The Orr Fellowship has been awarded to four senior students at Valpo, out of a total of 79 recipients, who will now go on to complete a two year post graduate program once they leave Valpo. These students are Kaitlyn Steinhiser, Maggie Schaller, Lillia Pogue and Hannah Forton.
The application and interview process for this fellowship contained many steps, which took place virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The application process first begins with a student submitting their resume.
“Normally they would send a team to your campus to do interviews and then you do a reception on your campus. Then if you move on from that you go into this thing called Reception on the Circle which is where everybody from an Orr Fellowship gets together for this little soirée and you have to network and they look at how you network and you interact with other young professionals,” Steinhiser said. “Then if you make it through that you go to finalist day. I interviewed with four companies, but some people interviewed with five companies and then they match you with a company if you receive offers.”
The video interviews were pre recorded.
“You do a video interview for that weekend and so then I did a video interview which was like a prerecorded one so they would give me questions and then I answered it and then I sent my answers off. Then they analyzed that and then I moved onto the next round,” Forton said.
There was also an interview with an Orr board member who determined who would make it to Finalist Day. Then on Finalist Day the final interviews and selections for Orr Fellows are made.
“So what they do is, if you make it to Finalist Day, you write a 140 character mission statement for yourself, they give them a headshot, your GPA and your major and minor. From there companies rank their top twenty Orr Fellows, or potential Orr Fellows that they want to meet with and then you get matched with the companies who ranked you the highest essentially,” Steinhiser said.
One challenge of the process was that all of the candidates were well qualified.
“I would say the most challenging part of it was maintaining self confidence throughout the entire process and trying to figure out what my strengths were because there is no one in that applicant group who is unqualified so it was impressive and intimidating at the same time,” Schaller said.
Steinhiser was chosen to work at KSM Consulting.
“With consulting I’ll be on a team called strategies and outcomes and that’s within the public sector department. So strategies and outcomes are divided into several different policy areas including the opioid epidemic, mental health and workforce development is one of them,” Steinhiser said. “I’ll be with the workforce development team and so with them I’ll be assigned different projects from KSM’s clients including but not limited to Indiana’s department of workforce development and then I’ll be working on policy research, communication strategies, pretty much anything they need me to do.”
Schaller will be working with SupplyKick on their marketing team.
“I’m really just looking forward to starting my career. I know that might sound a little cheesy, but I’m really excited about that and I’m excited to work at this company because it is super forward thinking and it’s a really innovative organization and I haven’t had any work experience at a startup or at a tech company or anything like that. So I’m excited to branch out,” she said.
Pogue was placed at Terraboost Media.
“So I am a health care leadership major but I’m really looking to get into marketing and I’m really looking to get into nonprofit work so I am working at Terraboost media which is a marketing company so I’ll be on their team for that and I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing but it fits perfectly with my plan,” she said.
Forton will work for Mandolin and hopes to find her future career there.
“At Mandolin I’m going to be the show support specialist and so I had told them in the interview that I wanted to experience different areas of the company and see what I like and what I don’t like because there are a lot of different areas I want to be more experienced in and just see the inner workings of the company. And then maybe my second year I can tailor in on a niche that I really like because that’s what a current Orr Fellow that they have did,” she said.
All Orr Fellows will live and work in Indianapolis. In addition to their full time jobs, Orr Fellows will also take courses which Pogue believes Valpo prepared her for.
“It sets up the Valpo fellows very well because we will have a full time job along with the curriculum for the Orr Fellowship so I think there’s always a lot to do, a lot to learn in the Orr Fellowship and that’s kind of how it's been here. I have my full course load and on top of that I’m very involved,” she said.
They can also attend webinars with a variety of guest speakers.
“So besides from working at the partner company you have the opportunity to go to webinars or different meetings to just learn about whatever the fellowship is teaching that night or they bring in a guest speaker to talk about something,” Forton said.
Pogue described her excitement at living in a community with other Orr Fellows.
“I’m very excited for the community aspect of it so having a group of like minded individuals who are really driven and creative and want to make a difference and be very inspired,” Pogue said.