Apex Benefits is among the Orr Fellowship organization’s Indiana network of over 60 high-growth businesses participating as a host company to provide work experience in – what the organization touts as – the “ultimate post-grad experience.”
With an acceptance rate of just 6%, each year nearly 1,000 seniors are recruited from the top universities and colleges in Indiana and surrounding states to serve as Fellows. The program is designed to provide a foundation for success for “the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs,” according to the organization.
This year, Apex is host to two Orr Fellows, Lyndsey Isenhower, a 2019 graduate of Butler University, and Nate Spangle, a 2019 graduate of DePauw University. The Orr program at Apex is championed and coordinated by Vice President of Administration Stephanie DiBlasio.
“Nate and Lyndsey are the first Orr Fellows at Apex and certainly not the last,” DiBlasio says. “We look forward to the opportunity to meet more bright young professionals during the interview process later this week for our 2020 class.”
Not only are Fellows productive members of the Apex team, but they provide the opportunity for the company to expand its corporate, professional and personal connections, which is a major benefit the organization promotes.
“As a company dedicated to continuous improvement and servant leadership, the Orr Fellowship program was a natural fit for Apex,” says DiBlasio. “I appreciate that all members of our leadership team have come forward with meaningful projects for the Fellows to coordinate and, in many instances, completely own from start to finish.”
Their challenges have been many in the first five months of their two-year commitment to the Orr program at Apex. Among other assignments completed, they have conducted market research, spearheaded a campaign to launch a product in a new market, managed interns and coordinated communication plans for large-scale events.
Nate and Lyndsey have Apex employee and 2015 Orr Alumnus Sarah Michaels to look to for additional insight and guidance on navigating their experiences. Sarah is director of Population Health & Analytics and, having unique insight into Apex and the Orr program, she has enjoyed having Orr Fellows at Apex to mentor.
“The Orr Fellows are regarded like every other employee,” says Michaels. “We have high expectations of all our team members, and we empower each of them to think outside the box and offer suggestions and ideas for improving processes every day. Nate and Lyndsey have really embraced those opportunities.”
3 questions with the Apex Orr Fellows
Overall, describe your experience to date with Orr and with Apex.
Being an Orr Fellow is a big commitment but it’s definitely worth it. Our peer group is very talented, and I learn a lot through Orr team building events and networking. And Apex has made the transition from college to the workforce completely seamless. The Apex employees want our feedback. They support that we’re not here just doing a job, we’re contributing. We’re not just Nate and Lyndsey the Orr Fellows, but we’re part of the Apex family.
I’ve experienced that Apex is 100% committed to the Orr Fellowship program. Everyone is very supportive that we have Orr commitments during and outside of working hours. And I appreciate that I haven’t been treated like an entry level person, but as a valued team member. The quality of people I’ve met through Apex and Orr have been far beyond what I could have ever imagined. It’s amazing to imagine that one day I will be one of those Orr alumni given the opportunity to mentor other Fellows.
What’s one highlight of your Apex roles so far?
From day one I was presented with the challenge to assess market opportunity for Apex outside of Indianapolis. I owned doing all the research and legwork and put together an executive presentation. I was able to pitch a proposal to the executive team. Getting to work on that for several months and see it come to fruition, not a lot of people have a chance to do that right out of college.
In college I was often the leader of group projects. I like planning and organizing, and I was able to use and grow those skills managing interns at Apex this past summer. I really enjoyed mentoring them. Also, I appreciate that I receive project assignments that really matter to the company. I get to sit in on meetings others don’t have the opportunity to at an entry level and contribute to the topics and projects being discussed. I feel a lot of respect from everyone, especially Apex leadership.
What would you tell others who may be considering working at Apex?
I’ve already been telling people they should consider Apex. 100%. Even if not through the Orr Fellowship, I encourage students to apply for our marketing internship. There’s so much to learn and absorb, so much opportunity to contribute. Every day I learn from the leadership styles of others as my own is evolving.
There’s a vision for growth – for the company and for each employee. The opportunity to be part of a company like Apex that’s expanding – it’s exciting. The experience here goes so much deeper than the insurance realm. The organization might seem all “suit and tie” from the outside, but in reality, it’s a great group of people who know how to work hard and play hard.