Saint Mary’s senior awarded Orr Fellowship
Jordan Cockrum | Friday, April 27, 2018
For the seventh-consecutive year, a graduating senior from Saint Mary’s has been awarded the Governor Bob Orr Indiana Entrepreneurial Fellowship. Gabrielle Weldy is the recipient from this year‘s college class.
The Orr Fellowship is a program that places “high-caliber college graduates” into careers in business or technology in Indianapolis. Weldy is a member of only six percent of accepted applicants.
“The positions are guaranteed to grow you in terms of leadership and entrepreneurship, as well as connect you with influential people and organizations in the city,” Weldy said in an email. “Additionally, you are networked instantly with a group of roughly 100 other Fellows who are involved in similar positions at various host companies in the area.”
Having this network with other recipients of the fellowship affords Weldy a unique experience, she said.
“It’s a really cool opportunity to get your foot in the door through unique positions at high-growth companies,” she said.
Weldy’s interest stemmed from presentations regarding the fellowship in her classes, she said.
“The first stage of the application was simply a resume drop, so I thought, ‘Why not?’” she said. “And I just went for it. Then, one whirlwind of a vetting process later, I came out with a great opportunity with a brand new tech startup in Indy. I couldn’t feel more sure of my decision.”
Weldy said she is looking forward to seeing how the Orr Fellowship impacts her future.
“I’m uncertain of the exact shape the next five years of my life will take — I’m considering law school, grad school, non-profit work and more,” Weldy said. “The Orr Fellowship fit well because it was a way that I could take time to think about my long-term plans while making a meaningful investment in myself.”
“I’m confident that I’ll meet talented people who will help me grow immensely in the next two years of my Fellowship, and I’m excited to see where those connections will take me,” Weldy said.
Weldy credits her success to her liberal arts education, although she said at first she did not know how her college experience would translate into a professional setting.
“I think my liberal arts education is taking me exactly where I want to go,” Weldy said. “Being a philosophy and communication double major, I wasn’t sure what kind of a position I would end up in. I also was heavily involved in stage managing theater during my time at Saint Mary’s, and I was unsure how I would tie in that skill set to my career upon graduation.”
Now, Weldy said she sees her background in liberal arts as a factor in what helped her get a spot in the Orr Fellowship program.
“But it turns out, I was exactly the kind of person they were looking for — someone who was a general problem solver, able to wear many hats,” she said. “So I’m just looking forward to putting my education — and that confidence felt by so many Saint Mary’s women — and putting them to the test when the rubber meets the road.”
For students considering applying for the Orr Fellowship themselves, Weldy said she recommends taking the steps to apply due to the opportunities afforded by the fellowship.
“If you’re on the fence about applying, just do it,” Weldy said. “It’s a simple process to initiate, and it can open a world of possibilities that you wouldn’t even think to consider otherwise. When applying, as cheesy as it sounds, it’s very important to just be yourself. They have a well-developed process for finding suitable ways to match graduates with positions that complement their skill sets. The more honest you are about the way you work, the better equipped they will be to know how to place you.”