Meet Vanderbilt’s Owen MBA Class of 2017

Patrick Bailey

Patrick Bailey

Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management

Hometown: San Antonio, TX

Undergraduate School and Major: Duke University, B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

National Football League (NFL) – Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans, Linebacker

Orbital Engineering – Intern, Sales and IT departments

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? The purpose of practice in the NFL is to experience what it’s like to play the game before you actually step on the field on Sunday. This meant learning the opponent’s tendencies so that I could react faster during the game. The same is true about the GMAT. Practice as much as you can before test day so that you can react with confidence when you’re presented with certain kinds of questions. Through the help from Magoosh Online Test Prep, I learned what the GMAT was looking for by working through tons of practice problems. I was then able to confidently attack the GMAT on test day.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? Think about what things you need to perform at your best. I knew that I learn better in smaller groups, and I also knew the personality traits of students whom I have worked well with in the past. I then looked for these things in the core values of business schools to narrow my search.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? I’m used to responding to questions verbally after games and with press interviews, so writing the essays was the hardest part for me. I am glad I started with that first because the essays helped me piece together my story and helped me come up with a rough blueprint on why an MBA would help me follow the career path that I want to pursue. The essays made me do my research on what happens post-MBA and what expectations and goals I could set for myself.

Also, I found it helpful to have people you know quiz me at random times with questions such as “why do you want an MBA,” “why this school,” and “what do you want to do post MBA?” This helped me come up with the reasons without any pressure. Then, I wrote down the important things I came up with in a journal.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? The personalization of a small class size and the personality traits of its students drew me in to Vanderbilt. The students are people who put their egos aside, are dependable, and aren’t afraid to work hard to become great. In football, these traits win championships.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? As an NFL player, I loved competing and being challenged every day. These challenges pushed me to grow as an athlete. During my time at Vanderbilt, I hope to be challenged in the same way so that I can grow professionally and tackle one challenge after the next.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.