1. It’s Not All Fun And GamesThe startup life has been glorified by the media, making it synonymous with coolness and fun. If flexible working hours and cool office amenities are what come to mind, you only have half the story. It’s true that strolling in at 11am sometimes might be okay, and it’s true that the offices are the most fitting representation of an adult playground. But all this come at a price – playing hard also means working extra hard.Flexible hours mean non-stop hustling, so don’t ever expect to knock off before sunset. Unlike corporations, startups live on borrowed time and limited cash. As such, the extra effort is necessary towards turning a profit or raising the next round of funding.
2. Be Prepared For The WorkloadMore often than not, you will find yourself typing away on the computer endlessly. Or maybe cracking your head to find a cheaper, better, faster way to get things done.Startups do not possess vast resources / manpower, so you’ll need to wear many hats and shoulder multiple responsibilities, which at times, could be too much to handle. However, this doesn’t mean a startup internship experience is for naught. What you take home would be the priceless satisfaction when you know that your hard work has moved the needle for the company. At a corporation, you are just a drop in the ocean, At a startup, you are an ocean in a drop.Do not be fooled when you think you have signed up for a certain department. Your job scope is as arbitrary as the phrase ‘ad-hoc duties’. Expect vague instructions when tasks are being assigned. Rest assured that it was not done intentionally because at a startup, change is the only constant. There is no one-size-fits-all formula to problems and so, no one can provide you with clear instructions. Sound scary? But at the end of day, it is in these challenges that you become wiser, and gain skills and insights that empower you for the future.
3. Your Hopes And Dreams Will Be CrushedAll aspiring entrepreneurs should beware: your hopes and dreams will be crushed.An internship is a sobering experience that wakes you up from the dream of becoming the next Zuckerberg. There is no honeymoon period.The moment your internship begins; you’re exposed to the harsh reality – all the challenges, threats and risks beneath the veneer of vanity metrics like funding round. Throughout the internship, stress, fatigue and depression will be your constant friends.The high intensity and fast pace might even force you to question if you’re on the right path towards entrepreneurship. It is in these challenges where your passion is tested and you’ll know if you can take on the mercenary world of startups.
Still Unsure?Why not take the chance to find out more at the NES Career & Internship Fair? Organised by the NUS Entrepreneurship Society (NES), the fair is aimed at connecting startups with entrepreneurial-minded students pursuing internships and full-time career opportunities. The fair will be held on 9 May from 12pm – 7pm at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House. For more details, visit the Eventbrite page at goo.gl/lchg5m.This article was contributed by Ong Yu Hao, Assistant Vice President of NUS Entrepreneurship Society.Featured Image Credit: officelovin.com