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Wade Patten

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

“I applied for the Bass Military Scholars Program as meaningful way to give back to the greater community. What I did not expect was to be joined to so many remarkably accomplished and humble individuals who are eager to help others in any way possible.”

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

Over my career in the Marines, I spent four years in Force Reconnaissance before transitioning to an instructor position at the Marine Special Operations School to conclude my 5th year of service. Unfortunately, my time in the Marines ended early due to injuries sustained, but the experiences I had made it worth it to me. What I value most about my time in the service is learning to embrace and find joy in adversity. While taking the road less traveled, it took me far too long to learn to enjoy the journey while staying present now, focusing less on the end state.

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

I am always open to assisting others in any way I can. In more recent years, I have started embracing a new motto of “Risk everything, regret nothing.” I think this is a principle that many could benefit from. Many people self-select themselves out of doing something or create excuses for why now isn’t a good time to expand. I believe that simply becoming vulnerable with oneself and being okay with failure is essential. To me, the biggest sin is simply not trying. This process has allowed me to complete a full 140-mile Ironman this year, get into Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management, and obtain my civilian skydiving license.

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

My primary area of study while at Vanderbilt is Strategy and Finance. Upon graduation, I plan to use this degree to pursue a career in Management Consulting. This will allow me to take the lessons derived in the military about operating in ambiguity and creating an abstract solution to complex problems and combined them with the hard skills gained through institutional education to assist companies in solving various issues.

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

I applied for the Bass Military Scholars Program as meaningful way to give back to the greater community. What I did not expect was to be joined to so many remarkably accomplished and humble individuals who are eager to help others in any way possible. If you have any doubts on if the program is a fit, all I would say I reach out and talk to some of the recipients.