5 Reasons To Intern At A Startup

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Startups are everywhere these days. And for a good reason! Here are 5 reasons why you should take the chance now to intern at a startup.

You made it into the final round for an internship at this big prestigious company, but then they turned you down? Your summer job with some renowned franchise you thought you had nailed fell through? Have you tried interning at a startup?

We all dream of having a job that we actually enjoy doing. Interning at a startup might get you a taste of that experience. True, a recognizable brand name will put a look of awe on your family and friends’ face. It’s rather unlikely that will happen when you tell them the unfamiliar name of some startup which may not last more than a year. Which is really too bad, because your experience with a startup may be more valuable than one with a bigger company. Here’s why:

#1 You Are Seen As A Coworker

Your role as an intern is likely to be different in a startup and a company. In a startup you will have more responsibilities and be considered part of the team, while in a big company you might have clear bottom-of-the-line status. If you intern at an established company, you may end up making coffee and copies all day long. We’re not saying startup interns don’t have to do that – but in a startup it won’t be your main job. Having more responsibility also means that you can make a bigger impact with what you’re doing.

#2 Your Input Is Valued

Startups focus more on passion and flexibility than the skills you put on your resume. In your interview you might be asked how you think you can contribute and what you would most like to do. Unlike in a big company, you may actually have a direct influence on your startup’s product or service. If you have an innovative idea, it’s likely that your coworkers will listen, and it might be put into practice.

#3 You Learn How An Entire Company Works

Instead of learning how a big company operates, you get a real insight into the different areas of an entire smaller company. You’ll be in close contact with everyone involved in the startup, if not in person then at least virtually. Having the people working in the different areas close by is a huge benefit and helps keep workflows agile. It will also give you a valuable view of all the different roles needed to keep a company going.

#4 You Learn To Adapt Quickly

The jobs in a startup are a lot more fluid than in established companies. The workflows haven’t yet been tested and perfected. Jobs you’re working on one day might be discarded the next because the programmer found a new solution and simplified the process. Adapting to these changes requires some flexibility. But if you manage to go with the flow of your changing environment, you’re honing a soft skill that will come in handy outside of your job, too.

#5 You Experience The Spirit Of Sharing

In a big company there might be some backstabbing between colleagues or competitors over a certain position. The people who work at a startup are all in the same boat, and they know it. Teamwork matters because the people are connected by a belief in their project. Since you’ll be sharing an office or coworking space, you get to bond with the others by having meals or drinks together. The team spirit may also spill over into after-hours and you might do some teambuilding group activities, like going swimming on a hot summer day.


So give it a shot, and gain some valuable experience as an intern at a startup!


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