9 Reasons Why Every College Student Should Intern At A Startup

Everybody was shocked when Rajeev unexpectedly chose to intern at a small startup instead of IBM. A 1st year MBA student, he secured the coveted IBM internship with probably one of the best pay packages on the college campus. But ultimately he went on to work at the startup.


A rising number of students like Rajeev are giving up offers from big names in favor of working at up-and-coming startups. Be it sheer value of experience gained from having real responsibilities, the chance to work in different roles within one company or the informal culture, startup internships have become a big lure for prospective interns. Why, you ask? Here’s why-

1. You’ll have real responsibilities at a startup. An intern doing a small part of a big project or an intern taking lead in a small project— what would you prefer? Startups, striving to achieve that degree of stability, attribute more direct responsibilities to their interns. You have a direct impact on the customers/product. At first it might be scary knowing that there is no parachute for the actions you take and the mistakes you make, but that’s the beauty of startups! They teach you to allay your fear of failures.

Startups have very few people and sometimes you might even be given tasks for which you would have had no prior training. The key is to find a way to do it and be persistent till you get it done. Coming successfully out of that, you will have the confidence to take on new projects and run with it; something which is very valued in job market.

2. You will be exposed to almost all the aspects of a company, something which is impossible if you’re working in a big company. Whether chatting with the tech-lead at lunch or catching up with the editorial team during unofficial Maggi breaks, being a part of small team invariably results in being informed about all the departments of the company. You will learn a lot about how companies are actually run which can be a great help in choosing your career path.

3. You could explore your career paths in a startup. As an extension to the above point, the across-the-team exposure helps you identify the areas you might be interested in building a career. A few days into startup and you will have a fair idea of what works how. You could request trying out a specific role you are interested in. As a matter of fact, one particular role can expose you to many responsibilities. For example, a marketing intern at a startup could be asked to work on marketing strategies, s/he could be asked to set up meetings with potential clients, or furthermore, s/he could be asked to build a database or maybe asked to research keywords (SEO aspect of marketing). Every responsibility will teach you a new skill.

4. You can’t find a better office environment than in startups. They are known for their informal culture and flexible workloads. You don’t have to worry too much about corporate etiquette.

5. You will be heard at a startup. Even if you’re a 19 year old, you can have a say in the marketing strategy of a company! Doesn’t this alone make you want to hop at a startup? Unlike the set methods of big brands, the startups are always looking for innovative methods to do stuff.

6. You find the most inspirational and motivated people at a startup. Most of the startup bosses have left their lucrative jobs to start their own ventures. It’s inspiring to work with someone who has taken the road less travelled. Plus, people at startups are there because they love what they do. Work satisfaction goes a long way in making your career successful.

7. Your career grows with the company. Startups are more invested in your growth because if you are not growing, their progress is stalled.

8. You can boast of an enviable title. Imagine being the Editor-in-Chief, or Marketing Manager, or Social Media Executive of your company. How cool is that! You will be surprised by the sense of purpose it invokes in you.

9. You can build a good network at a startup. True that only a handful of startups go on to make big, but if they do, imagine the network that opens up for you. You would have worked there when the total number of employees were less than 30 or 50 or so. Even if they don’t make it big, your colleagues can become great friends, mentors or even prospective investors in your own startup!

Yes, a big-name internship boosts your resume, but work at a startup – it’s exciting, it makes a real impact and it gives you sense of pride for your work.

Now let us also tell you what can you do to get hired at a startup – read this.

Editor’s note – The original article was contributed by Internshala on Youthkiawaaz platform.

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