Fellows Teaching Fellows

By Katie Noble

Who really knows how to make a stuffed pepper anyways? Find out how Justin Kopp, a first-year Fellow, has grown through meeting other Orr Fellows.

Learning does not end when you graduate. By accepting a position through Orr Fellowship, you’re accepting 2-years full of continued learning. 

For Justin Kopp, a first-year Orr Fellow at Lev, the fellowship has done that, and then some. While there are some great benefits to joining the fellowship, like stipends to spend on professional development, there are some perks that come by simply being a fellow. Kopp shares his experience of how his peers in the fellowship have encouraged him to grow both personally and professionally. 

It started with, “I wasn’t very good at cooking” and ended with, “Now I can make stuffed peppers.” 

One night, when Kopp had first moved into his apartment, Madison Parrelli invited him over so that she could teach him a new recipe. The pair had become good friends from working at the same partner company, Lev. While Kopp was nervous to cook, turning it into an experience made the process more approachable. 

After cooking the peppers, Kopp admits, “it made it more of an event to learn something new. Especially when you want to meet new people, I felt like I could do something I had never really tried before.” Kopp found that cooking this healthy recipe has made him want to make some lifestyle changes. 

“I used to think I never had enough time to cook healthier meals, but once I tried this recipe, I realized I am more than capable of keeping a healthy routine in my life,” Kopp said. 

Kopp shares that Fellows have also kept him motivated in the workplace. He speaks to a conversation with Ally Low, where he was doubting how to navigate his new role. Kopp studied religion and Spanish, but his day-to-day is now focused on computer science. At first, the change had him feeling overwhelmed, so Kopp confided in a Fellow who had studied in his new field. She told him, “A lot of people are scared of computer science and they don’t need to be. You can do it, you are a lot smarter than you let on.”

Since Kopp had already looked up to her in many ways, he felt motivated that she saw his immense potential. Kopp had turned to articles and videos online, feeling discouraged that no one ever admitted: “this ‘computer science stuff’ is actually easy.” Thanks to her guidance navigating similar fears, Kopp adapted and figured out how to manage the learning curve in his new role.

Orr Fellowship provides a unique community of Fellows who are there to teach you new recipes or get you through a difficult work patch. Post-grad can be a confusing and complicated time, but Orr Fellowship is lucky to learn together.

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