Are Praxis participants interns?
The answer is a resounding no.
Praxis participants are more than interns and the Praxis experience is more than an internship. The best word to describe the role of a Praxis participant is that of apprentice. Apprenticeships are designed around learning by doing, immersing the employee in a level of work that provides meaning and value and also gives them an opportunity to learn. Just like apprentices of old, Praxis participants are hired on full-time at their business partners when the program is over.
Also just like the traditional apprentice model, Praxis participants have somebody from whom they can directly learn, get feedback, get coaching, and be provided resources. The Praxis advisor fills in for the Master in the old apprenticeship model on the education side, while the business partner provides the environment in which the participant can engage in meaningful work. Many business partners choose to mentor participants during their time in the program in addition to the coaching from the Praxis advisor.
The Praxis experience is no sitting in meetings taking notes for note-taking’s sake, no grabbing coffee, no making copies. It’s no sitting in intern orientation and it’s no working just a few hours here or there while watching other people do the real work.
The Praxis experience is a real job in a real role creating real value. It lasts long enough so that you aren’t just in-and-out at a company (unlike many internships, which only last a semester or a few months).
Past participants have, through their apprenticeships:
- Closed six figure deals
- Established new sales processes
- Launched full-scale marketing campaigns
- Overseen the deployment of new products
- Written books on the behalf of their business partners
- Traveled with executives to conferences
- Assisted in new fundraising rounds
- Overseen the hiring of new employees
That’s a lot more than any intern can say they did during their internship.
Our Business Development team works hard to guarantee a quality work experience to participants. When we prospect new companies and speak to the executive team members, if they refer to Praxis participants as “interns” or to Praxis as an “internship program,” we kindly remind them that that is not what Praxis is. If the confusion persists, we part ways with that prospective business partner.
When talking to a prospective business partner, if they tell us something like, “I wish this was around when I was younger!” (and many do tell us that), that’s a great indicator that they will be a successful business partner. If they want to ping-pong us over to the head of an internship program, we kindly decline the relationship. It is our number one priority to get participants in quality experiences that will allow them to add real, substantive value and help them come alive in what they do.
You can go get an internship almost anywhere — only with Praxis can you get a full-fledged, modern-day apprenticeship with a growing startup.