To intern or not to intern. It’s a question many new, fresh-faced graduates are faced with, but before you make any decisions, you would do well to consider a startup Venture Builder internship.
That’s right, you heard correctly. A startup Venture Builder; or accelerator, or incubator, or venture studio, or whatever cool alternative names for similar organizations are out there. But why not just intern at a startup?
Well, interning at a startup is also a great idea – if you want to hit the ground running and learn the ins and outs of helping to set up and run a fledgling business. But, interning at a startup Venture Builder, where there’s a bunch of different portfolio companies, adds much more depth to the whole “startup” experience.
Let me explain why, and then you can decide for yourself what’s best for your needs.
Startup Venture Builder internship: getting started
Before we get on to the big question of whether or not you should go for a startup Venture Builder internship, let’s remind ourselves what an internship actually is. Because it sure has nothing much to do with what Vince Vaughan and Owen Wilson get up to in “The Internship”. But you already knew that. 😉
By definition, the real thing is something like this: a period of work experience offered by an organization for a limited period of time. Paid or voluntary, interns are usually undergraduates or students, and most internships last between a month and three months. Internships are usually part-time if offered during a university semester and full-time if offered during the vacation periods. Finally, an internship should give you practical skills, workplace experience and greater knowledge of that industry, in exchange for the firm offering the internship reaping the benefits from your labor.
Scenarios you might consider an internship as a wise choice
As well as when you are a graduate or postgraduate without a job lined up, there are also other occasions when you may go for an internship. Like when you decide that it’s time for a career change. In both cases you’re at stage where you’re exploring career opportunities. And in that case a startup environment is more than a welcome choice for your development.
Advantages of interning at a startup
If you’re still exploring your alternatives and you have not yet shaped your dream job/career in your mind, then again, a startup environment may be a good opportunity for you. Why? well, within an environment like that you’ll get the chance to experiment in many different ways. You’ll:
- get the chance to try different things and wear many “hats” in terms of the functions of a business, and have ownership of your work.
- come close to people that share the same mentality with you. Typically, startup employees think out of the box. They don’t see themselves as a regular 9-5 employee.
- get out of your comfort zone and meet new people who will inspire you, and you’ll be exposed to some quality networking opportunities.
- learn how to adapt and be an innovator.
- learn about job roles you had not even thought of, and you may also learn (albeit the hard way) what you don’t want to do.
Not everyone’s cup of tea
While all of those points I just mentioned sound great, we’ll level with you. Working at a startup is not all butterflies and rainbows. And it’s certainly not for everyone. There is a downside, which can in some cases look something like this:
- unreasonably long working hours
- low pay and uncertainty
- low appreciation/recognition
- obsession with “productivity”
- drinking culture
- a myriad of metrics and KPIs just for the sake of them
- false transparency
So what’s the alternative? Enter the startup Venture Builder . Now this is where, according to us at Starttech, get a bit more interesting. Because, and perhaps we’re a bit biased here, as well as offering all of the good points you read above about the advantages of interning at a startup, a startup accelerator internship means you get some extra bonus perks.
Well, perhaps perks is not the correct word. Bonus experience, I think describes it best. And what is this bonus experience I think of? Here are just a few of the key advantages – depending on each Venture Builder, of course. You’ll get:
- mentorship from more experienced founders, entrepreneurs and team members who may have already launched a business before.
- a chance to work with several portfolio companies serving different industries so the breadth of experience is multiplied.
- extra training.
- even more opportunities for networking, as well as personal and professional growth.
All of the above should be part of any startup Venture Builder’s culture. Not all Venture Builder, accelerators and incubators were created equal though, so you will need to choose wisely. Perhaps we can help you with your choice – if you are thinking about a startup accelerator internship in Athens.
What to expect from a startup Venture Builder internship
What’s waiting for you then on a startup Venture Builder internship? We can’t speak for all Venture Builders, accelerators and incubators, but we can speak for Starttech. And what we focus on is growth. Because for us, this is the essence of a modern working environment.
Yes, we have perks. It’s just that our perks are a bit different. There’s no free beer taps, sleeping pods or pinball machines. Nope. Instead we have a heavy focus on well-being. And this includes free fresh fruit and salads daily, nutrition advice, running club, yoga and endurance training sessions. And we do have table football and a ping pong table (guilty as charged).
But our focus on growth is two-fold. Firstly, in the way we ask our interns to work with our portfolio companies. From day 1 as part of the Lean Venture Building team you will collaborate with all companies on a daily basis. And secondly, you will have the chance to grow on a personal level through our open library, free language lessons and networking initiatives such as #ScaleUpGreece.
By default, you can expect a comfortable co-working space which allows you to meet and collaborate with both the core Venture Building team as well as the other stakeholders from our portfolio companies.
Multi-tasking and context switching are basically the rule of thumb for a startup Venture Builder internship. It’s kind of a creative chaos, one in which great ideas are born (and die). The good thing about this is that in comparison with corporate environments, or a single startup environment, is that you won’t have to wait till you get higher up the hierarchy in order to get your hands dirty with real-world tasks that will add up to your experience. Or to voice your ideas and opinions. If you’re the lone wolf/hermit type character, then you should reconsider it since it’s all about teamwork.
Learning, often harsh lessons
Startups are new-born companies that are often testing various waters. And so, by default there is a great risk of failure. As much as there is of success. You constantly have to iterate, try new things, and most importantly, learn as you go. In this kind of environment learning is more than priority and since you’re a newbie. You can make a fresh start in a challenging environment that will give you so many great opportunities to learn new things and find what suits you better.
Why we love interns
At Starttech we’re huge fans of having interns in our team. We try to keep an open communication channel with universities and communities in general. Our CEO and Founder Dimitris Tsingos is a frequent speaker at Greek universities, aiming to highlight entrepreneurship as a challenging and interesting career path for young graduates, as he did himself back in his 20s. And we do maintain great relationships with various educational institutions around Greece.
For the same reason we occasionally welcome young graduates in our Lean Venture Building team who bring fresh perspectives as well as the drive to learn. And that of course is a great fit for our mindset in general. Because apart from our connections with educational bodies and our #ScaleUpGreece initiatives, we host various events to try and encourage young graduates, entrepreneurs and startups in Greece to transfer their knowledge.
Internship it is, then!
Apart from our Lean Venture Building team, our startup portfolio companies are also open to internship option depending on their needs. Apart from the above, our whole philosophy is of constant learning. And only by bringing in the next generation of innovators can help that process.
Why not join us?
If you’re thinking about a startup Venture Builder internship, then hopefully reading this post has given you plenty of insights in to what to expect. And hopefully, it has provided you with a lot of enthusiasm for trying it out.
So why not come and join us? If you have any questions about how to apply, drop us a line. Because at the end of the day, we’re all interns really, aren’t we?