This is why you should intern at a startup

All of the software engineering students out there are crazy about internships/jobs at top tech giants — Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. Have you ever considered interning at a startup? If not, then read on. This post might change your perspective about startups.

I interned at Rubrik. Rubrik is a backup and storage startup based in Palo Alto in California, USA. They are a team of about 50 engineers who are top notch in their respective fields. The engineers at Rubrik are super talented and they have experience of building the real tech.

I will list out the things that I really liked about Rubrik:

  1. Freedom to choose project — I was initially given an option to choose from 1 of the 2 suggested projects. I didn’t quite like both of them and so, the team members helped me to come up with an altogether new project and I really liked it.
  2. Small team — When the team is small, your presence matters. I was an intern but my manager and I were really the only 2 people who knew about CockroachDB (the database on which I was working). This is super cool. You definitely won’t get this level of ‘monopoly’ in a big tech giant.
  3. Excellent learning experience — at startups you won’t work on pre-built things. You will play an integral role in building things!
  4. Learning things you don’t know — At Rubrik, there is a lot of emphasis on code quality. My mentor used to point out things as minute as a stray blank space. I really never knew that in the industry they maintain such high code quality.
  5. Your work matters — At the end of my internship, I gave a tech talk on what I did during my intern and I was happy to see that most of the engineering team members attended the talk. It was encouraging to know that people are interested in what I am doing.
  6. Transparency — you are free to attend any ongoing meeting. Everyone pretty much knows about everything and nothing is hidden from anyone.
  7. Learning beyond tech — since the team is small, you can interact with other teams like product managers, marketing and sales, which I believe is a great experience.
  8. High chances of a pre-placement offer — interns at startups have high chances of a pre-placement offer because they played a key role in the early stage of the company.
  9. Interaction with the startup leaders — I remember our CEO Mr. Bipul Sinha addressed us in one of the happy hours and it was so motivating to listen to him and interact with him.
  10. Self-confidence — startup interviews are hard to crack. Also, their hiring criteria is rigid because a bad hire at initial stage might be disastrous. So, cracking the interview will give you confidence.

Working at Rubrik gave me a lot of confidence. I wrote thousands of lines of C++ code along with some python code. I got an experience of how a team works in coordination to build and maintain a product. It was an enriching experience and I am happy to mention that I have got a pre-placement offer from Rubrik :)