The Most Important Skill For Getting Your First Job At A Remote Startup: Corrin’s Story

Earlier this year, we were able to work with Russ Perry of Design Pickle to hire a marketing apprentice for his new startup, YesInsights.

This was a popular opportunity, and the final selection process was pretty tough. Russ ended up liking the final applicants pool so much he hired two people.

We got the opportunity to hear back from Corrin, one of the two chosen applicants, about the value she’s received by signing up to GetApprenticeship and being placed into a fast-growing startup through one of the opportunities on our site.

We’ll also break down why Corrin was such a great applicant, and the most important advice for making sure you stand out as someone a startup would love to hire.

Click below to watch the video and hear Corrin’s story, or skip below and read the full interview and discover what you need to do to get the same results.


What was the biggest challenge you were trying to solve by taking an apprenticeship position?

There were two big challenges I faced that I knew only an apprenticeship would solve for me – first, the challenge of expanding my breadth of knowledge through learning by doing, and second – finding and working for someone who has successfully built a business and is where I want to be that could serve as the mentor I needed to help me realize my potential.

I knew apprenticeships could be a good fit for me. I had an entrepreneurial spirit and I wasn’t afraid to work hard. I knew that if I were to get one, I would be able to grow in ways I wouldn’t be able to in a “normal” job.

Some people may get tied up around the word ‘apprenticeship’. I liken it to learning in a lab versus reading from a textbook.

A normal job or learning on your own is more of like reading from a chemistry textbook and knowing what should theoretically happen when you mix two compounds, while an apprenticeship is like having a lab with all the tools and compounds you need to run experiments to see what really happens when you try new things. I can tell you that now that I’ve been on both sides, the latter is way more exciting.

What was it like when learning to run an online business before you got an apprenticeship?

The most painful thing about trying to grow, learn, and experiment on your own is that it’s really flipping hard to do by yourself. There are so many things to learn and so many things to try that knowing where to focus your energy is a challenge. You land up spreading yourself too thin and never really making the progress you want. Trust me. I know because it happened to me.

Before taking my apprenticeship with Russ & the team at Design Pickle, I ran a business that did board review for physicians. I learned what I could with the time and resources I had, but soon realized my business was bumping up against its potential – mostly because its potential was limited by me, my skills, and my experience. I remember going in to my Google Analytics account and wishing I had the ability to run A/B tests, try out new marketing campaigns, and do all of the fun things I wanted to do, but didn’t have the money or traffic to.

I realized that without being able to peek behind the curtain of a growing company I wasn’t going to be able to learn and test the new skills I needed to reach my potential. BUT, at the same time. I didn’t want to take a “normal” job. I didn’t want to head into an office everyday, and be stuck in a specific role in the company. Don’t get me wrong, jobs can be great, but there’s always the chance that you’ll be hired in to a position where you’re responsible for the same tasks every day – with little room for exploration and no way to see how the business is really run. I knew that wouldn’t happen in an apprenticeship.

So it was apprenticeship, or bust.

Would you recommend GetApprenticeship?

If you’re ready to work hard, get results, learn on your feet, and be a self-starter, finding an apprenticeship through Get Apprenticeship will help you reach the business potential you knew you had somewhere deep down in there, but didn’t quite know how to get out. You’ll work with smart people in fast growing businesses, and level up your life. I would highly recommend that if you’re considering one, that you jump on the opportunity. Who knows, it may change your life. I know my experience as an apprentice already has.


What’s the biggest lesson we can learn from Corrin about how to successfully land an apprenticeship?

One of the reasons Corrin stood out (and the same goes for all of our successful applicants), is she already had a track record of doing something.

This can actually be anything: A website you built, an album launch, your Youtube channel, Facebook group community, or in Corrin’s case, an existing business she was already working on.

A side project, and a past track record of success in general, is by far the biggest factor indicating a potential for future success. This is a big deal. Employers look for people who do things.

Why is this so important? 

Showing off a side project to an employer shows a bunch of traits that they otherwise wouldn’t get to see in an ordinary application:

Self Starter: If you can come up with an idea for something, follow it through, and execute on it all the way to a finished, shipped product, it tells a lot about you. In many cases, it shows you are more effective than the majority of applicants by a pretty wide margin.

Put yourself in the employer’s shoes: if you were going to hire someone, would you hire the applicant who’s never done anything before, or the one who has a track record of getting things done and coming up with ideas, and executing them to completion?

By comparing the two applicants, it’s usually pretty easy to see who has the biggest potential to be an asset to your business.

Organized: Not only does a side project show that you’re a self starter, it also tells employers that your life is organised to the minimum level of necessity required to actually create a final product of anything (this is rarer than you might think).

Any signs that show that you are an organised person will save an employer hours of headaches having to deal with someone who doesn’t know if it’s Monday or Friday (tip: Read and implement GTD).

Existing Marketable Skills: While it’s good to have the soft skills of being self organised and motivated, another huge benefit of the side project is that it shows off your hard skills: the things you can actually do in a business to create value.

In Corrin’s case, she was able to show off the fact that she had put together a website, understood the basics of online marketing, and was already thinking strategically about business in general.

Want to learn more about starting a side project and showing employers you’ve got what it takes to grow with their organisation? Click here to read the full guide to starting a side project, so you can learn from the best, build skills, and become an entrepreneur.

When the application process is often as opaque for employers as it is for the applicants, you have to do everything you can to help show the value you bring.

We know there are hundreds of smart, ambitious people around the world dying for an opportunity to get their foot in the door of a startup or online business.

It’s our job to help you know what it takes to get hired and build a great career.

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