Balancing part-time internship with school definitely was not an easy journey for me, but heck, I never regretted a single second of it. 🙌🏼 Throughout the 7 months journey, I grew a lot and learnt aplenty even though I was new to the startup scene here in Singapore. It has been a truly rewarding personal journey for me and I’m here to debunk some of the myths that you might have about Startups and tell you the reasons why you should definitely try to intern at one should you have the opportunity to do so. 🗣👀✨
1. Let your voice be HEARD!
Ever feel your voice drowning out while speaking to your previous employers? Or have you ever feel insignificant, like an ikan bilis, while working in a big corporation? Well, one thing for certain while working in a startup is that your opinions will definitely be heard - loud and clearly. Get to experience being a valuable team member with significance influence in small team discussions where everyone gets the opportunity to contribute ideas and speak up! Every single team member is integral to the success of the company and any fresh or valuable inputs will definitely be welcomed anytime. So if you want to be heavily involved in a certain project that translates into maximum satisfaction (should you see it through), a startup can certainly offer you just that!
2. Hands-on and Travelling!
Looking for a ‘wholesome’ experience at work? Startups may be just the right choice for you. The invariability nature of startups means that you might be asked to juggle multiple roles at a go. Suppose you are in the Business Development team, should other departments of the job, eg. Operations & Logistics, require manpower, you may be activated immediately and be expected to perform some manual labour! This is not your typical office job where you merely reply emails or perform desk work from 9am-5pm, so be prepared for anything. Some startups may outsource certain parts of their production overseas, so keep your passport warm and get ready to spend a night or 2 in foreign land!
3. Get to MEET People
Ask yourself this: Do you enjoy meeting new people or love doing business? Well, if you do, look no further and sign up as a Business Development intern in a Startup. In this role, you have the opportunity to frequently schedule appointments and travel around for client meetings. Most of the people you meet are nice but sometimes, you just might meet a few bad ones who either (i) BAILS out on you or (ii) puts up a negative disposition during meetings. Nevertheless, THE SHOW MUST GO ON and it is important that you still put up on a friendly front. I truly believed this has really helped me hone my soft skills in the process and be able to handle myself better.
This internship has truly brought me to places that I have never been to before and allowed me to meet people from all walks of life. And so, if you want to sharpen your business skills while getting to visit “chio” offices in Singapore, this is another reason why you should join a Startup.
The best part about having to work in a startup is the flexibility it offers. Typical working hours tend to be unconventional so not only do you get to sleep in a little bit later, you don't have to be stuck in the morning commute. Since I was still studying in university as well, I was offered the option to just come into office twice a week which allowed me to work part-time and continue to gain experience. When there isn't a need to, I could just work remotely at the comforts of my home as well! What more can I ask for?
5. An experience like NEVER before
A year ago, I definitely would not have imagined myself sitting in meeting rooms full of decision-makers and pitching to them about ideas. In a short span of time, I have witnessed myself evolving from a wide-eyed, fresh newbie to someone holding a managerial role with significant influence within the company. I even had the opportunity to conduct job interviews to recruit peers of my age! This platform has truly given me the room for self-improvement and I have grown exponentially since.
When I first step foot into the company, I made a personal promise that I wanted to make this Startup to be in a better place than before. 7 months later, I felt that I had accomplished that. At the end of it all, I take tremendous comfort in the fact that my clients entrusted me with their problems and I gained a whole new perspective about life as a working adult. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or not, startups provides for you the platform to kickstart your adulting life, as it has done for me. And therefore, I would highly recommend undergraduates to intern at a startup even if they do not get into the big companies that they desire.
Thank you and good job for staying through the length of this post! 😂 Don’t expect to enter a startup and do repetitive work as the nature of the job is tailored specifically to individual customers. The learning curve can be steep but at least you won't be doing it alone. 💪🏻 If you are like me, greatly intrigued by the prospect of working in a Startup, you should abandon all doubts and just GO FOR IT. It may just be an experience that you will never forget 😉