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Internship at startups can act as the rudder to your aspirations

Anirudh Singla
18th Jul 2017
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As has been said, internships are voyages of self-discovery. Either as an under-graduate or a fresh out of college candidate, internship is the definitive guide to your first tryst with the business side of any profession. The foray marks your entry into the raw space of realism and self-accountability, where your employer distinguishes your capabilities on real-time basis. Initially, interning at startups can prove to be a difficult adjustment, as chalking out a right balance between making a good impression and chartering your growth in the organization, is not an easy job.

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

We bring to you - the fresh off the boat interns, tips that will ease the transition.

  • Establishing professional relationships is effective for networking and in essence creating possible future avenues and networking. Interactions with professionals in the organizational structure and adding them on LinkedIn can help you gauge their professional background and act as a necessary influence. Be communicative and ask your manager/supervisor for introductions. Do not leave any company-sponsored events, open to you, unattended.
  • Most employers take cognizance of your punctuality and dedicated commitment while delegating tasks. It displays a mature sense of professionalism and helps you stand out among your colleagues. It also acts as precedent for fellow interns and becomes an exemplar display of strong commitment towards work.
  • Seek regular feedbacks from your mentors, appreciate constructive criticism and work on areas highlighted by them. Ask questions that matter, as this is the opportunity for you to gain different perspectives about the industry, and possibly form an opinion of your own. An internship will provide you the scope to broaden your horizon, so never restrict your learning to a specific profile.
  • As you start out, your initial efforts should be focused on tasks allotted to you and their completion in an efficient manner. Once you adapt to the work environment, try to take as many initiatives as possible. This will showcase your determination to be an effective team-member.
  • Would be fruitful to abide by the ‘Move fast and break things’ principle. In this context, it basically means that making mistakes is a natural consequence of innovation in a highly competitive and complex environment. As someone said, “The new era of internships offer interns more license to experiment, so figure out what you’d like to break.”

Now, that’s some pretty solid advice.

  • As is quite evident, at large companies, an intern’s job is often limited to the mundane. But while interning at a startup you will be considered as a critical member of the team and your work will be scanned and evaluated thoroughly.
  • Often, your managers/supervisors expect you to come to them with solutions rather than problems. So, be as resourceful as you can, in lieu to your capabilities. Try to find solutions to your issues and shed light on the topic of conflict by your own insight. As John Coleman of HBR said, “It’s critical that your colleagues view you as someone who is resourceful and independent enough to bring something new to the table, instead of just stopping every time there is a bump in the road.”
  • Investing your time in skill-building and enhancing your skill-set goes a long way. Make use of training sessions/workshops being offered in the organization and ask people for help. Make use of the information and improve yourself.
  • If you think of starting up on your own one day, then your ability to stick with goals speaks volumes about your intention and ambition. Create goals while working and stick to them as much as possible. Think of ways to improve an already existent product.

Innovate, ideate and inspire!

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