Topher Larkin is from the Class of 2004 and is the Event & Experience Manager at Metro Inclusive Health.
Topher made the journey from the sunny state of Florida to go to Emerson College. He received a degree in Theatre Studies and Communication/Media Studies.
He has had different job titles across his career. One was being the Executive Assistant to the Founder of Wikipedia and CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation. As a “professional gay,” Topher wanted to find a position that helped and gave back to the LGBTQIA+ community. That is how he landed in the field he is in right now.
Topher has worked in inclusive healthcare for the past nine years, which has included HIV/AIDS prevention.
This section is a transcript of the video linked above
What drew you to Emerson College?
What drew me to Emerson was that the reputation, of course, it was a great communications and theater school. The fact of living in Boston seemed very intriguing for this Florida boy. And I just wanted to live in a really big, vibrant city that wasn’t quite New York yet, but Boston definitely had its own vibe.
What were some of the skills you developed shortly after you graduated from Emerson, and as you began work in public health?
So some of the skills after graduation, first of all, I did not work directly in public health yet. [I was] working in entertainment public relations. So it was just a matter of finding what I was passionate about and really just kind of driving myself to kind of learn more about my career or what I really wanted to do. So it was a lot of networking, of course. It was a lot of finding out what I was really good at or what interests me. And then I use that to kind of dictate how my career would start to develop from there.
As someone who works in HIV/AIDS prevention and LGBTQIA+ Inclusive health sector, what are things Emersonians should know about in regard to inclusive healthcare?
So inclusive health care. Emersonians, at the very beginning, you really should just take charge of your health. I mean, any adult really should, you know. When you’re off on your own in college, this really is the first time that you’re really, you know, learning about how to properly take care of yourself, whether that be self care, mental health, and just the physicalities of it all. I would suggest, you know, finding places that you feel comfortable with that have great reputations and someone that you can really trust.
What has been your proudest/fulfilling professional highlight?
So my proudest and most fulfilling professional highlight actually has been leading up to where I am now. My career path has kind of been very different, has been very eclectic. But all of those things have related to what I’m doing. So I took my theater background, I took my communications background, and I’ve kind of molded my own career. And so here I am, being a professional gay, working in a health care situation, working for the community. I’m still using a lot of my creative side to balance out what I’m doing at work. So I’ve been a hodgepodge of everything, and I think my career path definitely has not been traditional, but at the same time, it has led me to what I’m doing now and what I want to do and has given me a purpose and a drive.
What advice will you give your younger self, personal & professionally?
Advice that I would give to my younger self… I think number one is definitely know your worth. Coming out of college, you know you’re starting your career, so you’re really hungry to get that first experience but you know, really find something that is going to pay you, pay the bills, and you know that it’s really going to give you something. I also think that sometimes you don’t necessarily need to be married to a certain career. It’s okay to switch around. It’s okay to still explore. I think that’s the creativity in this generation. You know, it’s exciting to be able to be able to do other things that are transferable. And I think another thing that I would suggest is really be okay with the failures. You got to learn from them. You will grow from them. Really explore and find something that is going to give you that purpose and that meaning,that drive, that passion. Everything that Emerson has taught you will apply to what you’re doing out there into the real world.