Gardner-Webb Community Fosters Lasting Friendships, Academic Excellence

Print Friendly

Chris Farthing ’09 Excels in Graduate School and Banking Industry

Chris Farthing ’09 appreciates the professors at Gardner-Webb who prepared him to excel in graduate school and business, but he is even more grateful for the lasting friendships he formed at the University. “Despite time and distance, the best friends I have right now are still the ones I made at Gardner-Webb,” he observed.

His decision to attend GWU was based on the students he met while interviewing for a scholarship. “The interview was my first visit to campus,” Farthing related. “While all of us nervous high school graduates-to-be were waiting for our interview times, some current GWU students were mixed in with us, playing board games, hanging out, and trying to help take the edge off our nervousness. That moment really did it for me. Seeing students go out of their way to be helpful and friendly was an early indicator of what I still like most about Gardner-Webb. Gardner-Webb has great people, both students and faculty, and I wanted to be a part of that culture.”

Because his father is in the banking industry, Farthing had an interest in business and started out as an economics/finance major. After getting a work study position as a tutor in the math lab, he realized that he liked helping others work math problems. His sophomore year, he switched his major to math education, but then found out he couldn’t complete the degree in four years. He could, however, double major in math and economics/finance without adding extra semesters. Combining the two degrees also prepared him to continue his education.

“When I started looking at graduate programs, I realized that statistics as a field of math can be applied in many areas and would allow me to blend my interest in business with my math skills,” he reflected. “Gardner-Webb’s math program and professors prepared me well for graduate school and my career.  Now I’m working as a statistician in the financial services industry, and I can definitely say there are lots of opportunities for folks with that background.”

After graduation, he earned his master’s in applied statistics at UNC Charlotte. He is pursuing his doctorate in applied statistics and working at Ally Financial in Charlotte. “I lead a team that audits statistical models that are used to make predictions,” Farthing explained. “We make sure they were developed correctly and are used appropriately. I like it because I get to see a variety of modeling methodologies and ways people use statistics to attack business problems, so it keeps my skills sharp and helps challenge me to keep learning new things.”