Startups or Corporates? Where should you Intern?


Every college graduate looking for an internship is faced with an all-encompassing dilemma--startups or big corporates? With the workspace being divided into two gigantic and mutually exclusive domains of startups and corporates, it often becomes difficult for some of us to choose which road to take. While working at a big corporate is definitely an eye-opener, interning at startups, too, has a charm of its own. According to Rishav Banerjee, a mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Colorado, “Working at a startup, especially one with a strong core value and culture, will allow you much more creative freedom.”

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Selecting a company to intern at can be a daunting process and most of us are left confused at the crossroads. To help you choose wisely, here is a list of pros and cons of interning with both startups and big corporates.

Brand name

Interning with big corporates can help you get recognised socially as well as professionally. Since the company is an already known name, you won’t have a hard time explaining to people about your internship. Whereas, for startups, it’s the complete opposite, as you won’t get the instant awe and recognition from others.


The whole point of taking up an internship is to gather experience and increase one’s network. This can be achieved when one works at a startup. With the head count being small at startups, it is possible to meet and know everyone in the company and end up making connections. Ironically, it’s the reverse in big corporates. When interning at a big company, you will probably work with fewer people and, thus, make fewer connections.

The intern “experience”

A larger company is more structured and formal in nature in the sense that you will be given a specific role to play on a team you join and work on specific internship projects. But, for all those adventurers out there looking for the ‘real deal’, startups are where you should head to. Forget being coddled or treated differently, startups want you to be independent and flexible with the job. You will definitely be your own boss there.

The behind-the-scenes of how companies work

As an intern for a large company, one’s exposure is often limited to the small portion that is directly under the intern. With hundreds of employees, it is easy to remain unnoticed and the chances of effectively exposing oneself to all the aspects of business are fewer. But being a part of a small team means that you’ll get to peek around at every part of the company. Most startups actively ensure that everyone stays in the loop. According to Aalisha Jadhav, a second-year college student and an intern at content creation agency WittyPen, “Being fresh out of college is the ideal age to get something done on your own and working for a startup can help you get there faster and better than any corporate job can.”

Every opinion is clouded by one’s own bias and experience and this case is no different. The net result of an internship is learning and gaining experience and startups seem to be a good choice to begin with.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)


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