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Alumni Success Story: Gabe Farris '14
It didn’t take long for alum Gabe Farris to figure out what Tallulah Falls School was all about. He came in as a senior and immediately felt welcome and a part of the TFS community. He quickly discovered that at TFS, the objective is to teach students how to learn. “The first time I felt like I really learned how to learn was at TFS,” said Farris. “Having that going into college was huge because learning how to learn is one of the most important life skills. It set me up to do very well in college and to jump into the workforce. I still use that same kind of mindset.”
The biggest thing that stuck out to Farris was how welcoming everyone really is at TFS. “Sports were such a big part of school for me,” said Farris. “I spent a lot of time with Coach Neal. You don’t find people like Coach Neal at the high school level. He is a lot of fun, but he is a very serious man. It taught me to be serious in certain situations – to know when it is time to get serious about certain things.”
Gabe was serious about pursuing a career in finance. When Gabe graduated from TFS in 2014, he attended Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina. He was able to graduate early from college with a B.A. in business administration. He went straight into the workforce at Southern Bank in North Carolina. Farris was promoted out of management training to begin working as a lender. From there, he was promoted to branch manager over two banks.
Soon after, Farris was hired to do accounting for a Jersey Mike's Franchise based in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is the largest franchise in the Jersey Mike’s system, with 69 locations. Farris is responsible for accounting, payroll, human relations, and more. “From the time I started until now, we’ve added over 20 stores. In the last payroll, we paid 1,090 people.”
Farris says he uses a calculator for everything. “It is fun because accounting and finance are a mix of many jobs,” said Farris. “I have the freedom to do the accounting, but I get to mix it with finance looking forward.” Farris has the freedom to look at numbers and make suggestions. “It is a lot more fast-paced than banking which I like,” he said.
In 2019, he earned his MBA from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Farris has been married for three years to Bailie. In their free time, they like to travel to unique places. They recently traveled to Japan.
Farris’ advice for current TFS students is this: “ Enjoy life. Enjoy the place where you are. Have fun. Enjoy learning new things. Be in the moment,” said Farris.