Scott Orr Shares His Experiences in the Corporate and Nonprofit Worlds

by   |  04.18.13  |  COBA Alumni, Careers In..., Current Students

Wondering whether to pursue a career in the corporate world or in the world of nonprofits? Scott Orr has done both, a story he shared with a packed room at last Thursday’s luncheon.

Scott Orr in classroom

Orr, who is the Vice President of Public Affairs at Fidelity, has had a fascinating career path since his graduation from ACU in 1984. Starting out at Price Waterhouse, Orr really enjoyed his job as an accountant. However, as he spent a Sunday afternoon in a meeting after having worked twenty-four days in row without a single day off, he decided it might be time to consider grad school.

Orr was accepted to Harvard, so he and his family left their Dallas home and headed north. Through the next couple of years, Orr found himself immersed in case studies, as he learned what it took to be successful in the world of business. Following his time at Harvard, Orr planned to head back to Dallas, get into commercial real estate, and make $1 million dollars.

Scott Orr

However, God had other plans.

Once the housing market plummeted, Orr realized he needed to enter into a different field, prompting him to take an internship with Fidelity that turned into an analyst job where he worked with government and municipal funds. For the next nine years, Orr worked at Fidelity and loved the work he did; however, he and his wife began to grow concerned that they weren’t involved with a healthy church where their children could grow up. Additionally, Orr was beginning to wonder whether or not his career was making a difference in the lives of others.

“I just thought, ‘I’m not doing much for the world,’” explained Orr.

In light of these concerns, Orr quit his job in 2000 and moved back to Texas with his family. In the metroplex, Orr enjoyed a couple months of retirement, during which time he began volunteering at the local food pantry. Through this process, Orr ended up on the food pantry’s board.

From there, he was asked to join an organization that worked with adoption agencies and provided ministry to mothers who had given their children up for adoption. He remained with that nonprofit until he felt that he had helped grow the organization as far as he was able to under the direction of his board at that time.

Once Orr resigned, God once again intervened, this time providing him with a job offer to be the president of Christian Community Action.

Because CCA was significantly larger than the nonprofit at which he had previously worked, Orr’s role was completely different. At his first job, Orr had done everything. At CCA, Orr had a staff, which he was able to use very effectively due to his new-found understanding of the non-profit world as a whole. Orr eventually left CCA and was delighted to return to Fidelity, where he was hired to be the Vice President of Public Affairs.

In this role, Orr has been able to find the best of both worlds. He is still able to effect change, but he doesn’t have to do the draining work of eliciting funds. In addition, he gets to spend a great deal of time working with the government to change legislation, as well as being responsible for motivating employees to volunteer in the community.

Orr would never have imagined that he would be back at Fidelity, but he is incredibly thankful for where he is now, as well as the journey that led him there.

“God really put these things in my path and put each step in my way,” said Orr. “Throughout this whole process God has given me the skills I need.”

Are you looking for God to guide your path?