Vanderbilt Accelerator 2007
Founder & Chief Investment Officer at Steel Vine Investments, LLC
After his junior year at Vanderbilt, Spencer Patton considered pursuing an internship related to his interest in financial markets. Instead, he decided to enter Vanderbilt's four-week Accelerator program, where he concluded he could gain more new skills and contacts—and meaningful opportunities to contribute—than a typical undergraduate summer internship provides.
Accelerator, says Spencer, who double-majored in economics and psychology, was just what he sought—not least because the team format involves practical, real-world projects for real companies that participate in the program.
As a member of one team, Spencer helped make a presentation to the senior management of Delek US Holdings—who were sufficiently impressed by what they saw that the company hired him as an intern for the remainder of the summer. At Delek, Spencer was empowered to work on “real projects” that “provided a tremendous amount of resumé-building materials.” That experience, in turn, helped him land a job upon graduation with KPAC Solutions, a respected, 17-year-old private equity firm that focuses upon acquiring and turning around distressed and underperforming manufacturing and industrial businesses. In addition, Spencer manages assets for accredited investors totaling more than one million dollars in a portfolio based upon a model that he developed during his time at Vanderbilt. The portfolio generates its returns from the equity, commodity and currency markets.
“Unquestionably,” Spencer says, “Accelerator taught me to dig deep and deliver something that is high-quality and on point to senior management anywhere in the world.”