• Kali Ah Yuen

Why Small Business Internships Provide More Valuable Experiences

Before you start applying for internships, you will probably ask yourself `What kind of business do I want to intern for?’ Will your biz of choice be a start-up, mid-size, or large corporate firm? The options are endless. However, we suggest choosing based on what kind of experience you desire and what aligns with the future path you want.

This blog is for those who are wanting a very hands-on, in-depth experience. That’s right, the small business internship. There are many pros and cons to taking on this type of internship. So, if you find yourself stuck at a fork in the road, hopefully, by the end of this blog you can find some clarity. We’re diving into why small business internships provide more valuable experiences.

Get real-world experience that you can actually use.

You don’t have to worry about wasting time grabbing coffee or executing mundane tasks. At a small business, you get hands-on with pretty much all of your assignments. You may be asked to help with internal projects, client campaigns, or creating social media content that will actually be used in real life. Everything you do can be added to your portfolio and resume to showcase the level of expertise you have gained during these real-world experiences.

More opportunities for your voice and ideas to be heard.

When you intern at a small business, you will have the opportunity to work on purposeful projects and see the direct impact of your work. You’ll often receive credit for it, too. Since smaller businesses have fewer team members, your ideas and initiatives are more likely to be heard. This is very beneficial for you to get the most out of your internship because you can vocalize things, such as what you want to learn and how you’re feeling without potentially being dismissed for what’s best for the company.

Work directly with C-level executives.

The smaller the company, the less chain of commands, which means that you will most likely meet and get a chance to work with the C-level executives of the company. This is perfect for those who want to get more personal with their team members (and not through a computer screen). The opportunity allows you to get insight and tips from the people who built the company from scratch - think of them as your mentors. And not to mention, building a relationship with professionals who are well connected in the industry and can be very beneficial down the road. Now, how often can you do that within the corporate world?

Perfect if a small business or entrepreneurship journey is the end goal.

This one is a given. If you seek a future in a smaller company or want to start your own, what better way to learn the ropes than from the people who are doing it themselves? It’s a great opportunity to experience all the hats you will have to wear in the future. From the ins and outs of running a business to making the connections you need when it comes time for you to get a job, there’s so much knowledge to obtain. You might even realize that this isn’t the route you want to take.

Smoother transition when you leave the internship.

No matter what internship you take, you want to make sure you are able to leave with projects that can be added to your portfolio and results that can be added to your resume. Interning at a small business can provide a great transition when leaving or finding another internship/ job because you get to showcase the ideas you created and proof of execution. Another big thing to note is the relationships that you have created. You may have got very personal with team members because of how small the environment is, so maintaining those relationships will come naturally.

As long as your internship company offers a challenging position that gives you the experience and insights into the future career you want, it really doesn’t matter whether it’s at a small business or large corporation. Just be sure to prioritize what benefits you want out of it and that you feel good about the organization.

We hope this has helped in making your decision! If not, comment below any questions you may have. We’ve had many writers experience both startup and corporate internships and can share their advice - cue outro of Natasha Bedingfield's ‘Unwritten’.

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