My first name is Mary-Patton, or MP, as many of my friends (and those unfamiliar with the Southern tradition of double names) call me. I currently live in San Francisco and work on the product strategy and business operations team for personal finance startup NerdWallet. In May 2016 I graduated with my MBA at the Wharton School with a major in Entrepreneurial Management and lived in San Francisco as part of their Semester in SF program focused on tech and entrepreneurship.
In the summer of 2015 I interned for African Leadership Network-Ventures scaling one of their FMCG portfolio companies, Stawi Foods & Fruits, in Nairobi, Kenya. My areas of expertise lie in strategic management, business operations, marketing, and communications. For the majority of my career I’ve worked to scale startups or restructure existing organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa. I recently co-founded the LeadUp to provide immersive experiences for young leaders to reflect on their values, align their goals with their actions, and develop holistic leadership skills through positive psychology and mindfulness training. Check us out!
While my background is in marketing, I have a penchant for entrepreneurship, wellness, and technology in developing countries. Prior to Wharton I lived in Rwanda for 2.5 years working as Director of Creaxion/Ogilvy, the country’s largest advertising agency. After founding Yego Yoga Rwanda, I became hooked on empowering people to pursue health and wellness. My interest in technology grew from my work in creating Creaxion’s digital marketing department and managing several major telecom clients in Rwanda. I’m also passionate about technological innovation in emerging markets, and shifting the conversation from #firstworldproblems to #thirdworldsolutions.
While living in Rwanda I also taught horseback riding lessons, climbed a volcano in Congo, and hung out with gorillas. My older sister founded the Akilah Institute for Women, which is how I wound up in Rwanda in the first place. Before returning to the US for my MBA, I backpacked solo through Southeast Asia and India to film a travel yoga video series called Global Fusion Yoga.
Things I like: learning foreign languages, yoga, website design, pomegranates, freediving to 70 feet, crossword puzzles, and bubble tea, not necessarily in that order. I also really love to sing – check out the recordings from my band in Rwanda below! (Or on my Soundcloud page here)
Questions? Blogpost requests? Pieces of unprecedented wisdom? Share them with me at MP@MPisforMaryPatton.com.