Apprenticeship Weekly Updates

The Long Journey – Apprenticeship Week 1

After six months of constant professional development and personal growth through Praxis, I finally made it. I was hired at a digital marketing firm called Upgrow, and this week was my first week on the job. A LOT has happened recently, so before I get into what I've been doing for Upgrow, I'd like to touch on how I got here.

Long story short, Praxis actually worked! I'm not saying that I thought it was a "scam", but I suppose I always had doubts in the back of my mind that told me the whole program was too good to be true. Put yourself in my shoes: I was a homeschooled kid who was taught and surrounded by people who believed college "is the only way". Could I really just skip four years of college and jump right into the professional world without a degree?

My first week in the Upgrow office

The answer to that question is a resounding yes, because that's exactly what I did this week! Ever since I was about 10 years old, I've always known that I didn't want to go to college. Until now, I thought my "out" would be scaling my airsoft business, Tacticorps, to a point where I could live off the income. Although I still feel called to be an entrepreneur at some point in my life, I know that I still have a lot to learn. For the foreseeable future, I think the best way for me to learn is by experiencing the startup world first hand.

Getting to where I am now has been quite a long journey, and I mean that in two ways: One, I literally just finished a 40-hour journey driving across the country from Greenville, SC to San Francisco, CA. And two, I've been training for this week ever since I started Praxis. Well, the long journey is finally over. Although I'm still just an apprentice, I feel accomplished. Now it's time for an entirely new journey at Upgrow.

Speaking of which, what did I do at work this week? Besides training and learning our company's internal systems, I did a lot of random things. I don't seem to have a formal job description and my tasks seem to be all over the place... I absolutely love it! I expect that things will become more structured as I progress, but for now, I'm enjoying the spontaneity.

The coolest thing I learned this week was definitely how to use Google Tag Manager. It's a tool that lets webmasters quickly and easily manage their scripts without having to edit any code manually. Once the main GTM script is installed, you will never have to manually add a script again; you can do it all from GTM's handy-dandy interface.

After learning what it was, I created a simple project that helped me understand how to actually use it. By using one of the many integrations that GTM offers, I set up an analytics tracking system for one of our website's lead generators. Without going into too much detail, we can now track and analyze the % of users that submit the lead form vs those who visit the page but don't finish the process. It's not a super interesting insight, but it was enough to impress my boss, who assigned me a similar (but more complex) task after seeing this project.

There's a lot more I could write about regarding what happened at work, but this post is already much longer than I'd like to to be. : )

Also, I feel obligated to acknowledge that I wouldn't even be here if weren't for the amazing people at Praxis. I'm extremely grateful not only for the coaches and advisors that trained and helped me grow throughout the boot camp, but also for the friends I've made who have helped me along the way. It's been an amazing 6 months and I can't wait to see what I accomplish in the final 6 months to come.

The training is over; I have a real job now and it's time to prove my worth. Throughout the next six months, I'm going to make myself irreplaceable by putting everything I've learned into practice. Just wait and see...