Written by: Carson Bailey
I first heard about Orr Fellowship when I was a junior in college. Jaqui Fernandez was one of the previous Orr fellow’s at IWU, and she spoke in one of my classes. It really interested me, but I put it on the back burner because I was a junior at the time and was still living in Illinois. However, my family ended up moving to Fishers, Indiana, before my senior year of college, and when the current Orr fellows came and spoke about it again, I knew that I had to apply. Living in the state, I felt more inclined to apply, and with Jaqui, Rebecca and Olivia‘s help (all IWU Orr fellows at the time), I began the recruitment process.
Recruitment was actually pretty fun! I had a couple of my close friends and IWU going through it with me, and it was an interesting experience because you’re supporting your friends but you’re also competing with them so that was definitely an interesting dynamic.
I ended up making it all the way to Finalist Day, but I was put on the waitlist, and I was actually super disappointed. I stayed on the waitlist for a little while, but the companies that I was interviewing with weren’t really fitting with my career goals. I ended up taking my name off the waitlist and truly made peace with the idea that Orr Fellowship wasn’t going to work out.
But the story wasn’t over yet! The previous summer, I had interned at a company called dormakaba in their Sales Enablement department. I really liked that work environment, and I knew that they still wanted to hire me after graduation because I had also worked for them throughout the school year as a co-op. When I went into that final offer meeting they surprised me and told me that they became a partner company and that I was going to be their very first Orr fellow!
As it turns out, they had seen my name on the waitlist, knew that I had been working for them, and wanted to make it work! I was so shocked and excited that they had seen my name on the waitlist before I had decided to take it off. Talk about unexpected!
I feel so grateful for this opportunity and it’s really been a blessing to be able to continue on with a company that I’ve been with for over a year now but get the opportunity to be an Orr Fellow. I’ve already started making sweet friendships, and I am so excited to continue to grow in those as well as to experience different opportunities and just be able to experience life in Indy!
Another special shoutout to Lucy Wehlage. When she worked at Ascend Indiana, she was the one who helped me get my original internship at dormakaba, and little did I know she was an Orr fellow at the time.