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What It’s Like to Intern for a Startup Company

by | Mar 10, 2021 | Internships

Startup internships allow for a unique experience that is like no other. Startups typically have very involved internship positions where college students can get great hands-on experience within a business.

What Type of Skills Are Developed in a Startup Internship

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Startup interns will build a wide variety of skills and work experience. As you see the behind-the-scenes work, you will gain your own entrepreneurship abilities. An intern will gain a higher level of critical thinking and problem-solving. Most of the time, they will be left to be more independent.

Working for a startup allows interns to create more meaningful connections with employees, but also with the co-founders or CEO. This can create mentoring opportunities that are more unique than working for an established company.

When working for tech startups, it will allow an intern to get far more hands-on experiences with things like data analysis and e-commerce. 

Working for a startup is a deeply meaningful experience because it allows interns to leave a mark on the early stages of a company. This can be a lasting impact, particularly with product management and development.

Workplace Culture of a Startup

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Very different from corporate culture, some require prior startup experience so interning is a great way to start.

A startup will have a more casual company atmosphere. They typically are more flexible. In general, working for a startup gives an intern a great taste of what entrepreneurship really is. An intern can see the background work that goes into a startup, and they contribute to groundbreaking work within the company.

Many interns enjoy their experiences because of those great connections that are built between employees and interns, especially more senior employees.

How to Work for a Startup

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How to Find a Startup Internship Program

Job hunting for a startup company is different than any other job hunt.

The first place is to consider local companies near you. If there are no local places near you, look at startup hot spots like New York (especially NYC), Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Luckily right now, internships are mostly still running remotely. 

Popular internship openings are for marketing interns, operations interns, social media interns, and general business development interns. Many college student interns do summer internships or part-time internships during the school year.

If you are interested in finance internships specifically, listen to the difference between doing a finance internship for a startup vs a large company.

For full-time jobs, there is a demand for software engineers, and healthtech. 

While LinkedIn and networking are always important for finding jobs within startups, these are both even more important. Many startups do not have their jobs on platforms but look for people with word of mouth.

A great website to utilize is WorkAtAStartup.Com.

Skills to Include in Your Resume

These skills are great to have on your resume if you are applying for jobs in the startup scene.

  • Innovative
  • Independent worker
  • Fast-paced
  • Entrepreneur
  • Self-paced
  • Drive

Interviewing for a Startup

When interviewing for a startup, refresh the usual interview questions. But also, know the company and product very well. Share that knowledge naturally within the interview.

Before interviewing, research! Ensure this company will benefit you to intern for and that they are well established.

Ask good questions that leave you knowing more about the company and your place within the company.                

  • What does success look like within this company?
  • What are the biggest challenges for the company?
  • What do the next five years look like for the company?

To get to know a great startup, Scholars, check out the website for further blogs and podcasts!

About Scholars

Scholars helps companies build engaging candidate experiences at scale. Create personalized journeys for all of your candidates from application through onboarding.

About Scholars

Internships and early-career jobs are unlike any others. They are often accepted months, if not years, in advance of the start date leaving plenty of time for candidates to change their minds and decide to work elsewhere, costing your team time and money.

There are two ways that have been proven to decrease renege rates for any company: keeping candidates engaged by sharing personalized information and helping them make connections with their future teammates. Companies use Scholars to accomplish both of these at scale.