Do you know what your dream career would be, if you are still deciding then think hard before you pick something…

A rising number of students are giving up offers from the big names in favor of working at up-and-coming startups. Be it the absolute value of experience gained from having real responsibilities, the chance to work in different verticals within one company or the informal culture, startup internships have become a big lure for prospective interns. Should you or shouldn’t you pick the offer from a start-up over offer from big names? As the experienced summer interns at one of the booming Start-up firm called Star-Runners, here is my answer to this question without being biased towards it or any other start-ups!

1. Leadership Responsibilities:

The first and the foremost benefit of working in start-up is that you’ll always have to take the ownership of the things. Startups, endeavoring to achieve that degree of stability, attribute more direct responsibilities to their interns. You have a direct impact on the customers or the product. Many of these organizations have very few people and sometimes you might also be given tasks for which you have had no prior training. The key is to find a way to do it and be tenacious till you get it done. Coming successfully out of that, you will have the assurance to take on new projects. You would have many opportunities to jump into key positions and to rise quickly at small start-up, in contrast to a rapidly growing company where the top managers need all the help they can get to be more powerful.

2. Chance to make a Difference:

At a startup, it's nearly impossible not to notice a job well done or to give credit where credit is due. If you succeed, the small team will recognize it instantly, and the company would have immediate benefits and so would you. On the flip side of a coin, it is also true that everyone can easily see when you've screwed up. But again you would work hard to re-establish yourself into the game; you'll eliminate mistakes in order to avoid disappointing your colleagues. That keeps you focused. So staying focused at startup will give better results and your successes will be recognized easily while your failures minimized.

3. Community and Flexibility:

Most of the start-ups are known for their informal culture and flexible work hours. It’s hard to get to know a large group of people, especially if they’re spread out across multiple locations. At a small company an employee can more easily get to know staff members, which can lead to a stronger sense of community. Large businesses, by necessity, set up processes and policies. At such companies sometimes it's difficult to gain approval for a work practice that goes against set policies. At a small business, approval might be granted easily if you wish to try something new with the calculated risks.

So let me count the ways I get sense of community and flexibility at Star-Runners:

• I wear jeans to work.
• If there isn't at least one really good joke in an hour, it's probably a slow day.
• Everyone else who works at a startup has the same drive and excitement for creation as you do.
• I have started handling other humans on field, which my dear friends you call Human Resource Management in a Big Companies.
• I have created some super cool banners and flyer for advertisement, and understood the meaning of branding and content management.

4. Input:

Someone can work at a large company for years and never meet the CEO. At a small company every team member usually can interact with the CEO on a daily basis. It’s a good way to explore your career with such people as your bosses and your motivation. That’s because most of the startup bosses have left their worthwhile jobs to start their own ventures, they are extremely self-motivated and positive all the time. They approach problems differently, are constantly finding solutions, and are driven to make the most out of their time and work.
The Star-runners’ founders continually challenge me when I present a problem because they often view it from a different perspective than I do, giving me a wider appreciation for the different avenues that exist for finding solutions. Every successful startup has true innovators, and if you find the right ones, you'll learn plenty.

5. Creative freedom:

Working at startup probably means that money is tight. No extravagance, no frills, no peripheral booze cruises (heartbreaking, I know). Instead, the business development intern will learn how to design and code the blog, the writer will sometimes be interviewing customers, and you might also learn skills to fit nine people around an eight person table :). What I mean that you'll probably discover a joy in creating and doing things rather than consuming resources. That skill can be difficult to come by at large corporations where the name of the game is to not rock the boat or do anything that might put existing revenue streams at risk but your entire life will take on a meaning of creation, and you'll be more energized, both physically and mentally, to take on new hobbies and start your own personal projects. In the startup world, it pushes you too hard to trigger your creative side.
Occupied at a startup also means that you and your small team are only people responsible for your successes- for some, that may trigger a response to go crawl into a corner and hope someone comes to spoon-feed them their paycheck; for others, it's the greatest motivation. To be cut off from relying on others to provide you something undeniably surfaces skills and a determination that you didn't know you had. At a startup, that natural wish to be self-sustainable is magnified and multiplied, triggering the do-or-die attitude that is often the difference between success and failure. However, with a little creativity and your fresh ideas you can find ways to compete and win, and there is a good chance you would get a profit share for these wins, earning more money than your peers in big companies. After-all tables can turn any day!

Contributed by
Pritiranjan Behera
Operations Intern
Star-Runners (StarR)

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