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Student Spotlight

Championing Academics

High school age girl holds trophy for winning the women's soccer state championship.
Bronson played soccer all four years in high school.
Photo courtesy of Hailey Bronson.

Hailey Bronson was a champion high school soccer player. But Bronson, a junior studying information systems (IS) at the BYU Marriott School of Business, gave up competitive soccer to champion her academic goals.

From the time she was a little girl, Bronson spent much of her time on the soccer field. In her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, Bronson’s high school soccer team was state champion in 2018 and was the 3A national champion in 2017. Her team’s success allowed Bronson to have many unique experiences, including preseason training at Manchester City Football Club’s facilities in England and the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Florida.

Even as a high school student, though, Bronson did not envision playing collegiate soccer. Instead, she had other achievements she wanted to dedicate her time to. “I had such high academic goals that I knew academics would be my priority at the end of the day,” Bronson explains.

“Soccer was such a big part of my life. It was hard to leave behind that competitive outlet, but I find competition in other ways now,” Bronson says.

Although Bronson struggled to decide what major to pursue at first, she knew she wanted to study something that would allow her to solve problems. Her brother encouraged her to study information systems, but she remembered struggling with coding in high school. “I took AP computer science principles in high school when I was a sophomore, and I decided that I would never code or program again after that class,” Bronson shares.

A sister missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints poses in front of historical architecture in Germany
Bronson served a full-time mission in the Germany Frankfurt Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Photo courtesy of Hailey Bronson.

After deciding to major in mechanical engineering and finishing her first year at Brigham Young University, Bronson was called to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Frankfurt, Germany. The experience led to a shift. “I took German classes in high school and hated them. But when I was out in the mission field and was forced to use it as a way to communicate, my outlook on the language shifted. That experience taught me how to learn and how to love the journey of doing hard things,” Bronson admits. “Learning German for my mission was what taught me that I could do information systems.”

Just like German allowed her to relate with people on her mission, Bronson started to view IS as a type of language to connect with people across the world. “In this day and age, technology is the bridge between me and other people,” Bronson says. “Even though I still struggle to learn, I’m finding my way with information systems the same way I did with German because at the end of the day, it is all about people. If I am able to connect with more people because of what I am learning, I am more motivated to really learn the hard skills.”

Bronson stands in front of the Harvard Business School building in Boston.
Bronson represented the BYU Marriott IS program at Harvard Business School's Women in Business Conference in Boston in February 2024.
Photo Courtesy of Hailey Bronson.

Now Bronson combines her two passions—technology and people—by studying IS at BYU Marriott. “The information systems program is a way for me to connect with others but in a way that solves so many business problems in our world right now,” Bronson shares.

As Bronson goes through her first year in the IS program, remembering her purpose in choosing the major has helped calm her in the midst of school stress. “A core principle of mine is knowing why I started and why I am staying,” Bronson says. “And for me, I choose to stay so I can help build bridges between people and technology.”

In the rigorous moments of school and life, Bronson turns to Jesus Christ’s example for comfort and strength. “Christ’s example helps me to focus on why I am doing something before I even start, so that when things get tough, I have a vision of who I am going to become through the experience.”

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Written by Kacee Call

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