These are a few of the skills and benefits that I have learned from my personal internship experience within the start-up industry.
Industry supervisors have a wealth of knowledge after having set up their own business. So don’t take this for granted. Ask questions. Not only about the tasks at hand but also about how they started? How they found the problem or issue that their start-up is trying to fix? The more questions you ask the more interested you seem. The skill learnt from this is the ability to think quickly on the spot, which helps with interviews and the dreaded “so do you have any questions for me?”
Every week is going to be different
Don’t turn up every week thinking that you’re going to be doing the same thing that you did last week or that the start-up is even going to have the same goals or business outlook as last week. When you’re apart of a start-up everyday is different with the end goal for the company forever changing. As a result your tasks are different every week, which does make it interesting. A skill that is learnt from this is the ability to be adaptable.
Different office environment
You learn to work in a different office or working environment from what you may be used to. Most start-ups are in a co-working space so there are other people from different start-ups on the desk next to you. Start-ups are generally also about making sure everyone’s still having some fun, for example in the co-working space that my internship was in there was a Ping-Pong table that was always set up and available to use (there was also a free beer fridge…but let’s not get into that). Another benefit from working in a co-working space is that having other creative and business-minded people around you helps to keep you focused and is also great for networking.
Also to find some unique collaborative spaces in Brisbane, check out the article by Stephanie Brown here.
You’ll meet a lot of people
Being involved in a start-up is all about networking and talking with potential users and other start-up founders. Partaking in an internship with a start-up gives you the opportunity to also meet these people and network. The co-working space helps with this as well as people are constantly popping in and out of the building and you never know whom you could possibly interact with next. From this, I’ve learnt to network and actually partake in conversations rather then stand in the background.
So if you were avoiding applying for internships at start-ups I’d think again. There are so many benefits to participating in new experiences and being involved the new start-up space!
By Kelsa McIntyre