Connor Mallon

Connor Mallon

Washington D.C. City Impact Manager/Photographer


The Mission Continues/Smithsonian Institution

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
After completing high school, I worked as a tae kwon do instructor & took community college classes.
After two semesters of school, I decided my heart wasn't in it, and so I joined the Army.
While I was overseas in Korea, my dad passed; that inspired me to do something greater with my life.
Eventually I started questioning why we were at war; I felt disillusioned by my military experience.
When I got out, I took what I'd learned in the military and studied political science with passion.
After graduation, I pursued my interest in photography, and found my fellowship at the Smithsonian.
For a long time, I'd wanted to do volunteer work; eventually I acted and joined Mission Continues.
Getting involved completely changed me; I work with such an amazing, inspirational group of people.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
George Mason University
associates
Associate's Degree
Northern Virginia Community College
Career

Career

Washington D.C. City Impact Manager/Photographer

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

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Armed Services
Armed Services
Teaching / Mentoring
Teaching / Mentoring

Day to Day

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 & Qualities Beyond School

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.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

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.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
certification
Associate's Degree
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

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

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.