I realize I have yet to make a splash on the Orr Fellowship blog (shame on me), but I’m hoping that – after reading this post – this will speak to not my lack of involvement with or enthusiasm for the Orr Fellowship, but quite the opposite.
As I read through the blog posts to date from my fellow Orr Fellows, it’s clear that this entire string highlights one reason after another why you should respect the organization’s goals and obvious deliverables (deliverables? Meaning: the network, connections, friendships, professional experience and education, exposure to executives and high-growth startups, entrepreneurial opportunities, and on and on…) – or even consider applying. It’s a team effort to grow and improve the Fellowship, which says something else about it. We have all either consciously or unconsciously acquired a sense of ownership of the program. Every new class of Orr Fellows has the potential to define the Fellowship further, which is intensely motivating.
In that same vein, one of the biggest themes between the two current classes of Orr Fellows (2009 and 2010) right now is collaboration and, more importantly, the power thereof. Orr Fellows are active and making an impact on the Indianapolis community. Matt Hunckler, with assistance from Jon Corwin and other Orr Fellow alumni, organizes Hackers & Founders, a group for entrepreneurs and developers passionate about startups and new opportunities. Max Yoder decided to help give the group some face time and wrote about it for the Indy Spectator (this tweet shows how the magic happens).
Speaking of Max, he’s also fairly active with his music alongside his job and Orr Fellowship activities. I (Lauren Weatherall) am working with a co-worker of mine in organizing Linking Indy Women, a networking group for women professionals looking to share and be inspired by others’ accomplishments. In short, a lot of great things are happening through collaboration and, often times, connections spurred by the Orr Fellowship serve as the catalysts for this kind of activity.
For brevity’s sake, I won’t delve into further examples, but I will express my enthusiasm for the culture we, as Orr Fellows and motivated young professionals, are helping cultivate in Indiana. I’m surprising myself by how much I’m enjoying Indianapolis right now; I think it’s partly because I can see and am part of some of the changes happening here. People are helping and connecting each other in the entrepreneurial scene (well, and just in general) and I’m finding myself constantly surrounded by positive energy. I can honestly say I have the Orr Entrepreneurial Fellowship to thank for that. Wherever you go and whatever you do, never underestimate the value in connecting and collaborating with people. Who you surround yourself with makes all the difference. If there’s one thing I could share that I’ve learned in the past few months, that’s it.