8 Interns Share Why They Love Working at a Startup

New York City has always been one of the best places in the world to work, and with the influx of innovative startups moving into town, it’s only getting better. Quora defines a startup as an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. Startups are often product-centric and characterized by innovation.

We recently partnered with Brainscape and invited our community to attend their Startup Intern Mixer. Inspired by the attendees, we reached out to current startup interns to learn more about what makes interning at a startup company such a unique experience.


David Morgan Etsy Intern

David Morgan, Intern at Etsy

When you are hired as an intern, you are given an incredible learning opportunity. At a startup, however, you are learning in an environment where growth and innovation happens daily. Not only are you witnessing that growth firsthand, but your helpful contributions are often noticed and encouraged. It is truly a fantastic space to be in.


NY Creative Interns Jeremy Startup Intern MakerBot

Jeremy Blum, Intern at MakerBot

Working at a startup affords me the ability to get exposure to all aspects of the company. As an engineer at makerbot industries I’ve done everything from building electronics to representing us at trade shows to setting up a hiring system. I also love meeting people with different skill sets and interests.


Jiayi Of a Kind Intern - NY Creative Interns

Jiayi Ying, Intern at Of a Kind

Often times interns are the ones who spearhead a project and see it through. I’ve had the amazing opportunities to write for the site and initiate our Pinterest presence, and to see those stories be received well and our social media engagement grow is very rewarding. Bigger picture-wise, it’s also neat to see the company itself grow. I started interning at Of a Kind last summer, and in the past year, we’ve gone from releasing one edition a week to three and from one site design to another. It’s eye-opening to think about how much we’ve changed, but also really exciting. Not to mention, it’s pretty fantastic to be able to interact day-in and day-out with the founders.


NY Creative Interns - Catherine Brainscape Startup Intern

Catherine Guo, Intern at Brainscape

I love working at a startup because I know I am contributing to a product that is innovative and useful for people like you and me. I’ve learned so many important skills during my internship, and I’m particularly excited that I now know how to make animated gifs! Plus, I like going to work in jeans and a t-shirt.

 Mark Sonar Intern - NY Creative Interns

Mark Ha, Intern at Sonar

Interning at Sonar is probably one of the best ways I’ve ever spent my summers, and that includes vacations. Not only do they give you free food, but everyone on the team is super-friendly and helpful. I came in with some pretty basic Android experience, and am coming out with a much deeper understanding of how Android apps work, and how to avoid problems that you wouldn’t normally have to deal with on non-mobile devices. If I had to pinpoint the most attractive part of the internship, it’s that everyone is extremely dedicated to the app, and it shows. I only wish that I had started earlier, and could start working full-time ASAP instead of going back to school.
Andrew Bell Contently Intern - NY Creative Interns

Andrew Bell, Intern at Contently

I can’t speak generally to what makes working in a startup special, but I can and would love to speak about what makes Contently special. It starts at the top. While the company is energetic and agile, it also has the luxury of being guided by three founders who have an infectious spirit and are determined to help Contently realize it’s lofty aspirations. Buoyed by the founders energy and open and inclusive work style, the rest of the company has adopted Contently as their baby and revel in the chance to help it soar. As an editorial intern I have been granted the rare opportunity to be a part of and see the many facets of the company and ive been pleased to find a place that has such a strong esprit d corps and isn’t restricts by the archaic limitations at other larger companies.


Kaitlyn RecordSetter Intern - NY Creative Interns

My summer internship at RecordSetter was not only a building block for my future, it was fun! How many people get to say they broke a world record on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon? Working so closely with the RecordSetter team constantly kept me motivated to learn new skills while improving the ones I already had. I know everything I learned at my internship will prove invaluable to my future career.
Gabrielle Skillshare Intern - NY Creative Interns

Gabrielle Gulo, Intern at Skillshare

At startups, projects and ideas change on a daily, even hourly basis–which keeps things fresh and exciting–so you need energy, passion, the ability to hustle. Startups won’t waste your time because there is no time to waste: they’ll toss you in the deep end and expect you to swim, which is both terrifying and awesome but you get so much more responsibility. You’ll make mistakes and you’ll fail hard, but it’s the best way to learn. You learn by doing. You learn to get shit done. You learn to crush it.

Do you have any questions about what it’s like to intern at a startup? Share in the comments and we’ll get you answers.

About the Author

Emily is Founder and CEO of FindSpark. Passionate about the power of social media and networking; Emily has spoken at numerous colleges, conferences, and events including The International Youth Leaders Assembly at The United Nations, SXSW Interactive, Internet Week, Mediabistro's Social Media Bootcamp, Time Inc, Columbia University, and New York University, among others. Emily is also an adjunct professor, teaching social media and career courses at multiple colleges. Learn more about having Emily speak at your next event and follow her on twitter @EmilyMiethner.

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