How About an Internship in A Startup?

Planning for an internship, how about a startup? Startups are often overlooked and compared to larger corporations but the truth is, they offer a great opportunity for experience albeit different from corporations.

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Working in a startup is by no means inferior, it offers you opportunities just like corporations if not better.

A startup is a company or a project started by an individual or team that’s looking to effectively solve a problem and scale. A lot of startups started as University projects or a solution to a personal problem and grew to a business. Some startups started off as just an idea that evolved into a business.

All startups are small businesses but not all small businesses are startups.  

Internship in startups offers interns a great opportunity to experience how the business works from the ground up and to see the creative sides of the business. However, working in a just founded startup that’s working on an idea is very different from working in an established startup that has already scaled business. 

Working in a startup also depends on who you are, for example, if you’re an extrovert, a less formal environment offered by a startup is going to fit you well compared to huge corporate offices.

Do not overlook an opportunity with startups because any experience is good experience!

The advantages of working in a startup:

  • Working in different areas. You get the opportunity to work in areas and weigh in on things that you like or don’t like and gain more experience. 
  • There is more transparency in a startup which gives you a bird’s eye view of how things work which is not often the case in a corporate office. 
  • Startups give you the flexibility to exercise your creativity
  • There’s a more progressive work environment– the opportunity to work on things that have not been worked on before. 
  • It means a tightly knit community. People work together as a team on a problem as opposed to corporations where everyone is trying to finish their own work.

Getting more personal feedback. This is advantageous for your career due to working closely with people in the industry.

The disadvantages of working in a startup:

  • It is statistically riskier working in a startup as compared to a corporation. This because the risk of the company going bankrupt in 2-3 years is higher.
  • Startups are often unstructured which can work negatively for you if you’re a person that thrives in structured spaces. 
  • There are more responsibilities with less compensation in a startup than a corporate company even though this may not necessarily be the case. 

The steep learning curves. The fast pace and always expected to work environment in startups can be a disadvantage to anyone not used to it and needs guidance and structure.

Episode Timeline:

  • [1:10] The advantages of working at a startup as an intern.
  • [4:59] The pros and cons of working in a startup.
  • [8:06] Defining a startup.
  • [10:17] The similarities and differences between startups and small businesses.
  • [11:28] When startups stop being called startups and why all new companies are startups.
  • [12:42] Why Twitter and Facebook would not be considered as startups even though they’re technological companies with new ideas. 
  • [16:46] Why startups are becoming more popular and the consequences of it. 
  • [28:01] How startups have influenced corporations in their hiring practices. 
  • [32:27] Additional advantages of working in a startup.
  • [40:05] The major disadvantages of working in a startup.