Inspired to Make a Change
PROVO, Utah – Feb 05, 2021 – After his younger brother was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident, Easton Johnston decided to reexamine his life. He did so partly to honor his brother and partly to find greater fulfillment in his work. Now an MBA student at BYU Marriott, Johnston looks forward to making a change in his career and making a difference in other people’s lives along the way.
Shortly after graduating in 2014 from BYU Marriott with a bachelor’s degree in human resource management, Johnston began his career at FranklinCovey doing sales and consulting work. Although he enjoyed his work, Johnston realized his main passion was doing internal HR work. His younger brother Spencer Johnston, who was about to graduate from BYU Marriott’s School of Accountancy when he died in 2018, inspired Johnston to take a step toward changing his career for the better.
“My brother had a lot of goals and aspirations while I was simply ‘going with the flow’ in my career,” he says. “In memory of Spencer—and also for myself—I decided to go back to school and earn my MBA.”
While deciding which MBA program to enter, Johnston ultimately chose BYU Marriott. “The deciding factor was discovering that The Princeton Review ranked BYU Marriott's MBA program number one in its "Best MBA for Human Resources" category. So getting my MBA in HR meant that I would receive a world-class education and learn at a place that supported my family focus,” he says.
Since entering the MBA program in 2019, Johnston has encountered unexpected challenges. However, through the help of BYU Marriott’s network and resources, he overcame and grew from these obstacles. “For example, I had an internship offer for a company in the energy and gas industry rescinded in 2020 because of COVID-19,” he says. “I initially panicked, but then I reached out to my network. People stepped up and helped me find another great internship. Troy Nielson, my HR advisor, and other BYU Marriott mentors were instrumental in helping me. Due to their help, I was fortunate to receive an offer from MediaKind, a tech telecommunications company.”
As a second-year MBA student, Johnston now hopes to provide the same support for other students. Johnston currently works as the head of the BYU MBA Sherpa program. “As sherpas, we act as mentors for first-year MBA students to help them learn the ropes and find companies to talk with. Helping my fellow peers and working with a great team has been a meaningful experience,” he says.
Johnston has also learned about his value from the many ups and downs he has faced. “I learned that you don’t need to be better than anyone else to make a difference,” he says. “Sometimes we think that we are not good enough to give back, but I’ve found that everyone can give back. Sometimes, depending on their willingness, an inexperienced person can do better than someone who may be more technically qualified.”
After he graduates in April 2021, Johnston and his family will move to Texas, where he will work for ConocoPhillips. He plans on applying the principles he has learned at BYU Marriott—such as giving back and helping others—throughout his life. Wherever he goes, Johnston hopes to continue pursuing goals that would make his brother proud.
Media Contact: Chad Little: (801) 422-1512
Writer: Emily Atwood