Concord Origin Story: John Carney

In the world of comic books, origin stories inform the reader of the identity and motivations of heroes and villains (thankfully, we only have the former here). Like Spider-Man or Captain America, your origin story is important as it defines who you are today. Learn about the experiences, people, and influences that shaped Concord's John Carney by reading below!

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Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Overland Park, Kansas. It’s a suburb of Kansas City about 25 minutes from Downtown. 

What is your favorite family tradition?

My family has a Christmas tradition where we make an extremely fancy dinner together on Christmas day and sit down to it in candlelight with the very fanciest dishes. It’s a very straightforward meal – beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes and gravy – but the effort that goes into it as we all work together to make it, and then getting to have a nice dinner just tops off the day. It’s what I always think about when anyone mentions Christmas. 

What is an experience that has shaped who you are today?

When I was in college, I was part of the team that won the National Lincoln-Douglas Debate Sweepstakes for the National Forensic Association. We were a small school up against the powerhouses with far more funding and coaching staff, but we came together as a team, worked extremely hard, and help each other up. It was a true example of seeing your hard work and faith in your teammates pay off, and I still look back on those days extremely fondly. To this day, I credit debate with helping me find my confidence as a young person. 

How did you end up in your current career?

This was a bit of a wild ride. As part of my Political Science degree, I had the option to focus on “methods”, as they called the statistical methods used in the Social Sciences. In a serendipitous moment, when signing up for that statistics class, I entered the wrong code and ended up in a Survey Design class (the wrong one). I fully intended to switch, but I was hooked on the first day of classes. After that, I took every statistics class I could fit into my schedule at Truman and applied for a master’s program in Statistics. On about day three of graduate school, I knew for sure I was in the right field. 

What is your favorite hobby?

I tend to jump between hobbies, but lately, I’ve been getting back into minor woodworking (it takes quite a bit of time to build up a full shop). It’s wonderful to work with my hands again, especially after working on a computer all week!

What is your greatest accomplishment?

I’m extremely proud of earning my Statistics master’s degree. As someone who was not originally mathematically inclined, transitioning into that field after earning a social sciences degree was quite difficult. It took a lot of long nights and stress to play catch-up with my peers in the program. In the end, I graduated on time and felt on top of the world. 

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Sometimes “good enough” is, in fact, good enough. 


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