Life Right After Graduation – Orr Fellow and Alumna Jenna Philips (’16)

Jenna Philips – Comm Studies graduate ’16

  • Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Current Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Current Employer: Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis

“I am an Orr Fellow. The program is designed to develop the next generation of Indiana’s business leaders and entrepreneurs. They take any major and any skill set and place us with a full-time job at an Indianapolis company and in addition to our job, we partake in endless curriculum and community building activities. We do business case competitions, non-profit consulting, run our own non-profit that teaches middle school kids about entrepreneurship, get to take classes and workshops from Indiana’s best and brightest, etc.

Each year, about 1,100 college graduates apply and about 40 get the position, so it really opens doors for us and just being a part of the community is a huge blessing. My full-time job is at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis and I am currently a communication associate. I will also likely be doing rotations in Human Resources, marketing and sales soon. I am the communication liaison to HR, IT, Information Security, and Community investment. My focus is on doing special projects so some of my current projects are writing speeches for our CEO, leading our rebranding efforts, developing a new economic development program, and writing a comprehensive communication plan for our Chief Technology Officer.

Additionally, I am starting my own company with two other people (one is a TCU grad). It is called Alphabet Soup and it is a software as a service company focusing on sorority and fraternity recruitment. We are meeting with our first potential clients next week. My technical title is Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, but the three of us really do a little of everything. Advice for students: In order to be a leader, you must be an outstanding individual contributor first. Many of us are leaders in many ways in college, especially during our junior and senior years. We get used to that responsibility and expect to have it when we graduate as well, but everyone is at the bottom of the totem pole during his or her first job. Work hard at whatever is in front of you and it will be noticed. Focus on what you do know. You were hired because of a certain skill set. If at all possible, join a rotational or development-focused program. As communication majors, a lot of us don’t have a clear idea of the exact role we want to be in. Being able to rotate and work on a variety of projects is slowly but surely showing me what I want to do and what I do not want to do.”