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Top 4 Differences in Internship Experience Small business vs Corporations

When you are searching for an internship, there are many options available to you. You can complete your internship at a startup, or you can go to work for a large firm. It doesn’t matter the size of the organization; you will still get the experience and hands-on work that you can add to your resume to gain the attention of potential employers.

The type of opportunities and intern experience will vary depending on the size of the company, and larger firms may be able to offer more advantages than a smaller company, this can work vice versa. You don’t actually need to choose one over the other. It will depend on where you sit in your academic career as to whether you find it better to be at a larger firm or a smaller one. Having both of these available can help you to balance out your CV and give you a better feel for whether or not you want to work in a smaller firm or larger one as you move into your career.

Larger brand name companies

One of the biggest advantages of working for a bigger company is the fact that you can list a larger firm, more recognizable brand name company on your resume. When the potential employer looks over resumes, larger company names they have been heard of will catch their eye. The big names tend to matter when it comes to setting yourself apart from the competition out there. This is especially true for certain work industries like marketing and law. If you have interned for companies like Disney, your resume is going to carry more weight than just working for a small boutique firm. Larger companies will have greater resources, so you will be more likely to have all the information and tools you need to be successful.

Bigger companies offer less flexibility.

A downside to working for a bigger firm is that there will be less flexibility for you to show initiative and take charge. The tasks can also seem less interesting and tedious with firmer rules and more hurdles to jump over. When working for a small firm, there’s less staff and fewer interns, so you have more of a chance to offer some input and be creative. You can make greater contributions, which can result in you getting extra hands-on work. Being with a small firm, you do run the risk of having trouble finding big-name mentors; you will still be able to grow a stronger relationship with those at smaller firms as there are fewer of them. At smaller companies, you will do research, take notes, administrative work, and looking in on meetings, which is much what you will be doing in a bigger firm. Interns coming from startup companies are becoming more and more sought after as their reputation for adaptability grows.

A different environment

When you intern for a large company, it might feel exhilarating at first as you step foot inside the multi-story building, where there will be so many different people from different departments and background to become familiar with it can all get so overwhelming, especially if you land an international internship. The smaller companies tend to have an easier time creating an individual feel. The staff is not going to be as large, but you can bond and get to know the colleagues on a more personal level.
The smaller companies will have more access to the employees that are high up in the company, which allows you to be more exposed to influential contacts and interesting work. Interns at larger companies can find themselves grabbing coffees and making copies for the higher up staff.

Getting paid

Most times, internships are completed without any pay, some will offer pay, but these are very few. You are more likely to be paid for your work with a larger company with a bigger budget than a small startup who would be a stricter budget without any leniency to be paying interns.

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Contributed by one of our writers from around the world.