5 Reasons Why Internships With Small Companies Are Rewarding

Posted by | December 19, 2013 | Tips for Interns

When you’re thinking about taking an internship, you probably thing of big names – Google, Facebook, Louis Vuitton, Vogue, Microsoft, IBM, Anheuser-Busch, The Times. Being able to intern for a big name company is great, don’t get me wrong. It looks amazing on your CV but it doesn’t always teach you as much as you’d like it to.

Smaller companies might not be as prestigious, but interning for them can definitely be rewarding. Not to mention that there’s a higher possibility of a full-time job after your internship ends, if you’ve impressed your bosses! Read on to find out five reasons why you might want to take up an internship with a small company.

1. You learn to take on responsibility from the get-go.

Smaller company means less people with more responsibilities. At first it might seem daunting – after all, you’re just learning new skills or putting your theoretical knowledge to use for the first time – but don’t worry and stick with it. That’s the great thing about responsibility: the earlier you take it on, the easier it is to manage. You get used to having expectations placed on you, you get used to being the one in charge. Being responsible is a great trait to have and it’s really useful if you want to work your way up the career ladder. So don’t be afraid, charge on and volunteer for more responsibility – but know your limits, of course!

2. Your work has a greater impact.

Working with a smaller team allows you to really see just how your performance impacts the whole company. It also gives you nearly immediate feedback on how to proceed, how to tweak things to make them work more efficiently. You will be able to see how what you do helps the company grow. That, in itself, is really rewarding and incredibly inspiring.

3. You can learn from many people.

Interning at a small company will often mean that you will be able to gain cross-departmental experience. You will probably be loaned out to the departments that need help the most, so your work may vary from day to day, allowing you to learn a plethora of new facts and skills. You might help out with HR on Mondays, sales on Tuesdays, research on Wednesdays, marketing on Thursdays and so on, so forth. Taking an internship with a small company allows you to stick your fingers in several pots, so to speak – you can see which department suits you best, which can help you with deciding how to plan your career.

4. Your network will be more close-knit.

It’s easier to remember everyone’s names when you’re working with 10 other people, rather than 50. Smaller companies give you the opportunity to create closer ties with your coworkers, which in turn makes your professional network more intimate. You will know which colleague would be the best to help you out, should you need mentoring, references or a push in the right direction. Close-knit networks are more likely to last longer, too, so keep that in mind while making friends (and enemies ;)).

5. You often find yourself working in a more fast-paced environment.

While big multinational brands look good on your CV, sometimes you can get stuck doing mindless, repetitive tasks that bore you out of your mind. Or, indeed, sometimes there might be little for you to do, leaving you floundering and looking for something to occupy your time. Smaller companies are usually more fast-paced and there’s always the need for an extra set of hands. So if you dread downtime during work, interning at a smaller company might be the right move for you.

Why not experience just how rewarding an internship with a small company can be by yourself? Check out our most up-to-date internship listings here!


— Author: Lena Zwolak

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