We recently caught up with Praxis alumna Randalyn Hill. This post is focused on her reflection on her time in the program, and her advice to other people considering Praxis.
Meet Praxis grad Randalyn Hill (known to most as Randi). From her 365-day photography challenge to her interview on the Disrupt Education podcast, Randi has shown an extraordinary level of creativity and hustle throughout the course of her Praxis experience.
Started Praxis: 2018
Business Partner: Ama La Vida Coaching
Here’s Randi’s story:
About Randi’s Apprenticeship
Ama La Vida is a coaching company focused on helping people love their life personally and professionally.
My role started in B2B sales development where my responsibilities included cold calls, cold emails, and networking. Slowly I began working on projects outside of B2B sales. I started managing the company Twitter account and building out content on the ALV blog.
In January of 2019, my role expanded to also focus on B2C inbound leads and some of our other social channels.
In March of 2019, my role shifted dramatically towards customer experience and success and marketing. When I’m not implementing feedback from clients to make our experiences better, I’m writing cards, keeping track of birthdays, building out social media content for all our social media channels, solving tech issues, and writing blog content.
Why did you choose Praxis?
To fully answer this question, I think I need to take a step back and tell you about how I learned about Praxis and what made my Praxis experience one that grew me from day one. I grew up homeschooled, always looking for a new way to approach the challenges life wanted to throw my way. Being a homeschooler, I was very open to exploring alternative programs instead of college. I was introduced to Praxis through some family friends. After having an informational call with a team member to learn a little more about it, I knew I had to pursue it.
I got on a quick call with one of the alumni to help me understand her experience, ask some questions, and confirm my interest in applying.
The first time I chose Praxis I was looking to escape my impending college enrollment. I was finishing up Junior year and I was a “smart, driven girl” who would “absolutely love college!” But all everyone talked about was how much I would love the social aspects of college. No one else told me about how the classes would challenge me, or how my professors would grow my mind. It wasn’t a learning experience- it was a social one that I was uninterested in.
At the time when I first applied, I was around 15. I was young for a program that was geared toward a
slightly older audience. I was rejected. It hurt, but I pulled myself together and asked for feedback. I was told as impressive as my application was, it was missing a few things that came with a little more age.
I knew Praxis was both a learning experience and a social one, so I waited a few months. I started
working “real” jobs in place of just babysitting and getting ready to apply again. The second time I applied I choose Praxis because I was looking for a community of people eager to
achieve what everyone thought was impossible. These were people learning, having the social
experience of their lives, and doing all of it without a degree. What more could I ask for?
Turns out, the more I could ask for would be actual admission into the program. Yet again, I was told I wasn’t ready. I was getting ready to graduate and my college-free future was looking slimmer every day. I was a 16-year-old high school graduate with a 4.2 GPA and all the extracurriculars you could ask for, but I wasn’t interested.
I decided to take a gap year, I did some internships, worked a couple more jobs and balanced it all fairly flawlessly. I wasn’t ready to give up 4 years of my life for something people thought I needed. I was a homeschooler after all, I was accustomed to doing things for myself. I didn’t think about a topic and discuss it; I became immersed, I lived that topic until it bored me and then I picked a new one. I wasn’t ready to give that up.
It had been a few months since I last applied and I got a call from Isaac Morehouse. He asked what I had been up to and why I hadn’t applied again. After a long chat, I finally decided to try applying one more time. The third time, Praxis finally chose me, and I got to choose them. It was honestly surreal for a while. It stills feel a little surreal at times. I finally chose Praxis because they are a community of doers. We don’t learn things here, we do them. We’re building parachutes on the way down, and it doesn’t get more tangible than that.
2. What was your favorite part of the bootcamp?
My favorite part of the bootcamp was my cohort. I was going through a really intense program but had a group of people that shared my feelings. We were all coming from totally different worlds, but sharing the same experience. It was amazing to have people to lean on when I need to inspiration, feedback, new ideas, or accountability.
3. What were the top 3 skills you gained at your apprenticeship?
The 3 top skills I gained at my apprenticeship revolved around how to give effective feedback, both positive and negative.
- Working for a coaching company, I was introduced to a feedback framework that ensures the feedback being given is both constructive and applicable so there is no ambiguity around how to
approach the situation the next time it happens and why it’s necessary to come at it from a different angle in the future. I feel like I leveled up on my self-awareness around project management and communication.
- I’ve always been a fairly great communicator, but when I realized that because I was simply communicating instead of over-communicating it was holding up some of the projects I was work
on, I nailed down on over-communicating to improve turnaround time and team awareness.
- The last skill I gained was the ability to operate in ambiguity. Working at a startup things tend to change quickly and constantly. I learned how to assess tasks and know what I still need to execute on no matter what was happening. I built a thought process and prioritization structure around whether a decision was a good or a great one. In my experience, most things that seem like a dire situation can honestly wait 20-30 minutes so you can finish the thing you’re currently working on to move the company forward.
4. What was the most life-changing moment during your Praxis experience?
I can’t pick one moment. I feel as if there was a moment every day where I had the decision to make a life-changing decision. When you think about it, our lives are changed one day and one moment at time. Each day I would have the chance to continue building a habit, to make a learning mistake, to graciously receive feedback, to over-communicate, to take ownership and get something done, but I had to consistently choose those things. Instead of shying away from situations that stretched me I had to lean into them and allow myself to be uncomfortable so I could grow in a new and more valuable way.
Don’t get me wrong, some days it took everything in me not to choose to stay in my comfort zone, but
when you get comfortable being uncomfortable you can really start to become someone of value.
5. What is your advice for those considering Praxis?
My advice to someone considering Praxis is to be very open-minded about what you want to be doing. I started my apprenticeship in corporate sales, then I moved into corporate and personal sales, and then I moved into marketing/customer success and experience, and here soon I’ll be moving into another new role.
No matter where you’re starting, you’ll continue to grow as you get better at creating value. It’s really important not to be set on one position or another because chances are you’ll get there eventually!
Want to keep following Randi’s journey? Here’s how to connect:
- Check out her blog: randalynhill.com
- Connect with her on Linkedin.
- Don’t miss her work on the Ama La Vida blog!
- Follow her on Instagram or Twitter
You can check out all our grads on our graduates page.