Case Study:
TK Coleman

Educational Director
Praxis

Tell us what you do and what your work typically entails.

I'm the Education Director for an apprenticeship program that helps aspiring professionals launch their careers without a college degree. I'm responsible for what I call "the three c's." That is, the coaching, curriculum, and community experience.

My daily work entails developing materials for our curriculum portal, making improvements in our community, and managing our team of advisors who provide coaching support for our participants throughout the program.

How has the altMBA helped you level up?

The program has helped me significantly reduce the sense of finality that's often associated with shipping. We hesitate to launch our projects and plans because we fear the experience of being permanently doomed by early failures, initial disappointments, and constructive feedback. If there is one thing this program disarms, it's the voice of resistance that tells you "your life will be better off if you hide a little longer before using your voice." Shipping is seen as part of the creative process itself. Rather than treating it as a declaration that says "I'm finished," it's treated as a repeatable stage in the ongoing adventure of learning and personal growth. Instead of waiting on the perfect idea before shipping, I'm far more inclined to use shipping as the very tool that facilitates the discovery of great ideas.

What's the #1 thing that made a difference for you about the altMBA?

The community. There are lots of online communities where you can hang out and chat about common interests, but the altMBA community experience is one where you're constantly being challenged by other leaders, creatives, and top performers in different industries. It's a community that won't let you sit in the back or stand in the shadows. The people here will empathize with you, but they'll also encourage you to step up, own your potential, and share what you have to offer. As an added bonus, the professional, philosophical, cultural diversity in the community creates a unique space for the cross-pollination of creative ideas.

What's something that you have approached differently because of what you've learned at the altMBA?

altMBA is not a classroom where you can walk in, take a seat, listen to the teacher, passively absorb insights, and get an "A" by perfectly following the instructions. It's a participatory experience where you're challenged to take the chance of shipping, of generating your own assertions, of engaging the work of your fellow students, and of finding ways to challenge other members of the community with your unique perspective. In a sense, you have to play the role of receiver and giver in order to fully receive what is given. This understanding has inspired me to really challenge my Praxis participants to approach their learning experiences from other vantage points besides "What does my advisor think about my work?" This is the mindset of a receiver who prioritizes other people's insights and gauges success by other people's approval. I'm now creating changes in our curriculum experience that will involve more opportunities for my participants to give as much as they receive. This will involve more activities designed to help them engage and challenge each other's work. The altMBA experience has definitely inspired my focus on this.

What advice would you give to someone who's considering the altMBA or to a first time student?

Don't worry about bringing your best self. Just bring your honest self. The education experience is designed to help you make the leap from "this is the honest truth about where I am" to "this is the path that wears my name." There are hundreds of meet-ups and important-sounding conferences you can attend if your goal is to impress people with how much you've accomplished. This is a space to do the hard and honest work of unearthing those nagging possibilities that you still haven't figured out how to bring forth.

Any other comments or recommendations about the altMBA?

During the off-season, there's a group of NBA players who meet up and practice together. They do drills together, they exercise together, and they play basketballs games together. For their day jobs, they all play for other teams. The off-season, however, is a special time for them to experience the unique kind of skill development that comes from engaging athletes who have completely different approaches to playing the game. That's how I see the altMBA experience of leveling up. It's a way of stepping up your game through a concentrated dosage of interactions and collaborations with others who are striving to becoming better versions of themselves.


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The program dates:

May 6 – June 5, 2019

Note: The first priority deadline for the May 2019 session is
Friday, February 8.

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