Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Startup Environment

One aspect that I love and hate the most about my internship is the lack of a set schedule. The company which I am interning for is currently still a startup. The company is so young that we don’t have the luxury of knowing when work is going to come. If I was to just go into work on weekday’s form 9-5, I could very well sit there the entire day with little to do. This means I work sporadically throughout the week. I sometimes come in for a few hours and then go home and come back a few hours later. I’ve left work and received a call as soon as I arrived home to come back in because there is more that needs to be done. I love this type of work schedule because I don’t enjoy the structure of a 9-5 job but there is the downside. I am unable to know when I’ll be free to plan things to do. Sometimes I’ll have plans and be forced to cancel or leave because work calls. This experience made one thing become extremely apparent to me. If you are going to work in a true startup environment, you need to be prepared for the startup to become your life.

When you’re in an early stage startup, the most important thing is survival. There are so many things that could go wrong that could end the company so you always need to work to keep it going. If the company is going to be successful, it need to be the most important thing in everyone’s life who is working on it. This becomes a million times easier when you love what you do. Part of being in a startup is that you are choosing to do it because you love it. This makes going into work at 3 different times a day not seem like a chore but like a privilege. When more work comes it, it is viewed as a blessing because it means that the company is progressing and performing. The startup environment isn’t for everyone but if you’re someone who is willing to work as hard as you can to create something new, then it may be for you.