1. Do your research
You should know what you’re applying for. Praxis isn’t for everyone, and it even comes with a warning label. If you’re looking for a way to launch your career, gain transferable skills, and become a member of a network that will both challenge and support you, great! If you’re looking for someone to hand you a job or for an easy path to a highly specific career, we might not be selling what you’re looking to buy.
2. Have a value creation mindset
The most impressive applicants know how to see the value in their work experience, even if it isn’t glamorous. Instead of discounting jobs on their resume as “unimportant” or “grunt work,” they excitedly tell us about sweeping floors or bagging groceries and how those tasks were an integral part to the business running smoothly. These people intuitively understand value creation and the optimism that comes with it, both of which are central to the philosophy of Praxis.
3. Show forward tilt
Applying for Praxis in the first place shows some forward tilt, but don’t stop there. Think of all the times you took action without waiting for endless research or someone else’s permission, and tell us about it! One of my favorite examples from a recent applicant is when he had a construction job over the summer, and his task one afternoon was to break up concrete with a sledge hammer. He followed those instructions for a little while before going out and renting a jackhammer to finish the job more quickly. No cost-benefit analysis or permission needed.
4. Engage with ideas
The Praxis bootcamp is nothing like a traditional classroom as it is highly self directed. If you’re able to demonstrate that you’ve already steered your own education in the past and engaged with ideas outside of a formal classroom, you show that you have the internal motivation to pursue what interests you further than what is required. Are there any authors, bloggers, podcasters, Youtubers, etc who you regularly read or listen to? Tell us about it!
5. Act quickly
The application has two parts, and part 2 has a deadline. Want to show your excitement? Complete the entire application as soon as possible. Each part takes 30 minutes maximum, and the applicants who finish both parts in the same day stand out to us.
6. Write clearly
The essays in the application are our first glimpse into who you are, what you’re interested in, and why you’re applying. Give us all the details! If you write it, we’re going to read it, so don’t be afraid to fill up those essay boxes.
It’s also important to proofread and show your attention to detail. Remember, we are evaluating you like a potential employer would, so take care of those uncapitalized letters, misplaced punctuation marks, and run on sentences.
7. Speak confidently
We love the application interviews because we finally get to put a face with the name and essays! The interview is a great time to show your excitement for Praxis as well as your confidence that you’ll do well in the program. Treat the interview like you would applying for a job, and sell yourself well. If you’re looking for interview tips, we have a compiled list for you.
8. Ask questions
Numerous staff members are available as resources for your questions during the application process. Whether it’s via email, a text message, a phone call, or your staff interview, show that you know how to effectively use your resources and ask questions! Oh, and you should always have at least one question at the end of an interview.
9. Say thank you
This should be a no-brainer, but it’s shocking how many people don’t send thank you notes. One of the easiest ways to show courtesy is to send off a quick note after an interview or a phone call. It can be as simple as, “Thank you for your time!” or you can go the extra mile to mention a part of the conversation you really enjoyed or follow up on a piece of advice you discussed, whether that was to read a certain book or listen to a certain podcast.
10. Be yourself and have fun!
We know the application process is hard, and it has the added stress of being highly competitive (our acceptance rate is about 12%). You know what else is hard? The Praxis bootcamp and apprenticeship. If you’re able to use your competitive drive to motivate you through the tough parts of the application process and show an optimistic attitude, that lets us know that you won’t crack under the first sign of pressure in the program.
Remember, the application is about us getting to know if you’re a fit for the program as well as if you think Praxis is a fit for your goals. We promise never to try to be anything other than what we are, and you should do the same.