Entrepreneurial Opportunities Await Graduating Seniors as Orr Fellows

Friday, February 14, 2020
Carson Thrift and Kyla Jarvis

Kyla Jarvis and Carson Thrift are among 70 Midwest college graduating seniors chosen for the Orr Fellowship program’s Class of 2020. Jarvis will spend the next two years with Scale Computing, while Thrift will be with enVista.

Seniors Carson Thrift and Kyla Jarvis may come from different academic backgrounds, but they share the same hometown, sense of adventure and desire for first-hand experiences about what makes Indianapolis’ high-growth companies tick.

That’s why they’re anxiously awaiting the opportunity to join other aspiring entrepreneurs in the 2020 Class of Orr Fellows following graduation in late May. They will spend the next two years in a unique post-graduate setting, learning entrepreneurial skills and developing strong leadership attributes alongside top professionals at successful startups.

They will also participate in special programming and networking opportunities to nurture their talents, build social connections and bring young high-quality talent to strengthen Indiana’s growing high-tech business community.

Thrift will be an Orr Fellow with enVista, a leading global software solutions and consulting services company enabling enterprise commerce for the world’s leading manufacturers, distributors and omni-channel retailers. The Carmel, Ind.-based firm has a growing list of clients which include CVS Health, Dallas Cowboys, Delta Airlines, Nestle Purina PetCare, Pepsico, Stein Mart, Vera Bradley, and Yankee Candle.

Meanwhile, Jarvis is preparing to participate in a leadership training program with Scale Computing, an Indianapolis-based company that’s become a market leader in edge computing, virtualization and hyperconverged solutions for enterprises through the world.

“The Orr Fellowship is a great opportunity to transition from the technical world of engineering to a business setting,” says Thrift, a software engineering major who also is earning a minor in entrepreneurship. “enVista is a growing player in new markets within e-commerce software and, hopefully, my computing and business skills will be a company asset. At the same time, I hope to gain valuable insight on how an entrepreneurial business operates as we enter an exciting new decade for the technology sector.”

The 70-member 2020 Orr Fellows Class was selected from the largest applicant poll in fellowship history, including nearly 1,400 graduating Midwest college seniors. Only 104 were invited to interview with companies for openings. After more than 450 interviews over the course of eight hours, offers were extended to seniors having the best fit for their host companies.

The 2020 cohort will be the Orr Fellowship’s largest class since the program was started in 2002, showcasing the growing demand for talent in central Indiana.

Not all new Orr Fellows come from computer science, programming and engineering. Jarvis is a biology major who recently completed presenting her senior thesis after using Galvanic Skin Response, a measure of the skin’s conductance, and heart rate tools to study the stress levels on math test takers.

“The Orr Fellowship will allow business to interact with my interests in science. I also wanted to get some industry experience after being in a lab research setting for most of my college academic life,” says Jarvis, a 2016 Terre Haute North Vigo High School graduate. “I know that I’m going to get a lot of responsibility that’s going to challenge me. But I love challenges and I love to learn about new things.”

Thrift, a 2016 Terre Haute South Vigo graduate, is no stranger to business and entrepreneurship. This past summer he launched Atlas Home Automation, a technology consulting business that’s bringing cost-effective and modular smart home automation to commercial residences. He plans to continue pursuing this venture while being an Orr Fellow. At the same time, Thrift is planning to supplement his business experiences with a master’s degree in business administration in the future from Harvard Business School, Duke’ Fuqua School of Business, or Wharton School of Business, still focusing on technology and entrepreneurship.
“These are exciting times to be an entrepreneur,” he says.

Other Rose-Hulman alumni Orr Fellows have gone on to work full time with their companies, started entrepreneurial enterprises, and become leaders in the Indianapolis business and tech sectors.