Matt Moe was looking for a challenge. Mission accomplished.
Commencement is quickly approaching, and like many who will soon switch their status to "alum," Moe is hardly slowing down. If anything, he's speeding up. For nearly four years, he's been balancing the responsibilities of a marketing major in the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI with those of playing Division I tennis for the Jags. Now he's also an Orr fellow.
Founded in 2001, the Orr fellowship places graduates from Midwestern colleges and universities with host companies in Indianapolis to develop the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs. Candidates are evaluated on their academic success as well as involvement in the community and on campus.
A total of 70 students, including IUPUI's lone representative in Moe, were selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants in 2018. Through the fellowship program, Moe will work for two years as a full-time employee with Sigstr, a local technology company.
"I'm starting out in sales," said Moe, who grew up in Carmel, just north of Indianapolis. "I've had sales planning experience but never a full-on sales role. My goal is to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. I know that if I can develop those sales skills, I will carry them with me no matter what position I end up being in."
In addition to work experience, the Orr fellowship promises various professional-development opportunities, networking with local business leaders and peers, and personalized assessments and career coaching.
"A lot of the companies are relatively small or medium-sized, with a few that are larger," Moe said. "A big aspect of the fellowship is that once you get paired with a company, you are put in a position that isn't just entry-level. You're going to be kick-starting your career in a sense."
For many, the kick-start could lead to launching companies of their own.
"It's cool in the sense that a lot of fellows in the program basically end up starting their own businesses. That connection is always there in the fellowship. There's a really good, close alumni group."
Moe has already started working part-time with Sigstr, so add that to his already full plate with classwork and court time.
"Time management is huge. I thought I was busy in my freshman, sophomore and junior years, but this year has been nuts," he said. "Right now, I'm the busiest I've ever been. It sounds weird, but I'm super happy with everything. I don't really have that much downtime, but I'm loving it."
Moe is spending some of that downtime looking back at the last three-plus years. He chose IUPUI for the chance to play tennis and, being uncertain what he wanted to study, for the option to choose between IU and Purdue degrees. Reminiscing today, there aren't many things he would change about his time as a Jaguar.
"I think a big thing for me over the last four years, something that I wish I had done more, is get out of my comfort zone and just do things that make me uncomfortable, whether that's getting involved in more things or hanging with different people or striking up a conversation with someone else," Moe said. "In the same sense, it's what I'm wanting to do in the fellowship: challenge myself. If I look back at these four years, I want to know that I really put my all in."