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Orr Fellowship provides remarkable professional opportunities for recent graduates to learn and grow in their first two years after college. These professional benefits– fast-paced career, powerful network and chances for continued learning, among others– are, no doubt, unparalleled. However, there is one unique value that Orr provides that is often the hardest to explain, but for me, makes Orr more influential than any post-graduate program I’ve ever seen: community.
Over the past few days, autumn has finally arrived in Indianapolis. As fall colors swept through the state, and the weather turned crisp, I got to experience a joyous Sunday afternoon. The event was our “fall retreat” hosted by one of our board members, Jim Jay, and his family. We spent the day canoeing, making s’mores, eating great food, taking hayrides and singing around a fire with 40+ other Fellows who are part of our “Fellowship of the Fellowship:” an internal faith-based study group. The singular event made me realize just how powerful and influential the whole Orr community has been to my Orr experience. I would argue that Orr is fueled by this community.
Maximize your experiences
Moving to a new place is no easy task. It can be hard to be away from home, adjust to the fast-paced environment of a full-time job and adapt to a totally new city. Orr Fellowship gives its Fellows more than 80 peers who are in a similar situation to them. Events like Welcome Weekend, the Summer Retreat and the Jay’s retreat make becoming a part of Orr’s community-focused culture exciting and effortless. Everyone around me offers different skills, interests, and backgrounds but sharing so many experiences has united us all.
Hone in on your identity and passions
“Making friends” can be a big, daunting question mark on any big move in life. This is especially true when graduating school, moving to a new city and joining a new community. For me, however, this turned out to be a total non-issue because of Orr’s welcoming nature. That contagious spirit, combined with a constant string of potlucks, pick-up sports, committees, volunteering, classes and speakers has allowed me to jump into life in Indianapolis with a group of new friends that are here to guide me, support me and cheer me on. This group gets me through challenges that I face, and helps me celebrate my successes.
No matter what you’re interested in, you’ll be able to find someone else in Orr who shares that same interest. There have been dozens of groups that have formed within Orr, and they are all a testament to the varied interests of the Fellows themselves – a running club, book club, downtown lunch club, ski club– the list goes on. Whether it’s finding a group to plan a coffee shop crawl, or forming an intramural flag football team, Fellows are always up for trying something new or sharing in another Fellow’s interest.
The Orr community is a blast
Orr Fellowship is an absolute blast. I have never had more fun with so many people. Orr’s social events are unrivaled, from pontoon trips on Lake Monroe to our annual Halloween party – we all genuinely enjoy each other as friends, and we love getting together outside of work.
On Sunday, sitting around that fire, I felt so lucky to have made so many fantastic friends. It was just the latest in a series of moments that have affirmed for me that I’m in the right place, with the right people, doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Orr has already given me so much for my career, my continued learning and my professional network – but the backbone of my experience so far has been, and will continue to be, the incredible friends that are sharing this journey right by my side.