If you have ever been to an Indian engineering college you probably would know two things about them. First, the reason for every students’ misery is their college attendance rules and second how it’s their dream to be an intern with Google (especially after watching The internship movie). But still I — in the truest possible way — cannot thank Google enough for not offering me an internship (Yes, it was my dream too !!).
After this rejection happened I resorted to listening to my mentor’s advice of interning with a startup(team size<10) rather than a big corporate, although not really believing it. Then after some hustling here and there I ended up joining a San Francisco/Bangalore based startup Observe.ai as a MEAN stack developer for two months. And the past two months with Observe have been such a roller coaster ride that I could not live without sharing.
Observe.ai is an AI driven employee development platform co-founded by a couple of ex-Twitter and ex-Inmobi employees. They are changing the way how enterprises do people development which has always been based on limited data and manager’s intuition. I was their first full-time intern so I ended up getting a lot of founders time and attention. One more reason for this might be that I was sharing an apartment with them, so I usually got to be a part of all the core team meetings and discussions ranging from ESOP pools to product development to get investors on board and so on. One might call it a complete coincidence but a couple of super awesome things happened during my two months time-
- The company got their first few paying customers
- The company closed their first round of investment
I believe that for any founder any of these things is like a huge Eureka movement, so it isn’t tough to imagine the amount of energy that I got to experience. And being a wannabe entrepreneur myself, it was such a great learning experience that I actually struggled to absorb all that was happening around me. Imagine yourself being dropped into the 21st century directly from the stone age, that is exactly what I experienced for the past two months.
The point of writing all this is just to encourage more and more students especially wannapreneurs to intern with start-ups rather than big companies because if learning is what you seek then startup is where you go. I am not saying that you won’t learn in big companies, it’s just that you will learn maybe a fraction of what you will learn at a startup. I actually learned 10 new things every single day and apart from that, I ended up developing a personal and emotional relationship with the founders to an extent that now it’s a pain to think about leaving this internship.