What is Praxis and why did I decide to be part of it?
Updated: Jun 29, 2019
In less than a month, I am going to start a one year program for entrepreneurs that will help me to bust my career and develop essential skills for the business market, learn how to create value for companies and signal it effectively. Something very awesome about this ‘enterpriser accelerator’ is that I have not started on it yet and I am already learning so many things every day, thanks to their resources, instructors, and collaborative community. This opportunity is great! Isn’t it? However, two years ago, my mindset about education was completely different. I thought that traditional education and accumulating fancy diplomas were the only way to become successful and build a brilliant career.
It is a natural desire from the human being to pursue success, to be curious, be willing to learn and keep improving himself. Reflecting on this desire some time ago, I thought I knew what my dreams were. Once I graduated from college in my hometown, I wanted to participate in an exchange program abroad, and after that, I would study a master degree in Europe. Those experiences would give value to my resume and assure me a great job on my return to my home country, I would make a lot of money, and I would feel that I accomplished all my goals. So I started to follow my plan: once I graduated, I moved to the USA as an Au Pair for a year, that was a lifetime experience that brought me a lot of learning. However, the hard part of the plan was when I returned to Colombia; now I had to figure out how to afford to study a master degree somewhere in the old continent. I realized that I would have to get into huge debt to accomplish that dream. I felt very anxious and disappointed, but I knew that the wiser decision that I could make at that moment was to wait and not pressure things.
On the other hand, I was working teaching English at a university in Medellin, and at the same time, I started to work on projects, combining my love for education with the creation of products. A year later, I co-founded my first educational startup, and I discovered in business a new world that I had never explored but was fascinating to me, and I wanted to know more about it. Eventually, I quit my job, and my company became my new obsession. I just wanted to get more knowledge, so I could apply it and make my company grow. The everyday work that I did on my startup helped me to learn valuable things and gain a lot of experience, but my ignorance in some areas made me make several mistakes that I wish I could have avoided.
For this reason, the idea of studying a master degree came again to my mind, but this time, I was thinking about studying business administration. I noticed that I did not care anymore about getting an expensive diploma; I just wanted to learn about business more deeply. I realized that in fact, I wanted to study at a university abroad in the past because of two main reasons: 1. I cared a lot about impressing my family and colleagues, and 2. I wanted to explore Europe and enjoy its culture. Knowing this made me reflect more and discover that people’s opinion about me would not make me happy and that I could get to know Europe if I traveled there to visit places and meet local people.
During that season, I was thinking about signing in a local college, but my husband (at that time, my boyfriend) came out with an idea that sounded a bit strange to me. He introduced me to Praxis, explaining that it was a program for entrepreneurs in which I would learn about startups while working on projects, and I would have expert instructors guiding me through the process. That sounded very awesome to me, but I was feeling skeptical. Hearing always from my mom (who is a literature teacher) how important it was for my career to go back to school and get a master’s degree or even a Ph.D., the idea of investing money and time studying a program that would not give me a title was something new to me. It took me some time to think about my husband’s advice.
Nevertheless, since I met him, I have always considered him a person who makes wise decisions, and I highly admire him for that, so I would not lose anything with doing some research on my own. For my surprise, what I found out about Praxis was incredible! It offers more benefits for my professional and personal growth than I could imagine. Some of the things that impressed me the most about the program are the following:
The first stage of Praxis consists of a six months boot camp: During that season, participants study 6 modules about different business areas, at the same time that they create real projects and gain experience. One of Praxis’ philosophy is that the best way to learn something is by doing and putting in practice the knowledge acquired, instead of just studying theory.
The second stage of the program consists of a six months apprenticeship: Participants are placed with a startup to work in the role that they prefer and feel more comfortable with. They have the opportunity to increase their experience there, learn from the CEOs and the team of each company.
Participants get paid! While doing the internship at the startups, participants get paid for their work. At the end of the program, they would have received $14.000! Which is more than the total cost of the program. That means that Praxis pays off for itself; people get back what they invested, so by the time they graduate, they can be debt free! The majority of participants get a job after graduating: According to the founder of Praxis, 96% of participants who finish the program get a job straight away. Praxis has different partner companies that are willing to hire them due to their sharp skills, responsibility, and innovative initiative.
Participants get guidance from expert instructors during the whole program: Starting a career in business can be very challenging, especially when you do not have previous knowledge about it. Fortunately, Praxis has a great group of instructors that are always willing to support you in every step, and show you ways in which you can keep improving your work.
Access to great resources and great community: One of the things that I love the most about Praxis is its community and how participants are always willing to support and help each other to grow. You can learn from other members of the community; they can help you to answer doubts based on their experiences, what has worked, and what has not worked for them. Besides, Praxis instructors provide you with excellent resources that will help you to increase your knowledge, productivity, and efficiency. Some of those resources are books, podcasts, videos, workshops, etc.
Taking all these advantages into consideration, I could see my career plan from a different perspective, and I decided to apply to the program. It took some weeks to write some essays, getting some interviews and wait for an answer. I can say from a proud and grateful place that I got accepted, and now I am on the pre-program season, working already in some tasks guided by my instructors. Praxis also gives me the opportunity to work on real projects like my personal brand, and give me the resources needed for making it outstanding. I love the opportunity to grow and learn that I have found here, and the values of professionalism, responsibility, creativity, and innovation that are transmitted. I think that the knowledge remains when the learning process is authentic when is fed by the motivation of becoming better in a particular area, instead of having the goal of getting grades or a piece of paper that says that you are good at doing something. I decided to be part of Praxis because for me this program is the best way to learn and gain a lot of experience about business, different roles and areas, improve my career as an entrepreneur so I can use this knowledge for my brands and getting great jobs at the startups they have partnerships with. If you want to know more about Praxis, I encourage you to visit their website and give yourself the chance of discovering new ways of launching your career!