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Do the work you’re not ready for.

What it’s like to be an intern at a tech startup.

Even though I majored in IT, I am not a geek at all. I don’t code, I am not a fan of video games and I prefer pencil and paper over Word.  However, Data fascinates me as it’s the only thing I can truly rely on. 

I spend 3 years listening to boring theoretical courses which made no sense to me. Quite frankly, any developer using, say, PESTEL analysis in his work would just laugh at what we studied. I believe that every decision should be based on facts, not theoretical assumptions. With that in mind, I was looking for an Internship in fields like Digital Marketing and DataScience.

Why tech?

I chose to get a 6-month internship in Tech because I wanted to be focused on what’s next. Working in tech is like working in the future. You need to know all new stakeholders of each rising tech trend, and every small innovation is a huge possibility. It’s more than just an industry, it’s a mindset. 

The tech world is not what most people think of it. It seems like a lot of people still imagine a tech company as a dark cave with hackers typing something really fast (ok maybe I have over stereotyped but you got the concept). But things have changed.

As I said, I am not a nerd but you don’t need to be one to work in tech.  

Why startup? 

I chose to work at a tech startup for its dynamic growth, its connection with society and the impact it makes. I had a chance to work at a big company in the past, and jumping from a corporative environment to a startup was a big change for me. 

I thought that I would have a project to care of for 6 months, but the reality of a startup kicked in. Priorities change every quarter and you need to adapt, switch focus, work on various projects and go beyond your job description. I would recommend everyone who wants to evolve in a company to have an experience with a startup. You will learn a lot about different management styles, teamwork, prioritizing and strategy.

Your contribution matters. The level of motivation and commitment is really high, and everyone is expected to contribute. Tech interns are not there to deliver coffees, they are given real projects to work on and they are definitely expected to perform.

Diversity is key. Working at a startup a great opportunity to experience real diversity.  People from different countries, cultures, and walks of life gather to solve a problem or deliver a great product. The casual environment of a startup really helps when it comes to making friends and connections. 

Adaptability is your greatest asset. 

If I had to list one thing I’ve acquired from this internship it would be adaptability. You need to learn to be flexible, prioritize projects and apply your skills where they’re needed the most. It’s not always easy and you but you need to roll up your sleeves and do the tasks you’re not ready for…because you’re never ready.  Getting things done (one way or another) is the only way to learn and progress.

What’s next?

The internship also helped me set clear goals. I got to solve real business problems and figure out where I can apply myself best. In the future, I want to continue working in a tech-related dynamic environment, specializing in strategy and IT-Optimization of business processes. Technology and entrepreneurship go hand in hand, and it’s a good time to get in.