Originally from Columbus, IN, Molly Connor (she/her/hers) is a third-year law student at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. Molly obtained her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University Bloomington at the O’Neill School of Public Affairs. Molly is deeply passionate about higher education and student affairs, and currently serves as a Trustee on the Indiana University Board of Trustees. Molly on Graduate and Professional Student Government as a co-chair of the organization’s sustainability committee and she sits on the public policy committee of the Marion County Commission on Youth. Molly intends to pursue a career in public policy or government affairs after graduation. In her free time, Molly enjoys spending time with her dog (recently adopted from the Indianapolis Humane Society), and exploring Indianapolis’ vast network of trails and towpaths.
The 1828 Leadership Project, presented by Citizens Energy Group, is a civic leadership tract for Indy’s young leaders with the goal of fostering intentional relationships with a cross-sector of Indianapolis’ thought leaders and decision-makers. Molly is a part of 1828’s Class X– learn more about her below!
How do you spend your days? For example, you can tell us about your career, side hustle or exercise routine whatever you want to share here we’re ready to listen.
As a full-time student, I spend most days tucked away in the corner of the law library or a local coffee shop where I work toward the completion of my law degree from the IU McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. Outside of the classroom, I serve as the appointed student member of the Indiana University Board of Trustees, the governing body of Indiana University. As the student voice on the nine-member board, I am tasked with bringing student perspective to decisions on the University’s financial, physical, operational and human assets. This role is equal parts gratifying and challenging. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to me.
Where are you from and what made you choose to move to Indy?
I am originally from a small town outside of Columbus, IN, which is about an hour south of Indianapolis. I chose to go to law school in Indianapolis because I wanted to be as close as I could be to the center of local and state policymaking, and when the seat of city and state government is a stone’s throw from the law building, I knew there would be no better place to begin my legal career.
You’re off the clock, there are no expectations. What are you doing?
I consider myself to be a homebody, and once I’ve finished the day I like to be at home, with my dog Sammy. I have been fostering dogs with the Indianapolis Humane Society since the beginning of 2020, and it didn’t take more than a few weeks with Sammy for me to know that Sammy’s temporary stay with me needed to become permanent. Sammy has made an occasionally dark 2020 a whole lot brighter.
When thinking about the future of Indianapolis, what are you most looking forward to in the next 5 years and why?
I look forward to the continued emergence of young people and the thinkers, doers, and drivers of change in the city. Every day I am inspired by a young Indianapolis resident taking the future of this city into their own hands, and I am excited for the opportunity to contribute in my own way.
Are there any local causes that you support? What are they and how might others learn more or get involved?
I am a member of the public policy committee of the Marion County Commission on Youth (MCCOY), a local non-profit which aims to champion the positive development of youth through leadership on key issues and support of the youth worker community. Our committee aims to educate policymakers on the importance of early intervention and prevention programs and student success initiatives. I got connected to MCCOY through my participation in IndyVolved — one of the many ways IndyHub has plugged me into my city!
Do you have a favorite local place in town (restaurant, bar, park, etc.) that you love going to? Where is it and why should other people try it out?
My favorite local place is the Central Canal Towpath that stretches more than five miles from Broad Ripple to the IMA to Riverside Park and beyond. The towpath is quiet and often much less crowded than some of the more popular paths and trails in town. It’s a great “escape” from the city without even leaving the area at all.
Indianapolis is a sprawling city, what’s your favorite part about our city?
I have lots of favorite things about Indy, but the food scene surprised me in the best way. Menus are ever-changing and local options are endless. As a south Broad Ripple resident, Twenty Tap and Cafe Patachou are personal favorites that I can’t recommend highly enough.
If you were a superhero what would be your special trait? Why?
I think if I were a superhero I’d be called “The Collaborator” which does sound cheesy but perfectly captures the essence of the way I try to lead and build consensus.
You’re hosting your own music festival with three artists – Who’s performing?
Jon Bellion, Ella Mai, and Cautious Clay
If you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?
Cold War by Cautious Clay
Mornings or evenings? And Why.
Mornings, because I find myself to be most creative, energized, and productive when most are still asleep. Plus, my morning coffee has become a ritual of sorts, and I look forward to mornings because I get to enjoy my morning cup in peace and set my goals and intentions for the day.
How do you define success?
As a student who has yet to enter the full-time workplace, the idea of what success means is still elusive to me. Largely, I define success as meeting the goals I’ve set for myself. Rather than think about one singular type or method of achieving “success,” I break up my goals into short-term wins – which sometimes may be as small as getting through my meetings for the day. Success to me it sort of like the butterfly effect – small acts over time that have big effects.
What would you name the autobiography of your life? Feel free to give us the context here.
“Glass Overflowing” I have benefitted so immensely from those that have spent their time and energy pouring into me. These people have mentored me, given me critical feedback, and a shoulder to lean on. I strongly believe that you are the aggregate of the people with whom you affiliate. I am a product of the people who have selflessly helped me navigate difficult decisions and challenging periods in my life. Though I can never repay that kindness, I can make every effort to pay this mentorship forward.