Each month, dozens of businesses from around the US inquire about partnering with Praxis to take Praxis apprentices.
They’re looking to fill roles ranging from sales and marketing to operations, development, and creative, as well as more generalist positions. For the partners we accept, the results have been pretty amazing. The other day we received this message from a business:
“I’m convinced Praxis is the only training ground that puts participants in the right frame of mind to succeed.”
Not bad, right?
Today I’m going to share 6 of the most common questions we get for businesses who are interested in taking an apprentice and our answers to them. If you’re looking to take a participant or you’re looking to apply and want an inside look at our business partner development process, this is for you.
What’s the difference between and apprentice and an intern?
There’s a fundamental structural difference that dramatically increases the probability of good outcomes with an apprenticeship. Everyone is one the same page as to what this is – a short-medium term training and proving ground – and what’s at stake – we’re putting real resources into you and if you succeed you’re on the team – which creates excellent incentives for all parties. This is an extended interview with real “skin in the game”. New hires might feel a little too secure, while interns a little too insignificant.
Contrast an extended apprenticeship with the explicit goal of discovering someone’s long-term potential at the company with asking them to sit though years of school and hope that the credential they get will signal that same potential. It’s like the difference between trusting a marketer’s satisfaction guarantee vs. trying the product yourself before you buy.
What do Praxis participants bring to my business?
You get dynamic, entrepreneurial young people who are committed to creating value for you. Whereas many young job seekers today are in it for the job and concerned more about what you can give them, Praxis participants have been taught that the reverse.
They look for opportunities to create value and they take them. They’re not looking for a paycheck or a conveyor belt career — they’re more ambitious than that. They don’t want a job where they work from 9-5 and then go home and turn their mind off. They’re looking for a company at which they can grow and in turn, help grow.
This is why business partners like PandaDoc take multiple participants. They know they can consistently trust Praxis participants to overdeliver.
— Jared Fuller (@fullerfreedom) March 23, 2017
How does Praxis support my apprentice during the program?
Praxis participants complete an intensive 6 month bootcamp before they start working at your company. During that time they’ll learn new professional skills as well as begin training on various software tools that your business is using.
For example, if your business uses Hubspot for your marketing automation, your participant will cover that during the bootcamp to make sure they’re ready to jump in on day one. If you use Pipedrive for your sales team, a participant might work with an experienced SDR to learn the basics before they start.
Throughout the entire 12 months, participants are also matched with Praxis advisors who work with them to help them learn new skills, develop existing ones further, and to deliver on the projects they’re working on at work and their own. These advisors have various areas of expertise and more importantly, they regularly connect participants to other professionals for coaching sessions.
In addition to this, participants have access to weekly group discussions with experts in their field. Topics are deep dives into things like productivity and time management, social media marketing, professional communication, philosophical thinking, and more.
In way, you’ve outsourced much of the ongoing training your team goes through to the Praxis education program. If you have a particular area you’d like your apprentice to work on, you have a direct line to our education team.
How does Praxis evaluate applicants to the program?
Praxis is not easy. Our business partners don’t expect coffee getting interns or students looking to pad their resumes. It’s normal for participants to be thrown into a high value task immediately on day one and be expected to deliver. And they will deliver.
When participants apply to the program, they go through an application process that we’ve gotten down to a science. We take all the hassle of vetting and reviewing endless resumes off your hands and have a process that ensures our participants are capable of joining the top 1% of young professionals. We don’t ask for grades or degrees — we look for their ability to create value for themselves and others. It’s a highly interactive process.
We’re looking for participants who have a combination of entrepreneurial mindset and blue collar work ethic, intellectual curiosity, forward tilt, and who are good communicators, highly coachable, and excited about the idea of constant self improvement.
What kinds of roles do you place participants in?
Our participants fill roles ranging like sales, marketing, operations, business development, as well as generalist positions. The goal with each of these roles from is to help them get highly transferable skills and experiences that they can use to continue growing in their careers.
Participants will often grow beyond their initial job title. For example, Mitchell Earl joined Ceterus in the marketing department but now works as Chief of Staff:
— Levi Morehouse (@levimore) January 13, 2017
Whatever role you’d like to fill, you’ll get a dynamic, entrepreneurial young person who is capable of wearing multiple hats and creating a lot of value quickly.
How do you choose your partners?
This is a common question we get. We’re very particular. We have hundreds of inquiries about partners and we make sure we find companies that will provide the experience the participant needs as well as ones that we are able to provide participants for.
Praxis partners with startups in the sense that all of our business partners are built for high-growth and are companies that need hard-working, ambitious young talent to grow with them.
Tech companies naturally lend themselves to growth more than non-tech companies, so many of the fastest-growing companies in the United States today are software and tech companies. The majority of Praxis business partners work with some kind of software and these companies need people to sell the software, market the software, run the operations of the company, and do so much more.
But there are also high-growth non-software companies out there that are startups. We’ve had participants work with holdings companies that work in construction and energy. We’ve had participants work with companies that are in the transportation industry. We’ve had participants work in the culinary industry.
We don’t discriminate based on industry, we discriminate based on growth and quality of work experience.
We have business partners in software technology, energy, advertising, marketing, transportation, biotech, material sciences, services, and pretty much any major industry. What matters is that the company is a great place to work and that it is a culture and environment that will foster a Praxis participant’s growth.