#Asia Why you should never intern at a startup (especially e27)

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If you are hoping to understand the emotional impact of stress, depression and fatigue, then maybe a startup internship is the perfect fit

Startups

Author Amos Goh is currently a staff intern at e27. 

The rise of Silicon Valley unicorns, along with their chic offices and staff benefits has drawn many job seekers to the startup ecosystem. The foray into the magical world of startups, where unicorns prance in a forrest of failed companies, often begins with an internship.

But, is a startup internship truly the best decision for everyone?

It’s not all fun and games

If flexible working hours and cool office amenities come to mind when you think of an internship, you’ve got only half the story.

The startup life has been glorified and misrepresented by the media, making it synonymous with coolness and fun. However, an internship at a startup will tear all these notions apart, showing you the true startup life – hustling all day, every day. Flexible working hours mean non-stop hustling and frequent overtimes.

Foosball tables and game consoles are rarely used.

Also Read: How to boost workplace productivity like a BOSS!!

Be prepared for endless piles of work

More often than not, you will find yourself typing away on the computer endlessly, or cracking your head to find a cheaper, better, and faster way to get things done.

As startups do not possess vast resources that many large corporations do, you’ll need to wear many hats, which could sometimes be too much to handle. 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’ — ranging from fixing furniture and buying groceries to writing endless lines of code.

However, in most startups you will be given the opportunity and responsibility to take charge and complete tasks independently.

It is in these challenges where you become wiser, and learn lessons that no author, teacher or speaker can ever teach you. It is in these challenges that you gain and internalize skills and insights that stay with you.

Your hopes and dreams will be crushed

All aspiring entrepreneurs should beware: Your hopes and dreams will be crushed.

An internship at a startup 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 of startup life. Seeing a startup from within will expose the challenges, threats, and risks a Founder faces beneath the veneer of vanity metrics like funding rounds. Approaching these challenges from within is the most accurate and effective way to empathise with a Founder.

Throughout the internship, you will frequently find yourself feeling stressed, fatigued, and depressed; something no book or workshop can effectively demonstrate.

The high intensity and fast pace only intensifies these feelings; sometimes even forcing you to question whether entrepreneurship is the right path. It is in these challenges where your passion for entrepreneurship is tested and where you’ll know if you can take on the mercenary and harsh world of startup survival.

Also Read: 15 Asia-based social media startups you need to know

Still unsure whether an internship at a startup sounds right for you?

Let me summarise it for you. You are guaranteed insights and lessons each day you go to work. But please be warned, the side effects include immense stress, migraines, and a severe lack of rest. If that sounds disastrous to you, please stay away from the startup life.

The post Why you should never intern at a startup (especially e27) appeared first on e27.

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