Last weekend at the Praxis convention in Austin, I was chatting with Cameron about the concept of young adults spending an absurd amount of money for a meaningless degree with no direction. I was one of those kids. I had got into the University of Texas at Austin as a senior in high school and planned on selling my soul to an questionable education system sold to me everyday in high school as the “only way to succeed.” Until I applied to Praxis, I was going to spend (at the minimum) $60K for a piece of paper that plainly stated, “You did it.”… But that’s not the case anymore. Now, with the help of Praxis, I am happily working for a startup called Vital Interaction. I am learning 5X times much as I would have learned spending hours, days, months, in the traditional school system and making money while I do it!
Praxis is amazing in regards to helping me set up possible applications for business partners. Their bootcamp is extremely helpful, coached me through interviews, and held me to my projects and beliefs.
There were several companies in the running but it came down to two startups here in Austin. One was called Outbound Engine. They are a marketing platform that specializes in helping businesses flourish with email, social media, content, and contact management. The other was a platform for complex communication workflow through email, text, and IVR messaging that helped healthcare professionals manage their patients.
Praxis has taught me a lot of things, but one of the most valuable is the ability to see opportunity in every situation. This is why I chose Vital Interaction over Outbound Engine. Even though VI is a smaller and less established company, I believe my growth during these past 4 weeks has been exponential. My goal was to work for a company in which the Founder was completely accessible and I would be given the opportunity to understand how each of the parts of the company combined to make a working successful business. At Outbound, I would have been limited to the sales department. At VI, I am able to work on multiple departments due to it’s smaller startup nature. I work right beside the co-founders instead of setting up a meeting with them in advance. Or trying to push my way to engage them in a conversation at company happy hours when their time is extremely limited.I have a plan. And I’m trying to learn a lot in the least amount of time possible because I don’t want to wait too long to start building my own career. If I could get a business plan going before I am 23, I would be ecstatic. And I think Vital Interaction has a lot to offer me as I grow as an individual.
I’ve been working at Vital Interaction for a month now, and I’ve accomplished the hardest learning obstacle…The ability to manage my time wisely. Making sure things were organized was never an issue of mine. I was “that kid” who, at age 4, would line up all of her stuffed animals during kindergarten lunch perfectly straight. I can’t even start work unless my room is presentable for company. The biggest lesson I learned was the combination of managing work, my social life, and Praxis. Sometimes I kills me to say it, but I became that girl who “schedules” hanging out with friends. But that’s ok. It’s a necessity for the time being. And I’m willing to live with the “consequences” if that means I’m going to get ahead of the race to entrepreneurial success.
Work hard. Play hard. Meet a lot of fantastic people. Use a calendar. Boom.