Three recent Harding graduates made the cut out of more than 300 nominations to be a part of “The New Influentials: 20 in their 20s” list. Arkansas Business compiles a list annually of successful Arkansans who are in their 20s who have proven to be ahead of their time, have great responsibilities and have noted achievements.
Tyler Stafford, a 2007 graduate who made the list, is an equity research analyst for the regional banks sector at Stephens, Inc. in Little Rock.
“From an academic standpoint, Harding provided me with the finance and business building blocks that I needed to have in order to compete and excel in the finance industry,” Stafford said. “Professors such as Ellis Sloan and Allen Frazier instilled in me a desire to learn, what intellectual curiosity looks like, how to challenge my thinking and ultimately how to transition the classroom into everyday business application.”
Stafford shared his advice for students, reflecting on what he did during his time at Harding.
“Constantly be learning,” Stafford. “Always be studying, reading, or finding ways to outsmart and outthink your competition. Be willing to put in the extra time and the hours needed to outwork your competition. Stay humble and always ask for advice,” Stafford said.
Chris Cochran, a 2009 graduate, is now a Senior Manager of Corporate Sustainability for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in Bentonville.
Cochran chose to volunteer after for one year after graduation in Honduras with Care International. According to Arkansas Business, this experience helped him understand and make a difference with Wal-Mart and their food supply and in turn help farmers. Wal-Mart found Cochran to be a great fit for this position because of his understanding in this field.
Nathan Ray received his MBA in business ethics from Harding. He is now Director of Health Information Technology of Arkansas. This foundation works with healthcare providers in the state to comply with federal regulations for electronic health records.
Ray has received his pilot’s license and translates some of the checklists and protocol type skills he has learned through flying to his healthcare profession.
All of the young professionals who were honored by Arkansas Business have a few things in common: they have and continue to give their time by volunteering with various organizations. They are also very productive and organized with their time and take every opportunity they can to learn and do more.