Internship Stories: The Case for Startup Internships

April 23, 2018

Sophia Lipp HeadshotBy Sophia Lipp (COM’19), Santander Sophomore Internship Program

I know what you’re thinking: a startup company just doesn’t sound like the right fit for me. But I would like to tell you just how wrong you really are.

I had the exact same thoughts running through my head before I began the Santander Sophomore Internship Program. Having interned for several corporate companies and businesses with more established backings, I was unsure that I would enjoy a startup. I had heard the rumors that are associated with startup companies: long hours, inconsistent work flow, a young office, responsibilities that never end. But as soon as I got to my internship last summer, I couldn’t believe how wrong I really was.

Startup companies are one of the best opportunities to make a strong impact on a company while still in your undergraduate career. Often times when startups take interns, it’s because they really need the help and insight of someone just like yourself to help continue their momentum. Interning at a startup means that, more likely than not, you’re going to become a quintessential part of their team and take on a plethora of responsibilities and opportunities that you never would have gotten at a more established company. Let me explain to you why that is.

When established companies hire an intern, chances are they’ve got their internship program down to a pin. You’ll come into the office everyday knowing exactly what your schedule is, what your responsibilities entail, what department you’ll be helping out and who, exactly, you’ll be learning under. This is great, because it means that before you get yourself into an internship at a place like this, there are students upon students who have come before that have helped perfect the program. You’ll know exactly what you’re getting yourself into and exactly what your day-to-days will look like.

But if you’re like me and you prefer a more holistic experience, a startup company is the place for you. My internship was a whirlwind of excitement, trial and error and importance. I was truly a vital part of the company during my time there, and received an inside-look at how to run a business and succeed in Boston’s competitive startup world. I did everything from public relations to marketing to event planning to client calls to sitting in on meetings with the co-founders. My portfolio and resume experience tripled with all that I had accomplished during my summer, and it helped me grasp what it means to be innovative and persistent in the professional workforce.

So instead of panicking when hearing the word ‘startup,’ take it as an opportunity to get your hands really busy and become a vital part of a business’s team.