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SMC seniors named Orr Fellows

| Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Saint Mary’s seniors Annie Kennedy and Sara Napierkowski are the latest Belles to receive Orr Fellowships, offering them a two-year entrepreneurial opportunity to gain  post-graduation experience in Indiana.

20140422-Orr_Fellows, Photo courtesy of Gwen O'BrienPhoto courtesy of Gwen O'Brien | The Observer
Previous Orr Fellows from Saint Mary’s include 2013 graduate Nichole Clayton and 2012 graduates Amanda Lester and Melissa Jackson, director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said. This is the third consecutive year Saint Mary’s seniors have received this award.

“Commonly referred to as the Orr Fellowship, the Governor Bob Orr Indiana Entrepreneurial Fellowship was established in 2001 and provides a unique opportunity to soon-to-be college graduates,” O’Brien said. “Approximately 35 Orr Fellows are selected each year from hundreds of applicants to break into the professional world through paid positions with high-growth Indiana companies.”

O’Brien said applicants are typically natives of Indiana or have attended a college or university in the state.

“During their two-year tenure, Orr Fellows gain executive-level mentorship at their host companies and build professional and peer networks,” O’Brien said. “The recipients gain experience with other high-potential professionals within dynamic, fast-growing entrepreneurial companies.”

Upon graduation, both Kennedy and Napierkowski will work for Orr Fellowship host companies located in Indianapolis.

“Napierkowski, an Italian and global studies double major with a concentration in global business administration, will join [previous Orr Fellow Melissa] Jackson at Teradata,” O’Brien said. “Teradata specializes in helping companies consolidate and analyze large amounts of data to ultimately inspire further corporate development.”

Napierkowski said she will most likely have a role in marketing and research.

“When I start in late June, I will do some preliminary work. This will then determine in which area my skills will be most beneficial for the company,” Napierkowski said.

O’Brien said Kennedy, a communication studies major and public relations and advertising minor, will join [previous Orr Fellow Nichole] Clayton at Courseload.

“Courseload primarily helps higher education institutions transition into the digital space,” O’Brien said. “Additionally, Courseload strives to make classroom materials and resources more affordable and accessible for students by creating integrated technology platforms.”

Kennedy said she will be starting out in services to learn the ins and outs of the company, but as time progresses, she will have the opportunity to take on other responsibilities.

O’Brien said Clayton works as an academic services manager for Courseload, focusing on retention and growth at universities where the company is already established.

Clayton said Kennedy and Napierkowski will be immersed in a very innovative and passion-driven community of the Orr Fellowship community.

“Indianapolis is the perfect city for young professionals to explore, learn and develop,” Clayton said.

O’Brien said the previous Orr Fellows from Saint Mary’s have come back to campus and spoken to students about their experiences.

“Hearing about how positive their personal experiences were as Orr Fellows really drew me to the program, and helped me decide it was something I really wanted to do,” Kennedy said.

Clayton said it was very important for her to reach out to fellow Belles and share her story about her exciting and rewarding experience.

“The constant exposure to new opportunities, talented community leaders and ambitious peers is what makes the Orr Fellowship so special,” Clayton said.

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