Tech startup internships can be intimidating. It’s basically your introduction to the professional world. As for me, a communications major, I never expected that I’d land my first internship at a tech startup. While schools require college students to intern, more and more students are becoming interested in internships. Not only because it looks good on your resume but more importantly, you gain experience and you learn new skills.
Of course, internships from different companies vary. You don’t have to necessarily look at what a company does but instead what it needs. In my case, my skills are more suitable for handling media-related jobs as I’m a communications major but I’m having my internship at a tech startup company. You don’t need to limit yourself within “the field” to practice your skills. Keep your doors open as there are lots of industries you’d never thought you could navigate.
For this article, I’ll talk about everything about my experience, what I’ve learned as a startup intern, my advice to aspiring startup interns. So if you’re looking for a sign to apply to that summer startup internship, be sure to keep reading.
1. Time management is essential
As a third-year college student, my schedule was pretty jam-packed when I became a tech startup intern. Speaking from my experience, balancing your academics, work, organizations, and personal life is a very difficult task – one that I find myself not mastering. If you’re not good at managing your time, you’ll miss out on at least one of these things. It’s imperative to organize your tasks well and set personal deadlines if you want to have time for yourself. Having organization and productivity apps is a great way to sort out your tasks, or even simply make a list of what you have to do for the day. This way, you can set your expectations for the day and manage your time well.
2. Criticisms are part of the learning process
Now, you can’t always expect that every output you make is perfect. Sometimes your vision doesn’t exactly match your superior’s vision, and that’s completely okay (and normal). Absorb the comments that your superiors give you and implement it in your work. Criticisms are the key to helping us improve our work. Sure, negative feedback hurts and it can be demotivating at times but that doesn’t mean you’re any less of a person. Just think of it as something that’ll help you prepare for the “real world” when you enter the workforce.
3. Know your limitations
You can’t do everything all at once. Trust me, if I could split myself in half to do more, I would. I often find myself doing a boatload of tasks for that sweet rush of adrenaline, only to be met with pure exhaustion afterward. It’s important to know that when things get a little too hectic, you should slow down and take care of yourself. If you over-exert, it can have severe repercussions on your physical and mental well-being. Unless you want that to happen, know the importance of your limitations and set boundaries. A proper work-life balance can greatly help in maintaining your well-being.
4. Do what you’re good at, but don’t be afraid to learn new skills
As a startup intern, expect to be doing a broad range of tasks. Of course, it’s best to stick to what you’re good at for maximum efficiency. However, there can be times when you’re asked for help in something you’re not well-versed in or not really in range of your job description. Take these opportunities as a way to develop new skills or further enhance a set of skills that you already possess. When I started this internship, I wasn’t exactly confident in my graphic design skills and video production skills (specifically for Tiktok). It’s not entirely new to me but, I can’t say that I’m well-versed at it. I eventually took on tasks on creating creative content and videos and eventually, I found myself getting better at it as compared to how I originally was. Even some of my superiors complimented my work, which is a great indicator of my personal improvement.
My advice to aspiring startup interns
I’ll get straight to the point: internships can be tough. But it can greatly help you jumpstart your career. It serves as a test to see if you really enjoy working in a certain field. So don’t be afraid to seek out opportunities. Do your best and try to have fun. Speaking as a startup intern, I can attest that it’s something you won’t regret pursuing.
So you’re looking for tech startups hiring interns…
Well, good news for you! Job hunting is now easier with the Joblu app! If you’re looking for tech startups hiring interns, you might wanna check out the job postings on the Joblu app. With just a swipe, you can land your dream internship and be closer to your goals with the help of Joblu!
Frequently Asked Questions About Tech Startup Internships
Q: Should I wait for my OJT to apply for a tech startup internship?
A: No, and it’s good to start early as it helps you gain the experience needed for the professional world. You can always look into tech startups hiring interns or just any company. It’s also good to begin your startup internship in the summer so you can utilize your free time. Although some may not like the idea of summer startup internships for reasons that they should enjoy their summer, it’s something that can help jumpstart your career.
Q: Should I try multiple internships at once?
A: It may be better to have one internship at a time. This is so that you can ensure that you can do your tasks well and balance other aspects of your life. But of course, if you think you can handle it, might as well start searching for startups looking for interns.
Q: Does your program matter when applying for an internship?
A: That’s a case-to-case basis, some companies look for specific majors for specific intern positions, while some do not have such preference. Take my case, for example, a communications major in the marketing department of a tech startup internship. So, don’t be afraid to seek out internships beyond your major, internships exist to help young professionals learn. Take this as your sign to pursue that internship opportunity that you saw!
Q: On site or online internships?
A: That completely depends on your preference. There are many internship opportunities that are purely online for you to pursue. But if you prefer working on-site, try searching for startups looking for interns near your area to make it a little for yourself.
Written by Lexine Roman
Lexine Roman is a marketing intern at Joblu. As a communication arts student, she specializes in making social media content.