Why You Should Intern at a Start-up

Internships and placements are hard. Finding one is even harder. If you’re an undergraduate student, chances are you know the struggle of endless hours of searching to find the perfect placement.

Although many students aspire to work for large companies like Disney, Apple and other corporate giants, sometimes the better and more convenient option eludes them. Startups are a great alternative to these bigger companies for many reasons.


The Culture

Firstly, start-up culture is great! Anyone who tells you otherwise clearly hasn’t been involved in a close knit start-up atmosphere, and to tell you the truth, you are totally missing out.

Start-ups are usually smaller companies, who are more relaxed in the workplace and they have a better social side because of this. Group activities, dinners and events are just the beginning of the Start-up social culture, and there is more than enough to get stuck in with!

Even if your start-up is less inclined to do group activities, suggesting a work-outing or event idea is always far more likely to be accepted in a startup than a massive company. Think about it, the more people in a team, the harder it is to organise and agree on a day and with startups this is far less likely to happen!

Obviously aside from the social aspect, start-ups provide many nurturing qualities and the people you will meet will have real impact on your outlook on the working world. Whatever the pluses of the internship are, remember it’s work experience and you need to make the most out of it to succeed.


The Opportunities

Interning at a startup might also give you massive opportunities. Many of the successful startups are in bigger cities and therefore moving to new places for a short amount of time becomes far more likely. Plus, if you do well in your placement you are far likelier to be asked to stay in a startup than you are in a massive corporation.


The Experience

The experience you get in any placement is invaluable, especially for undergraduate students who get to experience the workplace first hand. However, unlike large companies, startup employees are far more likely to encounter and experience changes that are made at a much faster rate.

These changes may take months to take effect in larger companies, but startups offer a fast-paced alternative and real insight into the ever changing world of business strategy.


Building Contacts

Finally, the mentors you have during startup internships are hands-on, yet also allow – and expect – you to flourish in your role. When your time is up and you go to the all important end meeting to discuss your achievements, you can have faith knowing that your reference will truly reflect your time within that company, because your bosses have actually been there every step of the way.


Do Your Research

Needless to say, do your research and make sure you are going into a company that is right for you, ask questions during the interview process and make the most out of your time. It is true that younger startups can be notoriously disorganised as they find their feet in the world of business as a brand.

Therefore, there are plenty of startups that cannot offer you the best experience, however a well-established startup is not to be disregarded or left out of the placement race. Try to look for internships in slightly older startups, perhaps businesses that range from 4-6 years old. This way, the companies are still young and in their “early days” but are also established enough to offer you a secure and stable environment to learn from.


Of course, landing an internship in a large company is also great, but when competition runs high and students need other alternatives, startups are a great route to go down and should never be overlooked.


This article was written by Phoebe SC for StuDocu. If you are looking for a summer internship, please consider StuDocu for an Editorial, Marketing & Social Media Management role.

Inspiring Interns is a recruitment agency specialising in all the internships and graduate jobs London has to offer