Anthony “Ace” Patterson is a Haas MBA ’16, and the son of Jamaican immigrants. Born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Anthony has been exploring all over the world. He chose to pursue an MBA after a mission trip to South America where he had a realization that he could use the tools of business to bring development and restoration to communities across the world. Anthony chose to come to Haas for its culture, but equally important, Anthony wanted to go beyond what was normal and travel across the country to foster new relationships and undergo much personal growth. Well, and also to enjoy the wonderful weather the Bay has to offer. Anthony interned at Deloitte Consulting last summer and will be returning full-time. Outside of school, Anthony is a traveler and artist.
What drives and inspires you?
I think of this scripture: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” In all of my actions, I desire to represent myself as an ambassador of Jesus Christ. I also remember something I learned while I was in South America: “preach the gospel every day, and when necessary use words.” Every day I seek to embody that. I’m not perfect at it, but God is merciful.
How have you made the best of your time at Haas?
While at Haas, I have taken full advantage of what life and the program has to offer. Last semester, I traveled to Barcelona, Spain where I was able to explore the culture and really advance my Spanish. To make things even more interesting, I started learning French. Oui oui, to date I know 1,000 words. Spain is just one of the many places I have gotten the opportunity to visit while at B-school; I’ve visited 16 countries (and 25 non-US cities). Two projects that have allowed me to give back and go beyond myself were co-directing the national MBA Believers in Business conference in 2016 and leading a pro-bono consulting project to help rebrand and restructure a Haas-affiliated nonprofit education program. I also restarted making music and performing again, and, best of all, I’m planning to get married after business school in May.
Why music and what it means to you?
Ha ha! I always loved rhyming thanks to Dr. Seuss. By Kindergarten I made rhyming books and poems, and by the end of middle school, I started experimented with turning those same rhymes into rhythm over beats. My desire and passion for music grew from there. Music, particularly rapping, has always been a way of self-expression, authenticity, and telling a story. I’m particular with seeking to tell “non-fiction” stories. Music is a great medium for me to illustrate the things of life the way I’ve experienced it to be and dialogue with listeners in hopes to entertain, challenge, and inspire.
I hear you are also better known as “Ace”. How did you get this name?
I don’t remember who first called me “Ace” – but by 13 or 14 years old that’s how I was called. It was even on my High School diploma as my middle name because that’s what the administration assumed. Now it’s pretty interchangeable – although, I remember when I got my first real job post-undergrad and people were calling me “Anthony” – I wouldn’t respond sometimes. Took a while to get used to it. I think I’m fine now though!
Any words of wisdom for undergrads?
Chances are you don’t know what the future holds. Perhaps you don’t even know what you’re doing after graduation. That’s okay. I’ve been in those shoes. Five years ago I couldn’t even fathom the reality of me graduating from Haas. Never even on my radar. But life happened. Allow for life to happen in your life – the less control you try to have over it, the truer of a life you will live!
I couldn’t forget the most important question of them all. Do you have any songs out?
Yes I do! I started a new project called “Out The Wilderness” and released my first single from that last month called, “Truth.” I’m releasing another one from the same project this weekend – definitely be on the lookout for that! Everything can be found on my Soundcloud (http://soundcloud.com/acexpatt). And also my fellow classmate, Bomi Kim, and I made the “Official Haas Anthem” called, “YOHO” – everybody on campus has been singing that, which has been pretty dope!
If you haven’t run into Anthony, next time you see him at FIFO or the courtyard, say hello! He is one of the coolest, most genuine people you will meet at Haas. He truly enjoys connecting with Undergrads and sharing his perspective!