Life after college can be a time of uncertainty and filled with lots of questions about the future. Is entering the work force the right decision or is graduate school necessary for the chosen career path? Fellowships can be fantastic opportunities to students still exploring their career paths.

The Orr Fellowship offers an excellent post-grad experience. Fellows are recruited from the top seniors at colleges and universities in Indiana and other states, with an average acceptance rate of 6 percent. Located in Indianapolis, these graduates join vibrant companies in positions that create a foundation for career success. In addition to full time employment, Orr Fellows participate in a unique curriculum designed to challenge, develop and propel them toward a career of excellence. They spend two years receiving executive mentorship, growing a strong network, and acquiring new skills.

Holy Cross College is excited to announce that student Lucy Campos ’21 has been named an Orr Fellow. She is one of 80 fellows selected and the only Holy Cross student out of three applicants.

“Over the summer, Adam DeBeck told me about the Orr Fellowship. While it seemed like something completely out of my usual interests (it being a business/entrepreneur-like fellowship while I’m majoring in English/Psych with a minor in Political Studies), Adam expressed that he thought I could be a good candidate. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to trust my mentors and those who know me when it comes things that could be beneficial to me. While my original “plan” was to begin looking at grad school programs, I was still experiencing quite a bit of uncertainty as to what kind of programs to look for. The Orr Fellowship seemed like an amazing opportunity to gain some professional experience while I figure out grad school,” notes Campos.

“Participation in the Orr Fellowship program is a great opportunity for Lucy Campos and the Holy Cross College. It offers alignment to our vision of being an active member of the community. We know Lucy will find success in this program and hope this is the start of future opportunities for students at Holy Cross,” said Holy Cross College President, Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C.

Unique features appealing

Many aspects of the program caught her attention when she looked into the opportunity.

“Primarily its focus on community and continued learning. It has a variety of programs that give back to the community of Indianapolis. The fellowship itself also fosters a great sense of community within itself, as the fellows get to network and experience it all together as a community of Orr Fellows, one great support system. There are a variety of other benefits that promote professional and personal development. It was also going to provide a brand-new perspective and the opportunity for me to dive into an industry that I had little experience in. I fell in love with it all. I had nothing to lose, and everything to gain,” comments Campos.

Journey through the process

The process was extensive, spanning approximately two months this fall, with the initial application being due in September.

“From that initial application, candidates were screened and then invited to complete a pre-recorded video interview. There was an InfORRmation session, where we had the opportunity to learn more about the program but also talk to current fellows and ask questions in early October. After these initial steps, candidates moving forward were invited to attend an event called Reception on the Web, another opportunity to network with current fellows and others involved in the program. That weekend, candidates moving forward were invited to schedule/participate in a video interview with one of the current Board/Staff members. Approximately 350 interviews took place that week,” recalled Campos.

On October 29, those moving forward were invited to re-apply and provide a few other materials including a personal statement and a writing sample. Approximately 100 candidates were then invited to participate in what they call Finalist Day, a day full of interviews.

“During this event, I interviewed with 4 different companies throughout the day. It was kind of like speed dating. Ideally, candidates and the partner companies would find ideal matches and then give/accept offers. My situation was a little unique as I didn’t actually receive an offer that weekend the way most fellows did. We were told that some matches or additional offers could be made in the weeks following Finalist Day, and I was lucky enough to get that opportunity. One of the companies I interviewed with on Finalist Day reached out to me with an opportunity to have a follow-up interview, and then ultimately (thankfully) gave me an offer about a week and a half later. Overall, it was pretty intense; there was quite a bit packed into those two months. I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity, and proud to have been in the top 5-7% of successful candidates,” said Campos.

Opportunity of a lifetime

She appreciates this unique opportunity and credits Holy Cross College for helping prepare her for this next step in her life. Holy Cross gave her experiences that were essential to making her an impressive candidate.

“My academic experiences with research, my internship in Washington, D.C., that the College funded, the work I’ve done for the college under the Office of Development, and other projects for Admissions and the Communications Office, all of these were key points during my interviews. These experiences have given me the skills I need to be successful,” notes Campos. “Preparing for my senior capstone while going through this entire process was also incredibly beneficial. I had structured time and guidance to reflect on my skills, my life, and what my time at Holy Cross has done for my professional and personal development. On a more important note, Holy Cross College gave me the support system I needed to be a successful candidate. I have people in my corner, people who believe in me, and that’s made all the difference. From the very beginning, I did this because a trusted mentor and friend believed I could be a successful candidate. I had Jodie encouraging me every step of the way, letting me use her office for all the virtual events since my computer is far too old to function properly. I had people asking me for updates throughout the process, constantly expressing their encouragement and how proud they were of me every time I made it to a next step. I never once felt alone throughout the entire process even when I was quite literally alone in isolation because of COVID. Time and time again, I like to say Holy Cross College has been a home away from home, and it’s the people I’ve met here, that have made it so for me.”

She has officially received an offer to be a Manager of Recruitment for Ascend Indiana. She’s looking forward to spending the next two years learning, growing, and living in Indianapolis, interacting with a group of other motivated, ambitious young professionals.

“I plan to say yes to as many opportunities as I can, taking full advantage of any and every benefit that will come from this. I do aspire to have a Ph.D. someday, so I look forward to returning to school at some point in my future, whether it be after the fellowship or a few years down the road. In regard to big career goals, I feel drawn to politics. I’d like to be able to directly work toward creating a better future, actually making a difference where I can. Of course, there’s no set plan, but because of everything that I’ve learned, the experiences I’ve had here, I feel confident in the fact that wherever I end up, I’ll be using my gifts and talents to serve those around me for the common good.”