Indianapolis Area Jobs

Fifty New Jobs and a Monumental Impact

The Orr Fellowship can be hard to describe. On its own it does not create jobs but it brings together those who do. However, what it is and why it is important is built upon a simple idea - to attract new members to Indiana's workforce and develop them into business leaders and entrepreneurs. This is achieved by connecting the area’s most well-established and most promising companies to that idea. It is truly a remarkable display of corporate and civic responsibility.

The unique professional experience of the Orr Fellowship exists in the relationship between the host company and the Orr Fellow. Host companies should expect nothing less than to hire a talented and proficient individual who will produce superior work results. They should expect an individual who plows headfirst through the mundane and excels when tested. Upon proving themselves, Orr Fellows should expect the companies to be committed to providing professional development opportunities of the same magnitude as that of the expected work results. It is at that point, an unwavering commitment for mutual benefit, where success becomes visible.

Since its 2002 inception, the Orr Fellowship has grown year after year. New companies have been added and the size of each class has expanded. At the same time, the Orr Fellowship has benefited from an Indianapolis that has continued to develop as an incredibly attractive place to live and work.The exceptional model of the Orr Fellowship is especially visible on one particular day. It is a day of humble appreciation for the program's successes and of profound excitement for the future. Over the course of Finalist Day, thirty-two companies and more than eighty Indianapolis business leaders will select individuals whom they believe should be brought into the fabric of their businesses and the Indianapolis community. By the end of that day there will be fifty newly created jobs in Indianapolis. Fifty new economic producers and consumers and giving members of our community. It is a day built upon incredible promise and a determined commitment to an invaluable idea.

Stewart Burns is a second-year Orr Fellow working at KSM Consulting. #LiveIndy 

A Community Kitchen in Our Backyard

8 year-old me waiting for dinner: “Dad, I’m starving.” 
My Dad: “No, Sara, you’re not.”

I wasn’t really starving, but we’ve all said it. We’re human, we get hungry. But struggling with hunger? Actually not having food to put on the table?  That’s another story.  

Once in a while (yet not often enough) I catch myself thinking about the things that I take for granted. A roof over my head. Family. Friends. A paycheck. A car. Health. A safe drinking supply. Opportunity. Clothing. A coat when the weather gets cold. Food. The list goes on, but let’s focus on food for a minute – it’s the source of nutrition and sustenance that we all need in order to survive. While most of us are fortunate enough to benefit from some if not all of the above on a day-to-day basis, there are people in our own backyard, walking the same streets that we do, struggling to find something as simple as a hot nutritious meal at the end of a long day. 

After volunteering with a group of Orr Fellows at Second Helpings, I found myself in one of these contemplative moods. The opportunity arose to contribute to a good cause alongside my Fellow peers and I thought, “New opportunity to get to know my new friends and new city better? Yes.” So I jumped at the chance, but knew next to nothing about the organization or its mission. In the end I walked away enlightened and grateful to be in a program and city that actively cares for others, and let me explain why. 

First, here’s a question. Do you ever wonder what happens to the large amounts of food sitting on the shelves of wholesalers, restaurants, and retailers when the expiration date printed on the plastic wrapping creeps up faster than expected?  
The answer: landfills.  

At the same time, more than 80,000 children in the Indy metro area struggle with hunger and nearly 15% of senior citizens in Indiana face hunger – not even counting everyone in between.

Do we see the disconnect here?

In 1998, three Indianapolis chefs realized the potential to alleviate both these issues of hunger and unnecessary food waste with one solution: Second Helpings – a community kitchen. 

Today an entire network of volunteers and staff members collect donated perishable and overstocked food, prepare nutritious meals for thousands of hungry children and adults each day, and then distribute them free of charge through local social service agencies in the Greater Indianapolis area. In addition, Second Helpings provides an avenue for unemployed and underemployed individuals to transform their lives through a culinary job training program. 

We learned this and more during our first 15 minutes as we got a tour of the building, and then it was actually time to take part in the action. After we listened to the safety rules of the kitchen, put on our aprons and hats (or stylish hairnets for those who forgot a hat), we started chopping.  Tomatoes at one table, beef at the other. Simple task, yes – but the results? Ready-to-go ingredients for the sauces, soups, stews, and more concocted by the chefs on the other side of the kitchen. I didn’t have time to watch the clock – I was too busy admiring those around me diligently working, selflessly giving their time to ensure healthy meals could be delivered to those in need. Every person we met had their own story, greeted us with a smile, thanked us for being there.  It’s inspiring to see people care about something, then turn around and make great things happen.  

I’ll let these numbers speak for themselves:

Since 1998, 
over 8 million meals have been prepared and delivered,
over 21 million pounds of food have been rescued,
volunteers have served for over 368,127 total hours,
and 579 individuals have graduated from the Culinary Job Training program.  

Not only was I able to connect with my Fellow peers in a new setting, and contribute to a worthy cause, but I was also reminded of two valuable lessons that day:
Give thanks for what you have.
Give something of yourself to others – your time, it’s priceless.

“Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being.” – Kevin Kruse


Board of Directors Spotlight: Scott Brenton, Chairman

The Orr Fellowship has eight spectacular Board Members that share their wisdom and experiences to help guide and direct our organization in developing Indiana’s next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs. Although most of the work they do is behind the scenes, we'd like to spotlight them here. 

Meet Scott Brenton, the chairman of the Orr Fellowship Board of Directors.

Current Job:

Scott is the VP of Ambulatory Services at IU Health. The Division of Ambulatory Services deals with the vast majority of health care services that take place outside of the hospital setting, such as Lifeline air transport or home health care, for example.

As an executive for one of the largest employers in the state of Indiana, Scott’s direct lines of responsibility include oversight of roughly 700 employees and $150M of business. In an industry that is under much reform, the prevailing belief throughout the health care industry is that increasingly more care will be delivered in ambulatory settings.

Seeing an amazing opportunity and challenge, his career has undergone a complete change in direction to an industry that is much different from his days of serving as the Chief Operating Officer at Angie’s List where he helped to grow the business from a start up to what it is today.

Of all the leadership roles you could take, why the Board of Directors of the Orr Fellowship?

Scott says that his involvement with the Orr Fellowship evolved like a start up evolves. He was connected to various people with similar personal & professional aims, and they had the opportunity to put their passion into action in developing the Fellowship.

Three main factors drive Scott in being involved with the Fellowship:

  • His desire to pass the gifts and opportunities  that were given to him on to others
  • His desire to bring solid, young talent to companies where he works, and to help other companies do the same
  • His desire to make Indianapolis a great hub for business and family

Of all the places you could live, why Indianapolis?  

Living in Indy is a simple decision for Scott. It comes down to his family, his values, and having a pride in where he came from. Like most people, the decision for him to live in Indianapolis is not based on the weather or the scenery!

There is also something special about being an underdog as a business hub compared some other cities that might first come to mind. But, the opportunity to make an impact is powerful— seeing the flywheel start to turn as Indy takes off and more and more businesses launch means so much more.

What keeps you busy outside of work, professionally and personally?

From his primary role as a father and husband, to additional obligations with his professional career and the community, Scott stays plenty busy. He is not someone who lives to work, but rather works so that he can enjoy life and be present in his kids’ lives.

You may find him in the dugout coaching his son’s Little League team, on the sidelines cheering at his daughter’s soccer game, attending a gymnastics event, going on a class field trip, or teaching his kids how to play euchre. He is also attends Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

Scott also stays very active physically. As a marathoner for 10 years, Scott loves to run, but has now become an avid cyclist. He had the opportunity to travel to France this summer with his wife to witness the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France, but gave it up to coach his son’s baseball team to the district championship.

Professionally, Scott serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors for the Orr Fellowship, as you already know. But, he is also acts as the Finance Chairman for his former Greek Fraternity at Purdue University, Sigma Chi. Additionally, he is a Board Member for Pellegrino & Associates and Beltway Surgery Centers. Scott also gets a lot of personal fulfillment from informally advising a number of Indy start up companies.

Best career advice, in 25 words or less.  

Surround yourself with great people and take risks to be a part of the biggest areas of change and growth within your company.



Bill Caskey's Five Keys to Success

What’s one of my favorite parts of being in the Orr Fellowship?  I would have to say the opportunity to have candid Q&A sessions with business leaders from all walks here in the Indianapolis area.  These Business Leader Meetings (BLMs) have given the Fellows a unique advantage by allowing us to hear directly from those who have succeeded.  We get to hear what works (and what doesn’t), their stories, and what they have found to be the keys to success.

We recently had a BLM with an entrepreneur, leader, and sales coach from the Indianapolis area, Bill Caskey.  Part of my professional development comes through my host company, which sends me to the strategic Sales Training classes at Caskey called Masterminds.  I was thrilled to have Mr. Caskey come and speak to the Orr Fellows, and to hear his story outside of the training realm.

In this particular BLM, we learned a lot that we can immediately apply to our work, as both first year Fellows who are still new to the job and finding their niche, and to the second year Fellows who are ensuring that they are leaving their mark as they make decisions for next steps.  Mr. Caskey challenged us to think a little differently:  instead of trying to make everyone else’s “list,” we should have the “list” that they are trying to make.  This means to set yourself up in a position to lead and be elite in your field.  Be able to name your own opportunities, just as a top actor or athlete chooses their role/team.  He outlined 5 steps to achieve this:

1. Play Your Position.  You have strengths and you should be in a role that allows you to leverage those skills.  If you find yourself “out of position,” find a way to change the situation or to rethink your role in a way that you can play to your strengths.

2. Practice Is the Performance.  It’s not usually what you know, but how you present.  If you spend hours gathering info for a big presentation and then never practice presenting, you will have wasted your time.  Find those things that you need to work on (underpracticing) and PRACTICE!  You will be amazed at the changes you see and the confidence you build.

3. Know Your Story.  Your story is your own, but it allows you to become vulnerable and to connect with people.  Know it, practice it, and use it.

4. Embrace Coaching.  Ask for feedback from managers, leaders, peers, etc.  Be open to hearing it and use it.  Make yourself better.

5. Embrace Your Uniqueness.  You are unique.  You have a different set of strengths and skills than those around you and you should embrace them.  Use your uniqueness to your advantage and don’t lose it or shy away from it.  Keep it out in the open.

I heard from many of the Fellows after the session with Mr. Caskey say that they felt refreshed and motivated to continue doing good work, both in the business setting and for the Fellowship.  We each strive to be in that position to be naming our own opportunities one day.  Hearing from people who have done this gives us the confidence that we too can reach that level.


The "Ah-Ha" Orr Fellowship Moment

Business leaders and entrepreneurs talk often about their “ah-ha” moments - those moments when they knew what they were doing or creating would be defining moments for their success. Usually this moment comes after a long series of trial and error, successes and failures and a slew of learning experiences.

My Orr Fellowship “ah-ha” moment came to me a little differently. I was sitting at the Indianapolis Business Journal hosted Power Breakfast, eating my quiche and looking at my ticket to the breakfast thinking, “How is it possible that I know four of the five panelists, despite just moving here a year ago?”; and then a moment later- “Ah-ha. The Orr Fellowship.”

It’s easy to talk about the merits of the Fellowship - a wonderful social network, a great experience in an entrepreneurial setting and a powerful business network, among many other outstanding opportunities. However, during the transition of college to first job, the bigger picture slips away while adjusting to new responsibilities, a new city and new friendships. It wasn’t until I was able to look at the panel of the IBJ Technology Power Breakfast, to understand that in a year, I was making connections to business and community leaders in the Indianapolis area that most recent college graduates couldn’t even begin to forge.

As a second-year Fellow, I’m beginning to see how quickly my time in the Fellowship is passing. This moment will continue to be a defining one - the moment when all of the talk of the benefits of the Fellowship gave way to actually seeing a few of the outstanding connections I’ve been fortunate enough to make, sitting on a panel, right before my eyes. The proof was in the pudding - or I suppose in my case, the proof was served up with a side of quiche. An “ah-ha” moment indeed.


True Life: Four Months as an Orr Fellow

One of the most important questions Fellows are asked during recruitment is "what do you actually do as an Orr Fellow?"  We often respond with a simple, 30-second "elevator pitch" relating to the themes of the Fellowship.  This is great for career fairs, but it doesn't answer what we actually do with our lives.  This blog post will look at the last few months of my life, add some pictures for evidence, and shed light on what it takes to be an Orr Fellow.

Working In the Real World

I am fortunate to have Interactive Intelligence (ININ) as my host company for the next two years.  ININ is a leading developer of contact center software (think 1-800 customer service, but cooler) and employs more than 1,000 people.  During my first year, I am in a rotation program where I can become familiar with ININ while learning how I can help the company succeed.  I have spent the last four months working with the Product Management team, in their CaaS (Communication as a Service) department.  I won't go into details, but one of my projects involved internal and marketing research for a new product being developed.  I also help manage pricing lists and quoting tools that span six currencies.  I will soon be rotating to the IT department to take on a new role.

It is hard to generalize my day-to-day activities. Some days, I might meet with my executive sponsor, CFO Steve Head.  Steve has been an excellent mentor and has shared plenty of business knowledge with me.  We also share interests in car racing.  He has even volunteered to take me out on the track in his Porsche (don't let me drive, Steve!)  Other days, might be spent developing new features for our quoting tool.  Since joining ININ, I have met employees from Great Britain, Japan and Australia.  One thing is certain: the greatest aspect of my job is the culture in which I work.  The people of ININ are amazing and the company's "Work Hard, Play Hard" mentality is a perfect fit for the Fellowship.  Whether it's collaborating with my manager or de-stressing on our rock-climbing wall, I love what I am doing and I believe I am making a difference.


Working In the Fellowship World

I am going to be honest here: Fellowship obligations do not feel like work.  We have monthly Fellowship meetings where we reconnect and discuss our progress and goals of the Fellowship.  Each fellow also belongs to a committee.  Purdue grad Branden Burke and I manage our Twitter page.  I have learned an amazing amount about social media from working with Branden and had a blast in the process.  We also have monthly Business Leader Meetings (BLMs) where we meet with leaders in the Indy business world.  Some leaders thus far include Angie Hicks (of Angie's List - read Eric Franklin's article), Scott Jones (of ChaCha), and Governor Mitch Daniels.

Fellows do participate in many other activities outside of monthly meetings.  We partake in several philanthropies to help improve Indianapolis.  Additionally, Orr Fellowship provides an annual retreat for its new members.  The retreat is a fun weekend spent at the Edward Lowe Foundation in Cassopolis, Mich.  Recently, we had the opportunity to support Fellow and CMO of CoatChex, Ashton Chaffee, with the company's debut on ABC's Shark Tank.  Although Andy Simmons and I looked goofy with our CoatChex bow-ties, it was for a great, entrepreneurial cause.


Enjoying a Post-Grad World

Indianapolis has a lot to offer its residents, especially recent college graduates.  Broad Ripple is an obvious choice to go have a beverage with friends.  Downtown Indy and the Keystone Fashion Mall area have nice restaurants and great shopping.  There are plenty of exercise classes and community events to keep us engaged as well.  Many in the Fellowship enjoy concerts regularly at the Klipsch Music Center.  Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan were a few of the recent performers.  Although you won't exactly be living like Jason Aldean with a Fellow's salary, you will have plenty to live comfortably and have a good time in the process.  I've had no problems surviving.

There is plenty to do outside of Indianapolis as well.  Although raised a Boilermaker, I recently ventured to Bloomington to tailgate with Fellows.  The IU Fellows were great hosts and did not harass me too much because of my alma mater.  A group of us also visited Melissa Jackson's lake cottage in Pennsylvania.  We spent the weekend outside grilling, tubing and enjoying the weekend.  Even though I left with many bruises from tubing, the trip was definitely a success (below).


Make Your World a Better Place

In short, there are plenty of great opportunities in the Fellowship.  Within your host companies, you will gain executive mentorship while making a positive impact.  Working in the Fellowship, you will learn from the best Indy has to offer while helping to make the city a better place.  Socially, you will have plenty of chances to let loose while making new friends in the process.  What are you waiting for!? Sign up today.

Still not convinced?  Send any questions to or find me on Facebook.


Not So Random Stories

I recently graduated from DePauw University and started my journey with the Orr Fellowship a few short months ago. I heard about this program from one of the second-year fellows, and I was instantly drawn to the entrepreneurial spirit, the unique work experiences and the constant social and professional growth the Fellowship provides. This post kicks off the Informatics class blog series – one of the many unique experiences we’re able to take part in during our two-year tenure.

It’s not that I thought I would stop learning once I walked off DePauw’s campus, but I could not fathom the people I would encounter, the information I would acquire and lessons I would learn only a few months into this “real world.”  September showed up unexpectedly, and the Orr Fellowship has been jam packed with Career Fairs, Business Leader Meetings (BLM) and a director-led Informatics class (not to mention our day jobs!).

Lessons from Local Leaders

Just this week, the first-year Orr Fellows were invited into the Indiana Statehouse to meet with Gov. Mitch Daniels for our monthly BLM. Surrounded by paintings of governors before him, including Orr founder, Gov. Robert Orr, we spoke about Indiana’s past, present and future. We learned from the Governor that over the past few years, more college graduates have stayed in Indiana rather than left the state. Keeping talented graduates in the state is incredibly important to the state’s growth, and this is a huge part of the Fellowship’s mission. Indianapolis has grown immensely over the past couple of decades, and it has become a hub for start-ups and young professionals. It even made Forbes' list as one of the happiest cities for young professionals.

Continuous Growth

The excitement of this week doesn’t end there – Monday was the launch of our Orr Fellowship Informatics class, led by one of the Orr Fellowship directors, Mark Hill of Collina Ventures. About two dozen Orr Fellows filed into a room in the Speak Easy for class on Monday night (yes, during MNF) ready to learn as much as possible from established business leaders over the next few months.  We kicked it off with Developer Town founder, Michael Cloran, who titled his lecture, “Random Stories. Lessons Learned.” His title inspired the underlying theme of this post: the lives of individuals like Gov. Daniels and Cloran are not necessarily random stories, but incredible efforts made by young professionals that put them on tracks to success. There are reasons that individuals like this are where they are today, and these are the habits and practices we are striving to learn from and acquire.

After we listened to Michael’s unique and impressive post-graduate experiences that led him to become a restless entrepreneur, we asked what seemed to be the most relevant questions for us: Why Indy? And what should we take back from your early experiences and practice in our own lives? His answers were both reassuring and encouraging:

  • The Midwest is much more welcoming than other areas, giving newcomers more comfort and opportunities for growth and success
  • Build your reputation and credibility by sticking to your word
  • Say “YES” to new challenges, projects and responsibilities – people who have changed the world are not the type of people who sit back and content with not taking action

Future Success

I was naïve in initially thinking the transition to the real world was going to be simple and straightforward. You leave college on top of the world, and then realize that Columbus did in fact discover the world is round…and much larger than believed.

After listening to these accomplished and inspiring leaders in Indiana, we can find comfort knowing there are different paths we may find ourselves on, both in our nearest and more distant future. We don’t need to know what our next job will be, which graduate program we’ll apply to or even what we’re eating for lunch this week. As long as we are determined, willing to work through the night, and yes, occasionally commit to eating PB&J six meals in a row, the possibilities are endless. All entrepreneurs jump and fall; and we’re here to learn what it takes to take that first jump.


Indianapolis Startup Scene

A recent article by the Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) highlighted multiple events and happenings in the Indianapolis area that point to the ever-growing entrepreneurial community here.

The article discusses Hackers and Founders, a monthly meetup that brings entrepreneurial-minded people together to hear three business pitches for high growth start-ups. Organized by Matt Hunckler, a current Orr Fellow, the monthly gatherings now reach around 200 people! From experienced entrepreneurs like Chris Baggott to young people such as current Orr Fellows and everyone in between, these meetups offer a chance to network, bounce ideas off one another, and learn about running a start up company -- all while enjoying food and drinks! If you're interested in starting a career in entrepreneurship or have an interest in the startup scene, this event is not one to miss.

The article also gave a shout out to the Orr Fellowship for its ability to bring young entrepreneurs to Indianapolis to work entry-level jobs in startup companies. This year, we've grown the Fellowship once again by taking nearly 30 new Fellows working for around 20 companies. By bringing some of the best and brightest recent grads to the Indianapolis area, the Fellowship is doing its part to keep fueling the entrepreneurial fire.

We're excited to see what 2011 has in store for each of us, the Fellowship as a whole, and the Indianapolis entrepreneurial community!

Bofo Breakfast

This morning, I was lucky enough to go to breakfast at Cafe Patachou with three other first-year Fellows and Scott Brenton, the Chair of the Fellowship Board of Directors. While we enjoyed some of the delicious food, we discussed all things Orr Fellowship and the current and future state of the program.

We discussed recruitment, which wrapped up on Friday when our 21 2011 host companies interviewed around 40 finalists and began their difficult decision making process. We're so excited to welcome our new Orr Fellows in the upcoming weeks as they accept jobs at some wonderful entrepreneurial companies in Indianapolis! 

We also talked about different initiative areas, such as service and our international trip! Our Fellowship class will be the very first group to get to go on an international trip at the conclusion of our two year commitment. Not only will we get to travel abroad to experience high growth start-ups in the international business community, but we will get to go with 20 of our closest friends! We get to work with our Board of Directors to choose the destination of the trip--who knows where we'll end up going!

The Orr Fellowship has a lot to offer any qualified college graduate. While we're no longer accepting applicants for the 2011 class of Fellows, it will be recruitment season before we know it for the class of 2012!

Start of a New Chapter (In more ways than one)

 So here I am writing my first ever blog, something that I never imagined I would ever do, and a million thoughts about a possible topic are running through my head. Throughout the next two years and roughly 24 posts I plan to blow all my readers minds and expose them to the world of Skip Tokar and his time in the Orr Fellowship. I will cover a myriad of topics including  The Orr Fellowship, Brightpoint (my company), Indianapolis, sports, and any other thing that might pop into my brain. This will be such a ground breaking source of information and wealth of knowledge that you will literally be counting down the days until the first of every month (or thereabouts) when my blog is posted. And while I may not have the supreme blogging abilities of people like my good friend Matt Hudson: or, I give will give a valiant effort in my writing and, with any luck, by the end of my two years I will be somewhat competent in my blogging ability (Note the last sentence, along with pretty much this whole paragraph should be read with a sarcastic undertone... just saying). 

Anyways, back to my original line of thinking for the blog. Since this is my first blog, I was pondering about all the other "firsts" that myself and all my other Orr Fellows (not to mention many of my recently graduated college friends) are experiencing this summer. Last year at this time I was worrying about finding a job. I was looking for high growth start-ups, Indianapolis job opportunities, specifically looking at the "best places to work in Indiana list", various leadership development/ rotational positions, and even some consulting and investment banking positions. I was lucky enough to find the Orr Fellowship, make my way through their recruiting process, and eventually receive an offer from Brightpoint. After evaluating all my options, I realized that the Orr Fellowship and Brightpoint offered a tremendous opportunity (more on this in a later post, that was a teaser by the way). 

Flash forward to today. I am now in my first real job after college, writing my first blog, and am now in one of the fastest growing Business Fellowships in the country. I am excited to start this new chapter of my life and am glad that I get to muddle my way through these next few "adult" years with over 25 other Orr Fellows who are in the same boat as myself.

So I hope you liked my first blog and I apologize in advance for any mistakes that I might have made (I blame my editor). I suggest that you keep track of my progress through the Orr Fellowship by marking you calenders for October 1st when my next blog hits the streets.

The Question Every College Senior Asks

About this time last year, I was winding down my summer job and gearing up for my last year of college at Indiana Wesleyan University.  Like most college seniors, one thought came up over and over again in mind:

What am I going to do after I graduate???

Fast-forward twelve months and not only have I settled down in a new job, but I have been exposed to opportunities that I never thought I would be this early out of college.  I was able to get this job through the Orr Fellowship, an organization dedicated to the development and retention of Indiana students and natives.  The fellowship seeks to match college graduates with high-growth companies in Indiana.  I was fortunate enough to be hired on at Compendium, one of many entrepreneurial companies in the Indianapolis area.

Since the start of my job two months ago I have been exposed to many different areas within Compendium that a normal entry-level job may not provide.  The accessibility to executives within your company and the hands on experience that I've gotten in just two months has been both exciting and a great opportunity to learn.  

Not only do you get a great job with one of the fast growing Indianapolis companies when you are in the fellowship, but you get to go through the fellowship with several other recent graduates just like you.  I have developed good friendships with several people in the fellowship and it has given me an instant network of recent grads in an area where I would not have had that big of a network without it.

So if you are about to head back to school for your senior year like I was twelve months ago right now wondering how you are going to find a job and what you are going to be doing, be sure to consider the Orr Fellowship.  The opportunity to work at high growth start-ups along with the instant network of friends your age is a tough combination to beat.



The May 2006 issue of Human Resources magazine featured an article by Sommer Kehrli and Truy Sopp in which the authors attempted to share tips with older generations on how to manage Generation Y, a group roughly 80 million strong born after 1978 that began entering the workforce five years ago. Often the onus for change is on older generations. After all, we 'Millennials' are coming into the workforce whether current generations like it or not. Why should the 'new' be the ones to change our habits or learn new ones from the 'old'? 

An an entrepreneurial fellowship, we constantly strive to place distinguished college graduates into high growth start-ups. But at the same time, we also communicate the need for constant improvement and learning from industry leaders. Nobody is a subject matter expert anymore and while entry-level jobs in start-ups will help you become more knowledgeable about a specific area, it won't guarantee career-long success. To quote Dr. Thomas Mason, Professor of Economics at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, "to be successful at [an older] age, you need to keep learning." 

Need real world examples? 

Did you major in Public Relations or Marketing in college? Are you pretty confident writing press releases? Cool. BUT, looks like Presslift is a step ahead and that skill set will become mainstream in the near future.

Did you major in Web Design or UX in college? Are you pretty confident designing emails for your company's marketing team? Great!. BUT, Toddle is making email newsletter design and marketing a breeze.

Major in Finance? ChubbyBrain is democratizing your skill set.

Going to Law School? Legal Zoom has the basics covered.

Are you a scrapbooking professional? Yup...the semantic web has taken over this too.

EVERYTHING  is changing. High-growth start-ups and technology jobs in Indianapolis will KEEP changing. Being an expert today doesn't ensure anything for tomorrow. As Gen-Y'ers, we want to be mentored, use new technology, and be given the space to try new things. But we can be too confident, and in the process, atrophy our innate strengths of learning and development.

Your job won't be around forever, and if you don't keep learning, neither will you. The first step is accepting that a college degree doesn't make you an expert. The second is opening yourself up to learn skills, habits, and lessons from Generations past.

Oh...and sign-up to have your tree lugged through TREE LUGGERS or follow our tweets @treeluggers.

Creating a Shared Experience

This American Life is a radio program out of WBEZ in Chicago that attempts to display what it is like to live an ‘American life’, complete with its dullness as well as its luster. Reporting is not done in the way we see on television or hear on more traditional radio. Rather, the producers attempt to place us into the culture of the topic area; the sounds bites are not ‘bites’ at all. They are actual, full, complete stories that connect the listener to a new set of experiences. This American Life attempts to make the events that mold our being (whatever that means), which makes understanding the experience more transparent. The radio program, at it's core, is about manufacturing an experience.

For example, attempting to paint the picture of Rome to my friends and family when I returned from a tour of Europe was excruciating. My pictures of Trevi’s Fountain did not nearly do it justice. My explanations of the white cliffs of Dover were juvenile. The only way in which my friends could understand the awesomeness of my trip would have been for them to experience it for themselves. In the absence of a shared “experience,” the narrative loses a little bit of sincerity.

The Orr Fellowship strives to create entrepreneurship careers that do more than simply provide post-graduate networking, entre-level jobs in startups, and an Indianapolis job opportunity; The Orr Fellowship strives to create a shared experience among Orr Fellows. Distinguished post-grad jobs are often about putting in time quietly on the sidelines while you wait your turn to play in the game.

This business fellowship is different. Jumping into fast growing Indianapolis companies is not something that most entry-level jobs in Indiana afford a fresh graduate. But entreprenurial companies need driven graduates to help contribute immediately. These companies look to Orr Fellows to help fulfill that need, providing a shared entreprenurial experience in the process.

Click here to find out how you can be included in this experience!

Who is the Orr Fellowship For?

As we near Finalist Day when the class of 2010 Orr Fellows will make their decisions on whether to accept an offer to join the Fellowship, I think it's worth looking at who the Orr Fellowship is for.  Working with high growth start-ups takes a certain kind of person, and it's certainly not for everyone.  Here are a few characteristics that you might want to keep in mind.

The Orr Fellowship might be a good fit if you…

- Are graduating from an Indiana college or you’re originally from Indiana, and you have a strong GPA (preferably 3.5 and above)

- Enjoy working with smaller companies where everything is usually fast paced and everyone has to be willing to help out on various projects and different functional areas like marketing, finance, etc.

- Are someone that is eager to take initiative and make things happen rather than waiting to be told what job you need to do everyday

- Are interested in working in a variety of different roles.  Many Orr Fellows rotate through different departments or work for a company that’s small enough to require every employee to be multi-dimensional.

- Would like to have a network of like-minded peers that you can work on potential business ideas with and get together socially

- Want to work for a fast growing Indianapolis company, and have the ability to get to know executives from other high growth start-ups

- Want to define your own career path by taking on big responsibilities in a small company rather than being a number in an entry level program at a large corporation

The Orr Fellowship might NOT be the right program if you…

- Are hoping to travel and have opportunities to work abroad right away.  Although many Orr Fellows will have the opportunity to take smaller trips through the course of their job, the program is not designed to be travel intensive

- Need a boss to tell you exactly what to do every day.  The most successful Orr Fellows are the ones who take initiative and execute beyond what they’re expected to do

- Expect to be in charge of the most important projects from Day 1.  As an Orr Fellow you will likely have some less than glamorous projects at some point.  However, they’re only opportunities to over deliver and build your reputation so that you can lead major projects in the future

- Base your job search on finding the highest possible starting salary.  If you make it through the Orr Fellowship recruiting process you can find a better paying entry level job in Indiana or elsewhere.  The Orr Fellowship is not for people who are looking for the money now, but for students that are more interested in learning, establishing a network, and getting a great experience so they can advance their careers more quickly in the long term.

This is not a comprehensive list of characteristics that define the Orr Fellowship.  Hopefully it does give you at least a slightly better idea about whether or not the program is right for you.   Among business jobs in Indianapolis, the Orr Fellowship may be one of the best opportunities for college graduates.


How will they choose just 20?

Wow. ROTC (Reception on the Circle) last night was unbelievable. All of the current Fellows had a great time getting to know the candidates. I left thinking - how will the board of directors narrow the 60 candidates from last night down to only 20 in the end? I wish all of the candidates the best of luck putting together a personal summary and essay to submit on Monday, and can't wait to see who attends Finalist Day.  

With that being said, what I really want to do is address a few of the FAQs I got from candidates last night...

Q: How is the Orr Fellowship different from other Indianapolis job opportunities?
A: No other Indianapolis job opportunity compares to what the Orr Fellowship has to offer. You can go to work at a Fortune 500 company etc., but it will not give you the following:
  • Instant access to Host Company executives and Indiana business leaders
  • A social network of the other Fellows and alumni 
  • Monthly business leader meetings and professional development opportunities
  • A chance to reassess at the end of the 2 year Fellowship - go to grad school, change companies, start your own, or stay with your Host Company 
  • and of course there are MORE reasons...
Q: How are Fellows compensated? 
A: I was asked this question more times than expected, but I suppose it's one that should be answered since as a Fellow you'd have an entry-level job in a startup (which is probably much different from anything else you're considering).

I will say that although the salary isn't glamorous, it's 'average' and most definitely an amount you can live on. You are paid by your Host Company, but all Fellows are paid the same amount. Benefits will vary depending on the Host Company you are placed in. Other business jobs in Indiana or entry level technology jobs may pay better, but if you look at the answer to the question above - you'll see what you're not getting with those opportunities. 

Q: Have you enjoyed your experience in the Orr Fellowship so far? 
A: YES! I've been given a lot of responsibility in a short amount of time. I work with executives on a daily basis. I have a group of friends I wouldn't have had without the Fellowship... I can't believe it's already been a year and a half. I'm going to be bummed when my Fellowship is over. 

TGIF! Have a great weekend everyone. 


Social'ing the Maltese Falcon

Burberry might be one of the only clothing brands that was born out of a trench coat. The plaid patterns and distinctly British feel to the line of clothes, accessories, and bath items draws clear inspiration from Humphrey Bogart's famous Weasel and Stoat in films like “The Maltese Falcon” and “Casablanca.” Today’s New York Times, in an interview with Burberry’s 49-year-old President Angela Ahrendts, explains how despite their background in more traditional items, Burberry is attempting to “adapt the trench coat to the age of the Internet.” The article goes on to share Burberry’s plans for a social networking site called, which is specifically designed to market to younger consumers.

Should I repeat that? Humphrey Bogart is going social. The start of a beautiful friendship, indeed.

Is a business career in Indianapolis chic? Are local business jobs ‘smoking cigarettes in a fedora’ when they should be ‘drinking green tea and listening to their iPod’? Burberry is remaking themselves into a 21st Century company, pulling a classic brand into the Internet Age, and there are numerous jobs in Indiana attempting to do the same. Technology jobs in Indianapolis are beginning to reap the rewards from years of companies like Compendium Blogware, ExactTarget, Angie’s List and carving out a niche for the region in internet search marketing and IT infrastructure. Indianapolis area jobs are thriving with jobs for recent grads helping organizations remake themselves into a 21st century organization. Click here too see a list of some of the Orr Fellowship’s Host Companies.