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Should You Intern At A Start-Up?
  • 14 July 2016
  • Elvis Michael

Should You Intern At A Start-Up?

An internship on your resume shows you have experience in the field which can set you apart from other applicants. In many cases, the supervisor at your internship will provide you with a reference for potential employers. An internship can also land you a job right out of college, as some employers consider your work a trial period for a specific job in the company. Thus, becoming an intern at a start-up can yield similar benefits as opting to work at a more established business.

Test the waters

It is fairly common to still be unsure about your career path. Since you will perform a variety of tasks, this opportunity opens your eyes about the kind of work you may wish to pursue in the future. In a marketing department, for example, you may be required to compile data, create reports, coordinate events or assist with advertising or the company blog. . This type of varied exposure can sharpen your vision and thus, help you determine the appropriate career path once the internship is over.

Become part of the team

Working for a start-up grants a major benefit that is often not found in well-established organizations: You are often treated as an equal. This acknowledgment allows you to grow as a person and as an employee, which paves the way for better career opportunities down the road. A start-up business is typically small and maintained by people who are just as hungry and driven, thus putting everyone on the same page. As you work more closely with fellow interns and higher-ups, you gain invaluable experience and may even gain new friends whom you can lean on in times of need.

Get a solid understanding of the business

Although everyone has specific responsibilities in any business, a start-up sometimes requires you to pitch in for a variety of tasks on a daily basis. It is great to get hands-on skills in the field as an intern, and you will probably be involved with many aspects of the business during your stay. This will allow you to understand how the business is successful as a whole entity.

Collaborate in a fast-paced, rewarding environment

There is very little down time at a start-up. The goal is to get the business running efficiently, hence why your employer hired you based on your qualifications. There are many projects to accomplish, which requires you to be willing to roll up your sleeves at any given time. Some deadlines may seem impossible but can be done with proper planning, granting you a feeling of accomplishment when you contribute to the start-up's success. You also have the opportunity to learn something new that you may not have been taught in school.

Be a part of the creative process

Start-ups often look to their entire team of employees for new ideas and ways to improve their processes. Rather than having closed-door meetings, many start-ups use a think-tank approach and openly listen to and consider ideas to stand out among competitors. The intern, more specifically, often becomes part of the family, and when the business thrives and grows, so does your resume. In time, you will also learn how companies generally work, which lays the foundation for great employment opportunities in the future.

Regardless of your internship options, working at a start-up can grant you many valuable lessons and hands-on experiences, though it may not have the brand reputation and name recognition of a larger corporation. It's important to evaluate all of your options and choose the internship that best suits your needs.

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