4 Reasons to Intern at a Startup

Thinking about interning at a start-up company? Here are my top four reasons it is a great idea.

1. Every employee matters.
On my first day interning at a startup, I was fully prepared to walk into a live-action scene from “The Devil Wears Prada.” This was definitely not the case (though it would’ve been sooo cool to meet Meryl Streep). From the beginning, I have been treated as a reliable and trusted employee. I’m not making coffee runs or getting talked down to by my superiors. I am trusted with real responsibilities that directly affect the company. Each employee, regardless of title, can openly share his or her ideas knowing they will be taken seriously. We all have the opportunity and potential to make a serious impact. Everyone- from the interns to the founders- matters.

2. Startups are weird.
And I mean that in the best way possible. Startups are so different from traditional work environments. At startups, employees are encouraged to be their sincerely weird, creative, innovative selves. Creativity and unconventional work tactics are constantly being explored. I happen to get a creative burst from watching Amy Schumer standup and playing Ping-Pong. Now, not only do my coworkers embrace this, but we actually institute “10 minute Amy Schumer breaks” and excessively competitive Ping-Pong tournaments. Sometimes ya just gots to get your Ping-Pong on.

3. The culture is amazing.
I’ve been asked several times what my favorite part of my job is. My answer is always the same: the culture and the people. I am constantly surrounded by people who have the same vision and excitement that I do for my job. We are all passionate about our company’s goal, which gives us something in common from the start. This passion creates a common goal, fostering a “team spirit.” Most startups begin small, giving everyone the opportunity to get to know each other on a personal level. I spend countless hours a week at work with these people, yes, but we also have bonded to the point at which I (willingly) spend a good chunk of my free time with them. My team is our own bizarre, dysfunctional work-family.

4. It’s about passion, not dollar signs.
I don’t think it comes as a surprise to learn that startup jobs don’t usually pay quite as much as jobs at large corporations. So it’s more than likely that startup employees are working because they want to, rather than for the money. It isn’t a guarantee that there will be a huge monetary reward, but startups present a different kind of reward: The system isn’t based on dollars. It’s based on how much is learned, which opportunities are seized, and the experience attained. And in my case, how many times you can beat the customer service specialist at Ping-Pong.

Would you consider interning at a startup? Why or why not? Tweet with us @StarterNoise using the hashtag #startupinterns

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