Reasons Why Every College Student Should Intern At a Startup
#1 Real Ownership in Projects
Any evolving startup is looking for a strong team to mold their brand and capture their user’s attention. In order to do this, they must utilize every member on the team. What does this mean for an eager intern who is looking to get a feel of what work looks like in an organization? Real responsibility. Though this can be intimidating, this experience translates to an opportunity that grows your skill set, helps you learn your strengths, and gives you ownership of projects.
#2 Opportunity to Learn the Business
Because of the close-knit nature of startups, it would be impossible to not have exposure to every aspect of the business. Whether overhearing project proposals at the table next to you or getting coffee with the creative team, you will learn the different components that make up that organization. This is a huge advantage when looking to learn about a specific type of industry. At larger organizations, it is difficult to garner face-time with other teams let alone learn about what they are doing. The opportunity to collaborate with other teams offers huge benefits and is a rare find.
#3 Bold Culture
The millennial generation is known to value the three big “tions”: innovation, stimulation, collaboration. If you are lucky, you may find an established corporation that values these qualities. If you do, they will only prioritize them as far as their business needs allow them to. This is the stark difference between a startup and a big business. Startups have no fear of failure. There are endless opportunities to think blue-sky and focus on what the user wants. This type of thriving culture can make anyone excited to go to work everyday.
#4 Finding Your Passion
My dad frequently told me, “If you like what you’re doing, you’ll never work a day in your life”. This can be an intimidating statement for a student in their early twenties who is trying to balance the need of being full-time employed by graduation and also finding work they enjoy doing. The unique opportunity that startups offer is giving interns a taste of the different work available. On any given day you can be tasked with work that engages a different part of the organization. This exposure allows you to explore your different passions and navigate a career path that makes sense for your needs.
#5 Building Networks
The great part about working on a small team is the opportunity to build authentic relationships. You are more likely to know everyone on a 30 person team versus an organization with a 100+ employees. These interactions allow you to learn about people’s stories and grow from them. These genuine relationships create a fun work environment that also leads a lasting impression. This can prove to be useful down the road when looking to secure an interview or killer recommendation.