The Gift of Apprenticeships

One of the greatest gifts each of us can offer is an apprenticeship to somebody inspired by our art.  Not an internship that is limited to low-level job assignments and the hope that the intern absorbs the culture by osmosis.  Rather, a dedicated opportunity to amplify a passion; to be granted hands on opportunities and game time exposure.  

As a former Emergency Medical Technician, no amount of training on a simulator manikin could prepare me for a call.  Training helped me familiarize myself with the equipment and procedures but inevitably an actually response challenged all my assumptions.  Driving snowstorm, language barriers, combative patients, and precarious locations all needed to be experienced.  Medical emergencies seemed destine to happen in the most challenging settings.   Only with repeated opportunities to respond did my skill set improve.

Consider that many business schools are now foregoing theoretical case studies in place of apprenticeships with companies.  The theory is that the MBA students will work on actual projects that benefit the company and a performance stepping-stone when they graduate.  An apprenticeship offers an applicant a dramatically different answer to the question, ‘what experience do you have?’

When we reflect on our journey there are people we learned significantly more from than others.  Many of those individuals were enthusiastic enough to offer us spot on the stage to experience the spotlight and a real audience.

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