This summer brought back so many in person events for Orr Fellowship. Community, as one of our core values, is essential to Orr Fellowship. Through professional and purely fun events we are able to build ourselves professionally, create confidence in team building and networking, make genuine friendships, get to know our new home of Indianapolis, and just release some pressure – because being in your early career is hard! This article is meant to give some insight into what Fellows experienced through their summer of fun and just how impactful these events can be for everyone.
Maggie and Lucy served as our OnboRRding coordinators this year and absolutely crushed the first in-person onboarding session Orr has had in two years.
“Onboarding the largest class of Orr Fellows yet – all IN-PERSON – was a hope that became an amazing reality,” Lucy said. “Onboarding was a fantastic day, and I felt so lucky to lead alongside Maggie.”
Hosting a Minute-to-Win-it team competition was Lucy’s favorite part of the day. By featuring egg relay races, water bottle flip face-offs, cookie-face competitions and more, Lucy said Fellows got more comfortable with each other and with the idea of life after college.
“Preconceived notions of ‘professionalism’ can prevent adults from feeling comfortable in a new workplace, especially right out of college,” Lucy said. “These hilarious, engaging, and (slightly) embarrassing games allowed the new Orr Fellows to start building trust, encouraged participation and communication, and established a sense of connection.”
Second Year Sendoff
Unfortunately, everyone’s time at Orr has to come to an end at some point. But luckily for our second years,they went out with a bang.
Having their entire class together for one last weekend of Indianapolis bonding included an exclusive alumni happy hour with second years and alumni, pedal bars up and down Mass Ave, rentals at Tiki Bob’s (an Orr Fellow favorite) and tons of memories made.
As class of ’20 Fellow Maria Sirounis put it, “second year sendoff was a super fun time to reconnect with my fellow class of 2020. Because a lot of our first year was canceled due to the pandemic, we had a really small, close knit group. It was so nice to have one final gathering to send off everyone in their separate ways.”
The class of 2020 had such a unique Orr Fellowship experience as a majority of it was through a tough couple of COVID-dominated years. These strong individuals made it through this period of life together and certainly will have a special bond together because of it. We are so thankful to the class of 2020 for all they endured and the groundwork they laid for Fellows to come.
NOFO welcome picnic with DEI
Up next as we continued to welcome in the class of ‘22, we hosted a welcome picnic for new Orr Fellows with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team.
We met up at Garfield Park on the southside of Indy. It was a great atmosphere to have everyone grab some tacos, start chatting and asking, “Where are you from? What school did you go to? What’s your partner company? Where are you living?”— all that good stuff you ask when meeting your new best friends for the first time.
Shoutout to Danny Cuevas, Mariah Parsons and the entire DEI team for creating the opportunity to get to know each other in this fun, casual setting. They even did us the favor of bringing in some local shelter pups to play with throughout the evening.
Summer Sweat Series
July kicked off events for our new wellness team. Fitness and wellness advocates Sarah Kolczack and Lara Kornblut, who came up with the idea to have a space within Orr to engage fellows in local fitness and wellness activities to support Indianapolis gyms, events, and programs all while bringing fellows together to sweat out whatever was on their plate that week.
Several events kept the series rolling and Fellows sweating all summer long. Just to highlight a few, Fellows participated in “Monuments and Mimosas” downtown, a heated yoga class at The Hot Room downtown, explored Broad Ripple Fit Club, rode bikes up the Monon for some brews at Half-Liter BBQ, and competed in the annual Colt’s 5k.
Zoo Quarterly Social
Next on the action packed summer schedule was the Orr Fellowship trip to the Zoo for our second quarterly social! This was just one Saturday in July with perfect weather that allowed fellows to gather at the zoo and collect a scavenger hunt of photos with each other, see the new “roo at the zoo” exhibit, the classic dolphin show, and all the other goodies the Indianapolis Zoo has to offer. Huge shout out to Madison Parrelli for coordinating all the logistics behind this one.
Mark and Karen Hill Alumni Reception
Shortly after monkeying around at the zoo, we hosted one of Orr Fellowship’s largest annual events, the Mark and Karen Hill Alumni Reception. This was the first time in three years that the large formal event was held in person. It all went down at Biltwell on the southwest side of the city. It was a spectacular night full of reminiscing on times in Indy, reconnecting with old friends, and making new relationships across age borders.
Alumni Brunch Club
Following the Alumni Reception Friday evening, fellows gathered for one of their favorite traditions, brunch club!
Fellows and alumni recapped the night at Chief of Staff, Crystal Bell’s downtown residence while enjoying some Panera catering and cold brews. It was a great way to recap the night and provide further opportunity for alumni and current fellows to connect if they were unavailable the night before. Crystal even provided fellows plant propagations in old glass bottles for attendees to take home, with instructions on how to take care of them!
Colts Training Camp Coordinator Day
To kick off August and another month of SummORR fun, we hosted a fun day at the Colts Training Camp for each of our coordinators on Orr Fellowship leadership teams.
As one can imagine, running the Fellowship takes hard work from the many teams our coordinators serve, such as finance, continued learning, marketing, and more. With our coordinators doing a ton of legwork week in and week out, this day was really to celebrate all of their hard work so far and encourage them to keep up with it all because the work each one of them does is so important to the continued success of the Fellowship.
Fellows had the chance to run drills, kick field goals, make passes alongside where the Colts practice every single day. They even had a few player sightings. Here’s a quote from Director of Finance Justin Kopp, who helped pull the day together. “Whether the fellows were interested in the colts or not it was fun to hear their thoughts and catch up with everyone in a new environment. I had never been to a colts training camp despite being a lifelong fan and I can’t think of a better group to have had with me!”.
To round out another Orr Fellow tradition, we closed out the summer with a favorite. Boats!!! This tradition involves renting 6 pontoon boats and cruising out to a swimming hole on lake monroe. It is a great way to have first and second years connect in a very casual environment, while creating memories to last a lifetime. Who doesn’t love a day on the lake with 159 of your closest friends?
“Boats was a perfect day to connect with fellows and get out on the water,” First year Anne Bowen said. “We enjoyed a carefree Saturday and had the opportunity to relax and have lots of fun as summer came to a close.”
Pizza at the Park
To wrap up summORR, we hosted “Pizza at the Park” with alumni. This was a casual evening up at Highland park, with a magnificent view of the city in late August to join fellows and alumni together to chat about what has happened recently in Orr Fellowship, what career moves are being made, why alumni decided to stick around the area, how to buy a house in Indy, and so much more!
So many events would not have been possible without the hard work of our fellows and staff day in and day out! We all had such an enjoyable summer with all of these events and are so grateful for all the preparation and planning that was able to make it all happen. Here’s to the next season of recruiting and developing the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.
Claire Linn, guest writer for content creation team and FAE Alumni Coordinator