If you're still in college or have recently graduated, internships are the best way to get your foot in the door and gain some first-hand experience, during some free time. Startups are a great place to intern simply because you gain immense amount of experience and undergo overall training.
Working for a company that doesn’t have a brand name might leave you in a moment of doubt and even the non-existing pay might be a turn off, but the experience you gain is usually worth much more. Interns are treated as beneficial and important as any other employee in a startup. It will give you a host of real-life experience that will be impossible to get in any other industry.
Here are seven good reasons why you should take the chance to intern at a startup:
In a startup, every second is valuable and every team member is important. Not only do you get ownership for your work but you also get recognised, time and again. Everyone is treated equally and learns from each other. There is absolutely no hierarchy. Your boss would be printing sheets while the other co-worker might be cracking a business deal. You will see yourself writing blogs for them and at the same time, strategising their marketing policy. In short, a startup promises overall growth with lots of learning.
On average, most employees of a startup are aged between 20 and 35 years. Being closer to your age, you not only learn how to interact with people, but you also let go of all your inhibitions. You gain confidence, build contacts, and learn from these fellow entrepreneurs. You can talk to your bosses about what happened recently on your favourite TV show and discuss sports, without any hesitation.
As cliché as I sounds, but interning in a startup will actually get you sorted. If you’re unsure about what you want to do after college, this exposure will help you pick out your strengths and weakness. You will learn from each department and take on roles which you hadn’t even thought of. Even if you know what you want to do, you gain a deeper insight into the field of your choice. By the end of it, you might want to join the same company or even start your own.
Rather than learning about how a big MNC operates, a startup offers to teach you the various areas of a smaller company. You will see them work from scratch rather than working on a pre-established platform. Being in close contact with everyone involved in the startup, you take in more than what you require, saving the extra knowledge for future. It will also get a valuable view of all the different roles and nuances that are required to keep a company running.
The best thing about small startups is that you meet so many talented people, who are just starting off. Not only will they teach you but also guide you for your future. They could act as references for you in the coming years. Startups are the only ones who will let you interact with their clients in spite of you being an intern. You get to talk to people from all walks of life, through learning and exploring.
There are no rules or order of work in a startup. It’s all about innovating and experimenting new ways and techniques. Since nothing is tried and tested, you have the power resting in your hands. The project you are working on today, might just get scrapped today or get approved tomorrow. Adapting to these changes requires you to be on your toes all the time. Going with the flow becomes your motto at the end of the internship.
Big companies often come with their own auto-timed, full-proof ways of working. And on the contrary, innovations are literally engraved on the walls of a startup. Many a times, you will find yourself creating and innovating programmes, software, creative aspects of the company, adding to its growth. You will be asked to do things that you have never done before, even without the slightest training. Very rarely do you get such leverage in a big company.
The key difference between a startup and an established organisation is that, in a startup people actually rely on your output and value your efforts. You will find yourself making mistakes and learning much more from it. Head out to intern in a startup, right away!
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)