Better Together: Embracing Intentionality

I became an Orr Fellow out of spite, to be honest. I was starting to get irritated by all the emails they were sending, but talking to my mentor really made me think differently about applying. My roommate was also applying to Orr, and I was close with an Orr Fellowship alum I met as a freshman at Wabash College who has been instrumental in helping me navigate life after college. So, I said, “What the heck!” and applied.

I originally wanted to go to barber school, open my own shop and do that for a while. However, I knew that going to barber school would be a long road to the money I wanted to make in my career. Orr provided me with a strong sense of community, a nice salary as a fresh college grad and the opportunity to work at an amazing company in Genesys.

The Orr Fellowship is a two-year, post-graduate fellowship that gives recent college graduates the opportunity to gain early career experience at companies throughout several industries. The Orr program partners with companies in Indianapolis to make this possible, and I was fortunate enough to land at Genesys. The mission of Orr is “… to recruit and develop the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.”

Making the decision to move to Indianapolis was a part of a larger motive for me. I’ve always been pretty independent and kept to myself, for the most part. I’m the third oldest of nine kids, so there wasn’t much room for me to be to myself unless I was in my room or away at sports practices. I first discovered my independence when I got to college — and I haven’t looked back since.

The transition from college student to young professional was difficult, but I knew that being away from home and figuring it out would be best for me and my development as a person. And it has been.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I’ve also learned a lot about myself, my capabilities, people and life overall. Being away from home is tough and I really miss my mom at times, but I know that the work I’m doing right now will make her proud. It’ll also put me in the best position to be successful and to be able to give back to my community.

When I got to Genesys a year and a half ago, I wanted to immediately join the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team. DEI was an important part of my identity and things I was involved with in college. I knew that I wanted to keep that in my professional career, at least in some capacity. It’s my way of paying it forward. I care about culture, making everyone feel included and that they can be themselves — and I try to live that out with how I show up. Three rotations later, and I finally made it. Being part of the DEI team allows me to mix my passion with my career, what I consider to be a dream come true.

Outside of Genesys, I’m involved with the DEI team at Orr. My time with Eric Thomas, Jon’a Joiner and Victoria Nguyen has given me a lot of material I can apply to how the Orr Fellowship program approaches DEI.

Eric and the team have an objective and outcome-driven approach, which is something we lacked in the Orr Fellowship. As the Liaison Coordinator on the Orr DEI team, I play an instrumental role in building a culture of inclusivity and belonging across the entire organization. I’ve taken the outcome-driven, objective approach to how DEI is done at Genesys and molded it for the Orr Fellowship Program.

Now we have Liaisons that sit on each leadership team in Orr, and their responsibility is to ensure that DEI isn’t an afterthought or something we turn to when things go wrong. You don’t get to equity, inclusion and belonging by doing nothing. You have to change the current systems in place — and replace them with systems that will, piece-by-piece, infuse the organization with those same values.

The next step is getting Orr to agree to an actionable DEI plan — something we can track progress against.

I would love to think that I handpicked Genesys, but the way the Orr Fellowship application process works, Genesys chose me as one of the candidates they wanted to interview when I was a senior in college. Of all the companies I interviewed with, Genesys rose to the top because of the genuine nature of the folks I was able to talk to during my interview. And they embodied the Genesys core values. Intuitively, Genesys seemed like a place where I could grow but also learn while gaining quality experience.

I can say with confidence that my intuition was spot on.

Now when asked, “Why Genesys?” there’s just an added layer based off what my time so far has allowed me to experience. I’ve gained friends, worked with brilliant people, I’ve been challenged and became a stronger worker and I’ve learned from people who I appreciate to have as mentors. Genesys and its qualities have set the bar really high for me; and that’s what I’ll expect from companies as I look ahead to the future in my career.

I’m currently in the second year of my Fellowship with Orr, which means I need to start thinking about where I want to take my career moving forward. My main goal for this year was to figure out what type of role I would like to step into once June rolls around.

On top of that, I wanted to make the most of my time with the DEI team. I’ve been able to do that by helping as we rebrand Global Diversity Awareness Month — now Global Inclusion Awareness Month — helping with the DEI Resource Library Refresh and finding ways to get more folks involved with our Inclusion Groups and regional DEI councils.

When you take a step back and think, there’s not one thing we can’t be intentional about. What we decide to wear every day, who we choose as friends, how we decide to show up as individuals, who we decide to stand up and speak out on behalf of. Intentionality, in my eyes, is the core of all decisions. There’s no difference when it comes to being intentional about how we approach the idea of inclusion, equity and belonging.

Genesys offers numerous ways for its employees to get involved and practice being intentional. You can be intentional about creating community for employees that come from traditionally underrepresented groups. You can be intentional about raising awareness to systemic issues some face that others may not. You can be intentional about making sure Genesys is a place where individuals can be their true selves.

No one can force you to do these things, but that’s the whole point of intentionality. Not only do you have to be intentional about what you’re doing… you must decide within yourself to act and make the first move. That’s embracing intentionally. That’s how we can move forward, better together, as One Genesys.

Visit us online to learn more about Genesys DEI and Inclusion Groups.