Studies program has been engaging and intellectually stimulating. I decided to do an online degree because I wanted to continue my studies at a recognized university without taking a break from my career. Before entering this program, I had never taken an online module, yet alone an entire online course. However, I quickly found that the online format was convenient and easy to use, even from the US where I reside.

From day one, we were deeply immersed in the study of military history and strategy. We started off with a brief overview of military strategy before branching off into specialized topics. The modules were very fast-paced and consisted of self-study and multimedia presentations followed by weekly debate on the discussion forum. The discussion forum was one of my favorite parts of the course because it allowed me to engage with and discuss the week’s material with my classmates. This was especially valuable because many of my classmates had previous international experience in military strategy and I was able to learn a lot from them.

The module that I found the most interesting was the one about American grand strategy. I found this module interesting because American strategy has made a large impact on the world in the 20th and 21st centuries. I plan to write my dissertation about the strategic challenges that climate change will inflict on America’s military strategy. This issue is becoming more prevalent in today’s world and I believe that my background will give me a solid springboard for starting a career in government or at a think tank.

Do you feel your experience at UCC gave you a Masters that matters? If so, why?

My experience at UCC has given me a Masters that matters. The modules in this course have focused on many contemporary problems in military strategy, like terrorism, cyber warfare, and nuclear diplomacy. These topics are becoming increasingly prevalent topics in today’s world and are, unfortunately, misunderstood by the general public. My time at UCC has given me the opportunity to learn about these topics and critically examine their ramifications on society. I think that this degree has prepared me for a successful career and the things that I have learned will allow me to have a big impact on society

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