Young Alumni Spotlight: Conner Loving

Conner Loving was convinced his future was already planned out the day he showed up on the University of Florida campus.

He’d be active in the UF ROTC program, graduate in four years and head straight into the Army. He went through the normal internships, student organizations and networking events that most students do, but for Loving, this was mostly about relationship building for whenever the day came that he would need to find a job in the civilian world.

That day came quicker than expected.

During his time at UF, Loving started experiencing health issues that continued throughout his time in college. As he got closer to graduating, he started to question where he could pass the medical evaluation to commission as an officer in the Army. Suddenly, he needed a contingency plan.

“I just remember thinking, ‘what am I going to do now?’” Loving recalled.

One of Loving’s mentors, a family friend who was running Microsoft’s sales program at the time, reached out to him about a position with the company.  

Today, Loving (BSBA ’18) is an Azure specialist at Microsoft and works with all of the company’s cloud offerings. He travels to Army bases around the world to make sure all of their needs are met with Microsoft products. While Mondays and Fridays are internal days where Loving and other employees regroup and make sure they are on the same page about their focus areas, the middle days of the week are often filled with travel.

Even though he didn’t end up in the Army like he initially planned, Loving is currently an infantry officer in the Virginia National Guard. Formerly serving as the Bravo Company Executive Officer and now as acting Company Commander, Loving is in charge of executing training for his company on top of his Microsoft duties. On top of his duties at Microsoft, Loving is also in charge of executing training for his battalion. They train one weekend per month, including a two-week portion during the summer. It’s an important priority to Loving that Microsoft has fully supported. He also has a minimum service requirement until 2026 because of the ROTC scholarship he received at UF.

“Dating back to starting at UF, I had a feeling of wanting to serve and felt a calling that aligned well with my passions and beliefs,” Loving said. “I wanted to do it and always had these ‘why not me?’ thoughts because I’m so grateful for what we have in this country.”

Conner Loving speaks with Warrington students

Loving speaks with Warrington students

Loving says UF Warrington Clinical Professor Steve Tufts for playing an integral role in his career, but the way they met was nothing something he could’ve predicted. Loving was filling out his schedule for his final semester and needed one more business class. He saw Tufts’ Professional Selling class available and was immediately intrigued.

“This sounded like the most interesting class I’ve ever taken,” Loving said after reading the class description.

It also became one of the most impactful. There were only 13 students in the class because it was the first semester it was offered to undergraduates, and Loving used that small class setting to build a close relationship with Tufts. Loving was a constant at Tufts’ office hours and the two built out a game plan to help Loving land the job with Microsoft.

Today, Loving returns the favor by coming back to speak to students in Tufts’ class. 

“Professor Tufts helped me figure out what I wanted to do,” Loving said. “I feel everything I was fortune enough to learn from Steve, and everything I continue to learn from him, was so impactful. Any way I can give back and help students in his class, I’m more than willing to bend over backwards. The time he gave me made a tremendous impact, and the more I can repay him the better.”