My Life as an Orr Fellow- Esther Burson

Esther with fellow Orr and Steele Team Member Taje Wilson.

I joined the team at Steele in June 2023 through placement as an Orr Fellow. A program unique to Indianapolis, Orr Fellowship helps new graduates secure their first full-time position and offers additional professional development and community-building events over 2 years, all designed to help launch young professionals into their careers. Its goal is to “recruit and develop the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.” (

I first heard about Orr Fellowship during my freshman year at Taylor University and was excited to finally apply as a senior. This sounded like an incredible opportunity to guide me through finding my first full-time job as well as a way I could invest in the Indianapolis community following graduation. At the culmination of the 4-month application process, during Finalist Day, each Orr applicant is set up to interview for a full-time position with four or five Partner Companies, and organizations around Indianapolis that are interested in hiring and investing in the next generation. Steele was one of the companies I was matched with, and during my interview with Steele that day, I could tell that their values and culture created an environment where I could see myself giving my all and enjoying my work. At the end of that long day of interviewing, I was offered a position at Steele and was thrilled to accept!

Within the Fellowship, we have 100+ Fellows working at over 60 Partner Companies in all different industries, with four Orr Fellows currently working at Steele. At Steele, we each have different roles and get to work on different teams, but it’s been fun and encouraging to begin my first post-grad job with my peers and have the shared Orr Fellowship experience.

In addition to helping new graduates land a full-time position, Orr Fellowship facilitates a variety of events for Fellows each month in keeping with its mission, such as live interviews with local industry leaders, leadership training workshops, movie nights, weekend retreats, and intramural sports. Beyond official Orr-sanctioned events, the Fellowship connects you to a huge network of peers where you might ask for dinner spot recommendations, proofreading for an email, or see who else has tickets for the next concert or game in town. Personally, my favorite ways to be involved have been grabbing coffee with Fellows 1:1 to get to know them better, attending a women’s Bible study on Friday mornings, and getting to work with a team to prepare a solution pitch for a local startup.

I am so grateful for the opportunity that Orr Fellowship gave me to join the Steele team, and even more so to Steele for taking the initiative to be an Orr Partner Company and actively investing in those of us just beginning our careers. I have learned so much alongside the Steele team already and continue to be impressed and encouraged by its focus on bringing the best possible value to our customers.