Saint Mary’s student is awarded Orr fellowship
Veronica Navarro | Thursday, January 13, 2022
Saint Mary’s senior Eliana Sanchez was recently awarded the Governor Bob Orr Entrepreneurial Fellowship in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was the only student from the College to earn the award this year.
According to its website, the Orr Fellowship is an opportunity for recent college graduates to spend two years working a full-time paid position at a company in Indianapolis. Its mission is to develop the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs. Only the top seniors in the country are selected for the fellowship, which has an acceptance rate of 6%.
Sanchez is a first-generation college student who is very involved in campus life at Saint Mary’s. In addition to completing majors in both psychology and environmental studies, Sanchez is a student trustee and a student leader in the Office for Common Good. In the past, she has served as president of Latinx club La Fuerza, vice president of the Student Diversity Board, a Belles Connect mentor, as well as an Embody summer theological institute mentor and ambassador.
“My last two years as a leader have really impacted me,” Sanchez said. “Trying to create plans and strategies to engage with students and different audiences was something that I wanted to take into my future.”
For Sanchez, participating in the Orr Fellowship was a no-brainer.
“I’ve always had a passion for staying connected and improving the place I came from,” Sanchez said. “The mission of the Orr Fellowship is really what got me on board.”
Sanchez was born and raised in Hammond, Indiana, and said she was certain she wanted to remain in her home state after graduation.
Before discovering the Orr Fellowship, however, Sanchez said she was planning to attend graduate school to continue her education in psychology.
“At first, I didn’t think that my psychology major would fit into many different business-related careers, so business and organizational leadership is definitely a different career path than I saw myself pursuing,” Sanchez said. “The Orr Fellowship and their strong mission helped to change my mind and show me other possibilities. I still want to go to graduate school at some point but the fellowship really appealed to me.”
After her graduation in May, Sanchez will be moving to Indianapolis to work for Boardable, a board management software.
“I’m ready and excited to be working for a company that’s so mission-driven,” Sanchez said. “I’m ready to be open to new ideas and learn from new people.”
The Orr Fellowship provides recent graduates with their first experiences as young professionals. Sanchez said she is also eager to learn to balance work and life.
“I haven’t had many work experiences outside of college life and I’m actually eager to work a real nine-to-five job,” Sanchez said. “I think it’ll be a great experience.”
Sanchez said she would encourage other Saint Mary’s students to consider applying for the Orr Fellowship.
“I would definitely say, if you’re not sure what to do after graduation, you should consider applying,” Sanchez said. “Put yourself out there. You might even change your mind about what you had planned.”