Career Development Fellow Spotlight

Written by Tatum Lynch 

Orr Fellowship has many benefits; you get to live in a great city, work with top employers in the state, and start your career with built-in friendships. But it is also the perfect place to be if you are not sure what you want to do after college.

Spoiler alert: I am not working in the same field as what I majored in. I have had quite the journey. When I first started college, I was studying music. One year later, I switched my degree and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs with a concentration in Human Resources. Then, I started my career in HR, but—you guessed it—I’m no longer in that role. I am now the Marketing Coordinator at High Alpha.

How Did That Happen?

When I was in school, I did not listen to myself. I did not reflect on the classes I liked most and what work I enjoyed doing. Like most other students, I worked hard in my classes to get good grades. If I was getting A’s, I was on the right track, right? 

Perhaps it is not that simple. I am here to tell you that it is okay if you do not want to pursue a career in what you’re majoring in. If you are selected to be an Orr Fellow, your company expects you to do great work, but they also understand that you’re eager to wear different hats in the business and want to learn as much as possible. My involvement in Orr Fellowship is a big reason why I was able to switch out of my HR role.

When Opportunity Knocks

Within the first ten months of my HR role, I worked hard to add value to the business, but I was not sure it was my true calling. I wanted to explore Marketing, so I approached my manager and asked her if I could work on some recruitment marketing projects that aligned with our team’s goals. I was honest and told her I wanted to explore Marketing as a potential career path after the fellowship. Unsurprisingly, my manager was very considerate of my interests and let me pursue the projects. She also connected me to a few Marketing professionals in her network so I could continue to learn more.

A few months later, we found out one of High Alpha’s Sr. Marketing Managers was leaving the team to start her own business (shoutout Duet), and my manager and other executives vouched for me to switch positions. Mind you, I did not have any Marketing experience. It would have been easy for my company to hire a more experienced professional, but they did not. They took a chance on me.

Difference Maker

If I had accepted a role outside the fellowship, my company may not have let me switch jobs. More than likely, they would have expected me to do the job they hired me for—which makes sense. But as an Orr Fellow, my partner company understood I wanted to learn other areas of the business, so they gave me a shot to try something new. I have been in my new Marketing role for five months now, and I am so grateful my company let me make the switch.

If you do not know what you want to do after college, Orr Fellowship can be an amazing opportunity for you. If you want to learn more about my journey, do not hesitate to reach out to me at

We can figure out how to do this whole adulting thing together.