Some of the Hendrix grads who work at Little Rock startup Apptegy, from left: Travis Howk ’17, Bob Berardi ’15, Dominique Kelleybrew ’11, Zelda Engeler-Young ’21, Sarah Hyndman ’13, Michala Roberts ’17, Kathleen Conley ’16, Barrett Goodwin ’17, Will Poff ’11, Anna Holmes ’18, Andrew LeMay ’15, Sydney King ’16 (back), Rachel Elmakiss ’20 (front). / Photo Courtesy Apptegy
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (July 22, 2022)—As Apptegy grows, so grows the number of Hendrix College graduates who work
to further the company’s success.
The Little Rock-based
education-technology company began in 2015 by working with only a handful of
beta school districts in Arkansas. Today, it works with and supports more than
2,500 school districts across the U.S. through Thrillshare, its communication platform
that empowers school leaders to control their messaging and the people closest
to these stories to be the storytellers. Thrillshare allows K-12 administrators
to create news, stories, and media on a single platform, which then distributes
the content to linked tools like social media accounts, SMS, voice calls,
mobile apps, and websites.
2022, Apptegy counts nearly two dozen Hendrix alumni among its employees—some who
graduated in the 1980s and ’90s, and others who earned their Hendrix diplomas
just a few months or years ago.
Hendrix education doesn’t just happen in the classroom,” says Leigh
Lassiter-Counts ’01, director of Career Services at Hendrix. “Through the
Odyssey Program and our strong commitment to active and engaged learning,
Hendrix graduates enter the world prepared for work… consistently noted for
their flexibility, creativity, and growth mindset.”
draws Hendrix graduates to a company like Apptegy? And what draws Apptegy to hire
liberal arts college graduates?
Apptegy, we value thoughtful people that can really own their work and take
responsibility for it,” says Jeston George, the company’s founder and CEO. “Hendrix
challenges its students to think of others and to challenge themselves; that’s
very attractive to fast-growing companies.”
“The liberal arts is
all about setting you up to be a lifelong learner—and the curiosity and
creative thinking that Hendrix fostered in me have been incredibly valuable
skills during my time at Apptegy,” said Barrett Goodwin ’17, a politics major
and history minor who has been with Apptegy since shortly after graduating. “In
a fast-moving startup, you have to be able to adapt and think on your feet.
Hendrix prepared me for that, no doubt.”
Will Poff ’11 agrees.
“A liberal arts education—like the one provided at Hendrix—helps many graduates
learn to think critically, communicate efficiently, and approach problems and
solutions in a dynamic way,” he said. A classics major/gender studies minor
while at Hendrix, Poff now works in sales development for Apptegy, and pointed
out that using the skills he honed at Hendrix in his daily work has enhanced
his personal and professional growth.
Kelsi Stimack ’18,
who graduated from Hendrix with an interdisciplinary studies major in
entrepreneurial management, says that designing her own major prepared her to
figure out how to solve problems. “It forced me to confront and figure out what
skills I would need in the workforce and then figure out how to grow in those
skills,” she said. “At Apptegy, one of the biggest things they expect from
everyone is personal and professional growth. Being able to identify and
intellectually think through the things I want to grow through, make a plan,
and then actualize that is something I picked up from Hendrix.”
Though she’s proud of
her degree in history with a minor in French, Kathleen Conley ’16 says it isn’t
so much about what someone learned at Hendrix, but how they learned it. “One of
the biggest benefits I received from my Hendrix education was the development
of skills and qualities that aren’t tied to a single academic
field—communication, adaptability, and curiosity are the first three that come
to mind, but there are many others that have been fostered by my Hendrix
experience,” she said. “Not only did I end up in a completely different career
field than the one I’d planned for as a senior in college, but in my time at
Apptegy I’ve also had the opportunity to grow into new roles and
responsibilities that previously never would have seemed like options to me. I
believe that I am where I am now in large part because of those foundational
skills I developed at Hendrix.”
Much like Conley, Michala
Roberts ’17 says her Hendrix-acquired ability to see things from multiple
perspectives works to her advantage now. “On the Client Success team at
Apptegy, you have to be able to balance your roles as tech support, product
expert, client representative, and teammate. Because of the rigorous coursework
and culture of high expectations at Hendrix, I was prepared to work hard, learn
quickly, and imagine creative solutions to both expected and unexpected
situations. No matter your major, Hendrix would prepare you to be successful
“I firmly believe it
is because of the diverse array of skills that Hendrix cultivated alongside the
connections I made that not only prepared me for my role here at Apptegy, but also
allowed me to feel like I belonged in an atmosphere as amazing as this one,”
said Nathan Painter ’22, who majored in international relations.
Beyond their academic
coursework, Hendrix students participate in many extracurricular activities.
Those experiences develop skills such as leadership and time management. “Hendrix
best prepared me for Apptegy by helping me be able to work well under pressure,”
said Rachel Elmakiss ’20. “Working on the yearbook especially helped me to
learn to balance my own work schedule and be self-sufficient.”
Allison Epperson ’22,
who majored in sociology and minored in Spanish, sees parallels between Hendrix
and Apptegy: Both organizations require high efficiency and productivity. “The
workload and culture of Hendrix is comparable to Apptegy’s because everyone
here strives to produce quality work while also having fun,” she said.
That culture of high
performance and thoughtfulness is seen as key to the company’s success. The
approach has gained recognition for Apptegy: It was named one of America’s Best
Startup Employers by Forbes in 2020 and 2021, and awarded a spot on Inc. 5000’s
list of the fastest-growing private companies in 2021 and 2022. Apptegy was
also featured by Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces in 2022, one of only 475
companies in the U.S. with that recognition.
Apptegy is among a number of companies hiring across
Arkansas, and Hendrix College Career Services offers assistance for both
current students and alumni who are considering their employment options. Email
the team at email@example.com or
visit their section of the
College website for more information.
About Hendrix College
A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix
College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal
arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools
That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and
rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous
college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been
affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.