5 Benefits Of A Business Internship by Daniel Arvidsson

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Blurr Photo Sharing App Co-Founder Daniel Arvidsson:
The great thing about the internships I did for my school is because it’s part of your degree, you’re working there for 6 months at a time and that gives you a big timeframe to make an impact.

From my internships I learned a lot from just the business side of things, but on a personal level something my dad told me before I started my first internship was pay attention to the managers and try to figure out why they’re the managers and not somebody else. I think that from Day 1 this was ingrained into my mind ‘Why is that guy the CEO?’ I think a lot of it comes to your need to be able delegate things and your need to be very personable. Those are the two main traits I noticed from all the different bosses that I’ve had and the different CEO’s that I’ve worked under. And especially for my last internship I worked directly with the CEO and founder of a pretty big startup of about 25 people (we shared an office). There I got a really big insight into how to run a company, how to keep your employees motivated. I think that because the CEO was so personable, such a great guy and also very smart that was how he got people motivated and wanting to wake up early in the morning and work late at night.

I think my Dad’s advice coupled with just being surrounded by some great people, was some of the biggest lessons that I took from that.

When you’re working for a big corporation or a startup (I mean especially in the startup world), you’re living in this kind of roller coaster and you wake up one day and it’s all great. And then you wake up another day and it’s like things are not going your way. I think the biggest thing I saw from these expert problem solvers was when times were going really well, you can’t get too optimistic and too hyped up. You have to remain composed. And when things are going bad, you have to stay calm and not panic because especially if the leaders are panicking, then everybody else will start to panic. So remaining composed at all times, celebrating things as they happen, but remain composed in kind of like a straight line and not get too involved in the whole roller coaster ride of things.

In terms of an internship being good or bad, I think that in no way is it going to harm anybody. The great thing about the internships I did for my school is that because it’s a part of your degree, working there for 6 months at a time and that really gives you a big time frame to make an impact and people will trust you with work. If you’re doing just a summer internship for 8 weeks, how much work can you actually do, right? They’re not going to give you a 4-month project if you’re only there for 8 weeks. So I think (and this is a problem with education in general) that as part of the degree you have to work for a year to a year-and-a-half in a five-year program, that’s really beneficial because you kind of figure out what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. If you’re just doing summer internships, I mean if I went to a regular school I probably would have become an investment banker because I would have done a couple of 8-week internships here and there and be like ‘Okay, this isn’t so bad.’ With 6 months you really get to see the whole picture but I think that getting as much practical knowledge as you can straight off the bat is definitely very beneficial.

I came into school and I was studying finance and I call myself a bit of a numbers guy and thought (my dad had worked in finance) ‘Okay, this is going to be the path that I’m going to take.’ And the best thing that this experience taught me is what I didn’t want to do. And I figured out ‘Okay, I don’t want to work in finance.’ Then things just happened and I couldn’t be happier with the path that I’m on right now. It’s completely changed my life. I definitely want to keep working for startups. This is 100% not the last company that I’ll start (it’s the first but not the last for sure). My family is extremely supportive. They 100% supported us the whole way with us [the 3 of the 4 Blurr co-founders] moving to Los Angeles, which is a big move. My family is in Europe, so it’s even further away. They’ve been really supportive of the whole thing.

Question: What other benefits does a business internship have?

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