What makes a young person decide not to go to college and choose to break into the professional world instead? What does it take to be successful as a startup employee while you're still a teenager? What's involved in building a personal brand around your passions? Praxis is a 12-month startup apprenticeship program for young people ready to launch their careers. Program participants are a talented and interesting bunch -- they each have unique experiences and interests, and unique reasons for taking an unconventional path. Many of them don't have college degrees, and all of them are building exciting careers, either at startups or in their own ventures. In Talkin' 'Bout Praxis, we do just what the name suggests -- talk about Praxis, and, more importantly, the interesting people who make up our community. In this podcast, Education Director T.K. Coleman and Bootcamp Advisor Hannah Frankman invite Praxis participants to share their stories -- what they did before Praxis, their experience in the program, and what comes after.
Hannah Phillips on Achieving Her Wildest Dreams by Age 19
Hannah Phillips is living the dream life she had been envisioning for herself since she was a kid: she's a full-time entrepreneur making a living off of creating art. She lives in a sunny studio apartment 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh where she paints, does photography, videography, design, and runs her company, Piper Creative, which she co-founded with her friend Aaron Watson.
Hannah previously was homeschooled and worked as a server and tennis instructor when she started her first media company, HP Media, in high school. She started taking photos and videos for a local ultimate frisbee team, where she found out about Praxis through one of the team members, Aaron Watson. Hannah heard his podcast interview with a Praxis team member and decided to apply.
She apprenticed at Flying Cork Media in Pittsburgh while continuing to work on her entrepreneurial projects. HP Media took off, and she went with it full-time upon completing her apprenticeship. From there, she co-founded Piper Creative, a media company offering documentary-as-a-service or "Vlogging 2.0."
Listen to the full podcast episode to hear more about Hannah's experience with Praxis, how she became a full-time entrepreneur at 19, and the significance the color blue holds in her life.
Follow Hannah's life here:
Piper Creative website
Piper Creative YouTube
Emily Cozzens on Facing Her Fears & Finding a Career She Loves
Emily Cozzens had never flown on a plane on her own before starting Praxis. She left school during her senior year of high school and worked at a cheese shop before she found Praxis and thought, “This seems too good to be true.”
Despite her parents' initial objections and some of her own skepticism, she joined the program and flew from Colorado to San Francisco for two weeks of training, and then to St. Petersburg, FL to work for her Praxis business partner, PandaDoc.
Even though she initially wanted a marketing role, Emily took a position as a customer support specialist. She leveraged what she learned in customer support and over the course of 9 months, she fought her way into a dynamic marketing role where she’s built a customer referral program, nurtured relationships with customers, and built a strong and happy customer base.
She plans to use what she’s learned in marketing at PandaDoc to build a career in the permaculture space.
Matt Cannizzo on Making a Career Change & Working in Sales at a Start up
Matt Cannizzo left a well paying job to join Praxis and work in sales at a tech start-up. Although it looked like Matt had it set from the outside, he wanted more from his life and his career, and on this episode he shares why he took a leap of faith to join Praxis and start a new career.
Matt shares what it was like changing careers and how working at a tech start up was different from his expectations, and how he dealt with that. He also shares the evolution of becoming a confident salesman, some of his favourite books, and what’s next for him in his journey.
Discussed in this episode:
Transitioning out of a full-time job and into working for a tech start up Why Matt wanted to work in sales What it was actually like to work at a start-up and how it was different than expectations How to temper expectations How to keep the negative inner voice in check Developing confidence and competence and the evolution of that from the beginning What’s next for Matt on his journey How did Matt’s friends and family react to his change in his life and his career The books that were the most helpful to Matt during his Praxis experience Learn more at discoverpraxis.com
Cassius Carvalho from MetaData on Moving to the US & Working at a Growing Tech Startup
Cassius Carvalho moved from his home country of Brazil to San Francisco to work for MetaData for his Praxis apprenticeship. Since starting at MetaData in customer success, he has moved into a sales role and now into an advertising role.
On this episode of the podcast, Cassius shares what it was like to move from Brazil to the United States, including the challenges, the cultural differences, and what he’s learned. He also shares some of his favourite resources for personal development and how he has worked towards becoming his best self through reading, learning, and building good habits. He also shares how the Praxis program helped him to move up with MetaData and meet his goals to learn sales.
Discussed in this episode:
Moving from Brazil to the States to work at a startup - what his family thought, the challenges, adjusting to the culture, and more Why it’s important to find out the things that you are good at, make the most out of your opportunities and always work to be the best version of yourself The 8 roles that Cassius has worked in 2 years Some of the content that has impacted Cassius the most, including “The Last Safe Investment”, the MBTI test, Tim Ferris, Tony Robbins, and Impact Theory Cassius’ personal decision making system and how he has put it into practice in his life How the PDP method helped Cassius follow through with projects and achieve goals What Cassius is working on now Learn more at discoverpraxis.com.
Taylor King on Building a Career as a Videographer & Content Creator
Taylor King worked with Media Assembly in New York City for his Praxis apprenticeship working in marketing. During that time he also spent 90 days making 90 videos to develop his videography portfolio in hopes of honing his skills and building his following online. Since then he has built his business, and he even had the opportunity to shoot a video for GQ.
On this episode of Talkin’ ‘Bout Praxis, TK, Hannah and Taylor dive into the importance of putting yourself out there, building relationships and networking, how to build a freelance career as a content creator, and the importance of honing your skills to get where you want to be with your career.
Discussed in this episode:
The importance of learning to talk to people Start by doing things for free and building relationships Find one thing in every person that you admire - this can change your life! Ask questions and show that you are interested in other people Shooting a video for GQ and what that was like How to level up your career as a freelancer 90 videos in 90 days with a full time job Everything that you do will get better the longer you do it What’s next for Taylor Learn more at discoverpraxis.com.
Luke Ruffing from PandaDoc on How to Kick Ass in a Sales Role
Luke Ruffing is the head of SDR at PandaDoc in St. Petersburg, Florida. Luke moved from Maine to San Francisco to work for PandaDoc for his apprenticeship with no real sales experience, and since then has exceeded expectations, crushed his sales goal, and worked his way up to his current position.
On this episode, TK, Hannah and Luke talk about what it was like diving into an SDR role at a fast-growing start up in the tech industry in San Francisco, what he’s learned, and some of his top tips for crushing interviews and succeeding in a sales role.
Discussed in this episode:
Moving from Maine to San Francisco and then over to St. Petersburg What it was like to move across the country to work at a tech start up with virtually no professional experience beforehand Dealing with failure and mistakes in a new role and how to learn from that Why diving in can be the best way to learn a new skill set How Luke’s sports background helped him to succeed in his sales role Why Luke chose to dive headfirst into Praxis and a sales role Tips for interviewing well Luke’s top sales tips How to motivate young people / millennials in the workplace To learn more, please visit discoverpraxis.com.