Small Companies Vs Big Companies – Who Should You Intern with?

February 8, 2022

Table of Contents

I have no clue about the big companies but…

I run a startup that is not a big company (yet).
We hire a lot of interns and here’s what the story looks like for most of them

Before I get into it let’s clarify one thing.

  • If you’re not getting paid it’s not internship it’s slavery
  • They are abusing you and they don’t even care if you create some thing good because you don’t cost them anything
  • So when I say internship, I’m referring to the kind where you get paid to do the actual work instead of grabbing coffee for free for a couple of months, all for a certificate

Now… coming back to the topic

We hire a lot of interns and here’s what the story looks like for most of them

  • Initially they take up a lot of time and guidance to understand the product, the audience and how to sell/market
  • Then they come up with ideas! Some good, some bad, some ugly
  • After that they start disturbing different members of the team for inputs, insights, help, tweaks and what not…
  • Using all this help from people across the team they create something
    then some ‘higher up’, cames and calls it crap
  • This is what the first six days look like,
    And the entitled ones (typically 60% – 80%) drop off or leave before the seventh day
  • But there is another kind, the rarer breed of interns, the ones who take that feedback to heart and now they want to prove this ‘higher-up‘ wrong!
  • They go study research and then they try, try and then they try again!
  • 1 to 2 weeks later they come back with something that is genuinely good and can really be made good enough to actually represent the brand.

But here’s the fun part

After that first iteration, almost everything they create is genuinely good!

So they didn’t just create one good piece of content!
Instead, THEY leveled up!

Afnan started as an intern and here’s what she has to say about her journey in this internship…

Afnan Haroon

Product Marketer, TeleCRM

I badly wanted an internship…

But initially, I thought “This is an obscure startup! Maybe I belong at a better place.”

My interview didn’t go great! But I was confident that I’ll excel here.

Boy was I wrong!

– Every time I interacted with Rahul, I felt like the dumbest person on the planet!

– I came up with ideas, which really led to embarrassment!

– Let alone being appreciated, I struggled to prove my sanity!

– Day by day it got kinda toxic, and I seriously wanted to quit!

But before that, I wanted to give it one propper last chance!

To be able to say to myself “Yes! I gave my best

So to start afresh, I ditched work-from-home quit my vocational course mid-way, joined work full-time from the office…

But this time things were even more difficult
That’s what I thought initially.

I made a ‘dumb mistake’ and it was the second time I was given a choice to ‘either align my thoughts or to quit!’

Doubting my capabilities, I broke down, but for me, there was no going back without proving myself.

After two to three weeks of struggling really hard, things started changing!

Everyone around started to like my ideas.

Now, with only a few minor tweaks from Rahul, I was creating amazing content which everyone loved!

I remember the first day when we got MANY LEADS from MY CONTENT! That felt like the best day of my life.

Looking back, I am sooo… glad that I persevered instead of running away from the struggle!

Because that initial struggle combined with feedback from everyone is what led to the transformation and got me to the point where I am today.

Here people who have designed fighter jets, the CMO, and the development head were critiquing my work and helping me improve.

These are the people who have held top positions in & left the companies that I dream of joining one day!

I doubt that such important people would care that I exist let alone give feedback on my ideas if I had chosen a corporate internship!

I have started to love what I do, and that’s what keeps me going!

I don’t think this would’ve happened and that too so fast if I had joined any other company!

Now if you are looking for an internship – you have a choice.
Do you want a chance to go through hell for three weeks and level up?
And transform?
Or do you want a certificate with the Flipkart stamp,
Fun fact the stipends are the same!

Additional perks of interning at a small, dynamic company

  1. You are one of 20 or 30 people so people actually to give a damn about your ideas
  2. But they’re so busy that you will have to shave your ideas and bring them to the farm where people will get excited about it
    So you can’t just say I have this idea and park it on to someone else like all major corporates.
    You have a great idea? Amazing! No one cares! Now you have to see it through!
    And you have to get it to a stage where people start to care about it.
    So if you have a content idea that idea itself is not enough
    1. You will have to learn how to turn it into a meme,
    2. You will have to learn how to do graphic designing
    3. You will have to learn the basics of copywriting…
      Two weeks later… look how much you’ve learned, all because you want to impress people and get them excited about YOUR ideas.
      Isn’t that the best incentive to learn anything new?

Article Author

As CMO he makes sure that the Marketing team here at Telecrm aligns with the goals and vision of the company and stays on course to achieve the growth targets! In his articles, he talks about empathetic value-driven sales that put deep care for the customer at the centre of selling.