The current job market can be a very challenging space to squeeze into, so interning at a tech startup or with a big name in the industry seems like a catch. Many brilliant students or jobseekers jump into such opportunities seeking big names. With all their allure, big tech internships can be a big step for many, and they wound up biting more than they can chew.
Big Tech Companies Internships
Most big companies expect you to hit the ground running. So, the answer to the question of what interns do at tech companies is a lot. In huge companies, such as the industry’s Big Tech giants, there is always work to do. Such organizations are well structured and well-funded, so it’s unlikely to experience a shortage of projects, and you’ll be treated like an employee and put to work directly. Being treated like an employee will ask you to act like one, follow the dress code, show up early, and crunch work. You will most likely only be exposed to your team. Big tech internships mean employees will be put on a fast-paced working schedule, so the hopes of getting the one-on-one monitoring experience you desperately seek are almost impossible.
A Non-flexible Role
You’ll likely have to follow an internship program custom-tailored for your skills and assets. With the hasty growth of the tech industry, big companies want to use your skills immediately. And waiting for you to sharpen their required skills isn’t an option. You will be a master of a niche by the end of the internship, even though the aim was to try everything and have an idea of all aspects of the work. But due to the system’s rigidity, you might not get the chance to. The prestige you get after interning at a big tech company, or any big company with a famous brand name, can be enough of a drawcard for you. Future employees will always be impressed knowing you interned at a big tech name like Apple or Microsoft. Besides the decent perks you’ll get, the cool factor is there, such as discounts and courses that will help you grow.
Another option for you, if the shiny big company name does not blind you, is to take the road of an internship at a start-up, which can be a more self-growth at your pace kind of road.
The Start-up Internship Path
Aiming for interning at a tech startup is generally more straightforward unlike big tech internships. The chances of landing the internship are higher since it’ll be a bit less competitive. You’ll have plenty of options to begin with, with so many start-ups out there. There might not be many positions, though, and you’ll have to fight for the scarce slot. But What do interns do at tech companies based on each slot.
- Diversified roles
Start-ups showcase a free-flowing work system, different from big tech internships, so you’ll often find yourself hovering between work teams. You’ll be asked to do many diverse tasks to help any section that needs it, which will be fruitful for you and support your growth, upgrading many skills in the process and helping you figure out your strong suit.
- A warmer workplace
When you join an emerging start-up, especially in the tech industry, you’ll find a small number of employees. Start-ups usually start small and independently. You’ll have an easy time meeting everyone, which will help you make friends and have connections with your coworkers faster, allowing for a better working and learning experience.
- Exploring a new work culture experience
Usually, a start-up, precisely tech start-ups, tend to ditch the cubicle-packed structure and embrace a more open approach opposite to big tech internships. To suit their small number, offices are easy to navigate and welcoming. Most of the time, such start-ups won’t have a formal dress code which can be very freeing, especially when you all share a big table and work across each other, unlike big companies. Neither of these approaches is wrong per se, but as your first experience, you might opt to take a more relaxing option.
Why Not Simply Do Both?
The big tech internships and start-up experience can be very different, one more welcoming and flexible than the other. The formal nature of big companies can often be too much for some and the right fit for others. But if you’re a young, energized individual, why not try both? Aim for two internships, push for the two options, get the best of both worlds and get all they offer. Combine all the experience you could gather and make your own educated choice, be it by interning at a tech startup or one of the industry’s dominating tech giants.
It all falls on you and what you think you need more. The internship space is vast and can always help jumpstart your career. Internships will always keep coming, so taking the time to research and figure out what suits you best will never be considered a waste of time. The sense of urgency is always good when discussing careers, but don’t let it push you into rushing your decision.
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