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Darla Moore School of Business

  • Image of Connor Larson in cap and gown with two thumbs up

Marketing graduate honors active military, veterans with nonprofits

Moore School alumnus Connor Larson (’22 marketing, minor in USC psychology) was looking for a way to show his great appreciation for veterans, active military personnel and first responders; he chose to carry the American flag during the Wilmington Marathon in Wilmington, North Carolina, in February 2022. The flag Larson carried had the names of six charities dedicated to the military and first responders written on it.

“I showed gratitude for our veterans this way because the flag to me represents pride, sacrifice and freedom,” Larson said. “The people I ran the marathon for make sacrifices every day to defend our country.”

Larson said he wanted to represent the specific charities on his flag because of the awareness and programs they support.

“These organizations have emotional support programs, financial assistance help and a multitude of other services that make a huge impact on helping the veteran community,” he said. “Each nonprofit has a commonality of helping military service members and first responders who have made sacrifices for the United States.”

One of the charities Larson ran for is also his employer, Operation Deep Blue. The nonprofit organization plans and organizes a 225-mile sea kayak expedition conducted to increase awareness of military service members and first responders who died in the line of duty. Operation Deep Blue also raises funds to provide relief for families who lost loved ones in service.

As the digital and social media coordinator for Operation Deep Blue, some of Larson’s responsibilities include scheduling the release of content for different social media platforms and tracking the performance of social media posts and advertisements.

“Working for a nonprofit has taught me to always take life as a learning experience and to show gratitude for the little things in our lives,” he said.

Larson says he is grateful for the opportunities and challenges that the Moore School has provided him in his time at USC.

“The Moore School has taught me to be over-prepared and always act professionally when on the job,” he said. “My classes prepared me to adapt to uncomfortable situations in the workplace, which is important in my line of work.”

In the future, Larson said he sees himself working in the health care or other related fields such as age longevity and bio-hacking.

“I hope to continue my passion of helping others reach their full potential and become the best version of themselves,” he said. “I hope to inspire others to join a nonprofit and help people who are struggling.”

Larson graduated last week and is actively looking for his first marketing position.

-James Culbertson

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