Connor Mallon

Washington D.C. City Impact Manager/Photographer

The Mission Continues/Smithsonian Institution

Find me online:

“I help empower, inspire, and mentor veterans to help them get involved in their communities.”

MY ROUTE:

The Curved Road

MY WORK LIFE:

Washington D.C. City Impact Manager/Photographer

foundation interest 1 interest 2

My work allows me to combine the foundation of TEACHING / MENTORING and the interests of NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS and ARMED SERVICES.


DAY IN AND DAY OUT

At The Mission Continues, a great workday consists of us putting on an event, knocking it out of the park, and getting really good feedback from the community. Whenever I hear that one of our members has taken the resources we offered to them and done something awesome with them—whether they find a new opportunity or job, or they enroll in or graduate from school—it just fills me with joy. As a contract photographer, a great day means capturing a powerful image and putting it out into the world.

SKILLS, TRAINING, OR EXPERIENCE NEEDED

You need the ability to tell a story, especially because my career requires me to deal with primarily volunteers. I don't have any rank to throw around like I did in the military, so I have to rely on my speaking and storytelling abilities to capture these volunteers' imaginations and inspire them to get involved. I think that speaking abilities are important in any career field, in fact. In addition, I make it a habit to stay really organized and to write down my goals as often as possible.

EDUCATION TO GET HERE:

Washington D.C. City Impact Manager/Photographer

I RECOMMEND COMPLETING:

  • High School
  • Undergraduate - Political Science and Government, General
  • Associate's Degree / Some College

What I studied STRONGLY RELATES to my work...

MY EDUCATION

  • High School -
  • Undergraduate - George Mason University, Political Science and Government, General
  • Associate's Degree / Some College - Northern Virginia Community College

SOME HELPFUL FIRST STEPS FOR SOMEONE IN COLLEGE

In college, it's not so much about what degree you get; it's more about learning certain things that you don't learn in the military, like knowing how to network, being able to form an argument, practicing critical thinking. All of those skills were incredibly important for me to learn. In addition, in college you get to be around people who are ambitious and proactive, and making things happen. Choose the right circle of friends and their drive and energy will transfer over to you.

HURDLES I OVERCAME

THE “NOISE” FROM PEOPLE

“You have to take this job because it's respectable; it's what you *should* do.”

HOW I OVERCAME THE “NOISE”

There's an existential philosophy called "bad faith," in which people give up their freedom of choice and instead bow to societal pressures, doing what they think is "the norm." The truth is that there is no certain way to do things; we're all just making it up as we go along. The world wouldn't have an Elon Musk or a Bill Gates if everyone just continued doing what they thought they should do. Instead, realize that you have something more to offer the world, then step up and exact your vision.

Service Background and Insight

What branch of the military did you serve in?

Army

When did you complete active military service (ETS)? Please specify the year (YYYY).

2008

What is the highest rank you reached while in the service?

Sergeant

What are some tips you would recommend for someone transitioning into civilian life?

What you did in the military does not define you; you shouldn't forget your friends or experiences, but at some point, you do have to move on. You have a lot more to do and a lot more to offer the world; it's not what you did, it's what you're doing.

As many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war. Have you experienced PTSD, combat stress, or TBI as a result of your service?

PTSD

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