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John Menges

United States Army
MBA Candidate, Class of 2023
Owen Graduate School of Management

“The Bass Military Scholars Program is a great opportunity to give back to the Vanderbilt and Nashville community after serving in the Armed Forces.”

Tell us about your military service. What did you do? Where did you serve? What do you value the most about your military service?

I served as an Artillery Officer in the US Army. During my time in the service, I first served as a Fire Direction Officer for Bravo Battery, 3-320th FA BN, 3BCT, 101st ABN. During this time, I deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel. Afterwards, I served as a Company Fire Support Officer for Alpha Company, 1-187th IN BN, 3BCT, 101st ABN, a Battalion Fire Support Officer for the 21st BEB, 3BCT, 101st ABN, and a Cannon Platoon Leader for Alpha Battery, 3-320th FA BN. All these positions were at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. I served in my final position as an Executive Officer for Alpha Battery, 1-30th FA BN, 428 FA BDE at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I value most the opportunities I had to work and lead amazing Soldiers throughout all the organizations I was assigned. They gave me the motivation to come to work with a hard work ethic and positive attitude every day. They also taught me a great deal about myself and how to lead teams effectively.

What are your thoughts on mentoring other students while at Vanderbilt? As a role model, what values do you want to share?

I am excited at the opportunity to mentor others while at Vanderbilt. I have gained a great deal of experience and knowledge during my time in the Army. I especially would like to share my leadership experiences as well as the times I have worked through adversity and hardship. I believe these experiences are highly transferable to the business sector and have great value for other students.

While at Vanderbilt, what will be the focus of your studies and how do you plan to use this knowledge in your future career?

While at Vanderbilt, I will focus on Strategy and Operations while at the Owen School of Management. I plan to use this knowledge to pursue a career in consulting. I plan to spend several years in consulting learning more about the private sector and interacting with a wide variety of companies and firms. Afterwards, I would like to transition to working with NGOs. I would like to use the knowledge I learned in the military as well as my time as a consultant to help these organizations help others throughout the world.

What would you tell other veterans about the Bass Military Scholars Program?

The Bass Military Scholars Program is a great opportunity to give back to the Vanderbilt and Nashville community after serving in the Armed Forces. The military-civilian gap is wider than ever. Being able to help bridge that gap while pursuing a graduate degree at Vanderbilt is an incredible honor and chance to interact with others who have little to no experience working with veterans.