Start-ups need not only smart people with experience, but people with a ‘can-do’ mentality.
Choosing a career path is hard when you have more than one skill set. With thousands of options, the realization that, ‘’I can do anything’’’ can easily turn into ‘’How will I ever be able to choose?’’. It can be frightening to ask yourself ‘’What do I want to do for the rest of my life?’’. It is a serious decision.
In this article I will share my experience and the reasons why start-ups are the perfect place to find your path.
It was that time of the year when everyone was applying for internships. To some people that may mean knowing which company they want to spend the next summer with, but for a lot of students it means throwing themselves into a workplace that sounds interesting to them. There are many reasons why getting an internship in a large ‘’brand name’’ corporation is a brilliant start to your career. However, just because everyone is applying for these companies, it does not mean that they are the only option. Startups are a great alternative to these prestigious companies for many reasons.
During my internship, I have the chance to dive deep into the dynamic start-ups world. Being an intern in this environment can be inspiring, helping me to uncover my full potential and fuel my ambition for career development.
Reasons to intern at a start-up
Here are some of the reasons why interning at a start-up has been one of the most intense learning experiences of my life and why I would recommend it to anyone.
Learn how an entire company works
Start-ups are a great way to get a valuable view of all the different departments in the company and get your feet wet in areas you would not otherwise experience. The cross-functional collaboration will give you exposure to more integral parts of the business and create valuable work relationships that you may one day be able to call upon.
As a marketing intern, I found myself writing articles one day, researching keywords the next and then creating social media posts the day after. In addition, I am able to be in meetings with the CEO, working directly with developers and understanding the company’s recruitment strategies. Therefore, start-ups are fast-paced, and one will always find themselves juggling many balls at once.
Build great contacts
When you work for a start-up, you have weekly all-hands meetings, as well as everyday catch-ups so you know what is happening in every aspect of the business. You can touch base with members from every team and ask the ‘’hows’’ and ‘’whys’’ of what they are doing. In addition, at a start-up, employees are more inclined to have regular 1:1 meetings with an intern to get you up to speed and make sure you are in the loop.
Not only do I learn a multitude of new skills but I also have the chance to acquire entrepreneurial skills directly from the founders. I get a first-hand experience of what is happening behind the scenes and how founders build the culture of the company.
Learn to adapt quickly
In a start-up, you are thrown head first into the practical work, and there is not much of a hand-holding going on. The only way out is to get your hands dirty, experiment, and not be scared to get out of your comfort zone.
I learn so much in such a short period of time, and having only highly motivated and driven people around me is so inspiring and keeps me going forward. Within a couple of weeks since I got my first project, I was able to create advertising campaigns to increase our brand awareness and improve the rate of conversions. Being able to deliver something that has a significant impact on the company is so energising and gives me a feeling of incredible self-fulfillment.
High level of responsibility
If you intern at a start-up, you will want to be ready to work. You will not be there to make up the numbers and format tables in Excel or create PowerPoint presentations. Interns are hired based on their skills and knowledge and their willingness to contribute to the company. For this reason, you need to be someone who is a fast-learner and ready to go above and beyond in the workplace.
To succeed at a start-up, you need to be ready to roll up your sleeves and take charge of your job. At TidyChoice, I have the chance to take individual projects which means that their success is entirely up to me. This helps me become more agile in handling multiple deadlines and staying on top of my workload.
Learn what you want to work
If you are unsure about what you want to do after university, then start-ups are the perfect place for you. You will have the chance to expand your knowledge outside of your original remit and pick out your strengths and weaknesses.
I did not have a complete picture of what I am going to do until I joined TidyChoice as a Digital Marketing Intern. I have the chance to gain a deeper insight into all areas of marketing and take on responsibilities which I had not even thought of. This helped me get a better idea of what I really enjoy doing and what I want to work after graduating.
Start-ups need not only smart people with experience, but people with a ‘can-do’ mentality. Being lucky to intern at TidyChoice helps me broaden my horizon and grow into somebody like that. If you are keen on gaining knowledge and expanding your skill set, then you should definitely consider working at a start-up. It is the best environment to learn.