Whether you’re searching for talent as a leader of a growing company or looking for opportunities as a professional eager to jump into your field, startup internships can create unique opportunities. In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits of these positions. We’ll break down how to recruit the best candidates for your team, and how to find the perfect opportunities to grow as an intern.

‍For interns and emerging companies, the way you grow is important. When your startup is launching, expanding, and carving out a niche in your industry, the team at your side is crucial. They can be the difference between carrying the backbreaking load of launching a business on your own, and flourishing in a supportive network. 

Similarly, as an intern, the environment you begin your career in has the potential to catapult or hinder your growth. Joining a passionate team as a startup intern is a great way to become  surrounded by industry thought leaders and earn a front row seat to innovation.

To grow your team with passionate, top-tier talent, look beyond tenure alone and consider creating a startup internship program. Startup internships can be the key to long-term, mutual success. In this article, we’ll start by breaking down the reasons new businesses should consider bringing interns on board, including:

  • The diversity they can add to your team
  • The global talent they can funnel to your startup
  • The ability they give you to delegate projects to capable team members
  • The connections they help forge with cutting-edge talent
  • The staffing they provide for short-term projects
  • The improvements they make to your company culture

We’ll also explore some important information any intern needs when considering joining a startup team, including tips for finding and landing these coveted positions. Whether you’re a growing business looking to expand or an early-career professional eager to get started, partnering with Intrax Global Internships can make your startup internships a resounding success.

Create a Diverse Team With Interns

When considering why to hire interns for a startup, many business owners assume that the main reason is the bottom line, but this doesn’t begin to cover their value add. One of the most immediate benefits of hiring interns is that they can help you achieve your goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DE&I.

Focusing on DE&I in your hiring decisions shows that your company culture is centered around people. This makes your values clear to any current or prospective team members. These initiatives also have many other benefits, such as:

  • Improving cultural competence and understanding of diverse market trends
  • Increasing the cultural awareness and sensitivity addressed by your products or services
  • Incorporating global perspectives into your decision making process
  • Boosting financial performance on average
  • Creating opportunities for creativity and innovation with a diverse group of people

Think about the people who make up your team right now. What groups aren’t represented, and what would hearing the voices of those groups add? Like all of your hires, interns are an opportunity to increase the diversity and inclusiveness of your company. Recruiting diverse interns from around the world is a unique and effective way to boost your company’s DE&I while also filling important roles.

Funnel Global Talent to Your Startup

No matter what stage of growth your startup is in, it’s never too early to begin thinking global for hiring. In the wake of the Great Resignation, the shift towards remote work is looking increasingly permanent. This change is yielding clear benefits for employers, with productivity showing massive increases for individuals working from home. 

These changes also mean the hiring market isn’t localized anymore. The normalization of working from home means businesses of all sizes have access to a truly global pool of talent.

The shift to remote work isn’t just for full-time employees. Internships are going virtual as well, and remote internships can help startups find top talent from around the world. Collaborating with interns on a global scale is a powerful way to direct global talent directly to your company. 

Engaging with international candidates for these positions can help your brand awareness extend beyond borders. This can create a global talent acquisition funnel for your company as future international candidates will be eager to take your next open internship position. As a result, seeking out global internship candidates today can make your talent acquisition process easier tomorrow.

Working with talent around the world is a powerful edge for your company, enabling you to:

  1. Gain insight into cultural and linguistic differences
  2. Employ a multilingual and multinational team to meet diverse customer needs
  3. Spread your team across multiple time zones, enabling round-the-clock progress and support

Put Important Projects in Capable Hands With Interns

Interns can help with more than coffee runs and making copies. Where would your team benefit from having extra help? Think about your most important projects and your most complex ambitions. Interns can be the ideal fit for many of these roles.

For an intern at a startup, no task is too big. In fact, the willingness of interns to think beyond the traditional project scopes that tenured employees are used to is one of the biggest boons they bring to growing companies. 

Startup internships for computer engineering, finance, development companies, and countless others are putting early-career professionals at the center of many huge developments. One of our clients, Robinhood, is placing global interns in key roles of their Global Mobility program to achieve 100% growth in the next fiscal year. How could these fresh minds contribute to your vision?

When developing your internship program, look for responsibilities your interns could tackle, and consider how you can set them up for success in these projects with training and onboarding. Entrusting meaningful tasks and projects to your interns shows them you value their skills, knowledge, and contributions. 

It also allows your team to take on a rewarding mentorship role, encouraging your interns to grow right alongside your company. Recruiting global interns allows you to capitalize on the best collegiate-level talent in your field from institutions around the world. 

Person's light-skinned hands move while they talk about startup internships.
Photo source: unsplash.com

Internships Connect You With Cutting-Edge Talent

When you think about potential interns, what characteristics come to mind? Although many think of interns as inexperienced, this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, interns can bring benefits to teams that the most experienced professionals often lack, like:

  1. The fresh knowledge of cutting-edge development in your fields
  2. The flexibility of someone not yet “set in their ways”
  3. The technological skills of a digital native

Interns are professionals at the beginning of their careers, but this doesn’t always equate to a lack of experience. Many candidates take internship positions as part of a career change, meaning they bring a host of other skills with them. 

Interns who are just starting their professional careers can offer fresh viewpoints and energized passion to the teams they join. Plus, today’s interns are flexible digital natives whose adaptability can help them feel at home in a wide variety of roles.

Collegiate-level interns bring the latest from top universities, colleges, and training programs to your team. This effect is compounded when you recruit global interns, since they have been steeped in research and innovations from other parts of the world. Hiring international interns means you won’t miss a beat of the latest developments in your industry.

Short-Term Projects With Startup Summer Internships

What short-term projects is your company undertaking? Hiring employees for these positions can be a challenge — they’re usually looking for benefits, dependability, and long-term stability. 

Interns are more likely to accept and even prefer temporary roles. This could be a startup summer internship, a position that aligns with a light semester, or a way to gain experience during a gap year.

Prioritizing global interns can also make it easier to find quality interns no matter what time of year it is. With different countries following different academic calendars, celebrating different holidays, and so on, a time when it’s difficult to find an intern in the U.S. may be the perfect time for an international candidate.

Is your company anticipating an upcoming busy season or aiming to get over a development hurdle before a product launch? Short-term interns can be the perfect solution to get the help you need.

Improve Your Company’s Culture

Internships at startup companies can have broad impacts on the experience of your employees. Just imagine the culture of a clearly structured, organized, and well-run company. Interns can be a key part of making this a reality.

When you add an intern to a key role or project, they can help lessen the workload of all your other employees. This extra support can make the entire team less stressed and more productive. 

Interns can also be an important part of developing a clear organizational workflow. They are able to take ownership of some responsibilities, and are often a useful way for other employees to be able to delegate some tasks. When responsibilities are clearly delineated, it’s easier for a team to stay on top of all the details.

Plus, creating an internship program shows you value fostering talent rather than only extracting it. In today’s competitive global hiring market, demonstrating your people-first values by creating mentorship opportunities can help you find and retain quality talent.

Light-skinned person with blonde hair smiles and walks through hall at startup internship.
Photo Source: unsplash.com

The Compensation Question: Do Startups Need to Pay Interns?

Whether you’re looking to hire an intern or fill an internship position, the question of pay is essential. The answer is as diverse as startups themselves. For some positions, an unpaid internship can work; for others, paying candidates can be important.

Of course, unpaid internships can be useful for startups who are operating on tight budgets. However, if you are considering creating one of these positions for your startup, be sure to clearly define the position and its expectations with your new intern.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) helps to define the differences between employees and interns. It outlines some important factors that constitute an internship, like its educational benefits and the training opportunities it provides.

If you’re considering adding an unpaid internship to your company, be sure that the position is actually an internship under the requirements of the FLSA. Additionally, it must be clear that the intern and employee have agreed that the position will not be paid, and will not necessarily lead to full-time employment. 

However, many prestigious internships do pay their candidates. Especially in highly specialized fields like engineering and software development, paid internships are the norm. In fact, interns at tech giants like Facebook make nearly six figures in a year. Providing this highly competitive pay helps them attract talent at the top of their field, and makes it even easier to transition promising interns into full-time employees.

For many young professionals, unpaid work simply isn’t a tenable option. As a result, those who can take unpaid internships may be more likely to view it as an extracurricular, while paid internships are more likely to attract candidates who view it as an essential first step in their career.

In addition to recruiting and retaining the best candidates, paid internships also present the benefit of helping you attract a more diverse range of candidates. International interns who are accepting positions in the United States may need the financial support of a paid internship to be able to live abroad. Paid internships will also help you attract candidates who would otherwise need to seek out a paying job, even if it wasn’t in their field.

If you are considering applying for an internship at a startup, remember that your position can be as essential to their organization as any other employee. This means you can always advocate for your own value add by negotiating an internship offer to meet your needs. Check out our Intern Pay Calculator to help you bring an informed offer to these negotiations.

Why Interns Should Look to Startups for Beginning Their Career

If you’re seeking an internship, startup companies should be among your top contenders. A startup can be the perfect environment to launch your career. The team is likely motivated, forward-thinking, and focused on innovation.

As an intern at a startup, you’ll be surrounded by sharp minds at the top of your field. These creative thought leaders have carved out a niche for themselves in your industry with an original idea. There is no shortage of inspiration and learning opportunities to be found in the mentorship of a startup.

The emergent nature of a startup also means they are likely to understand what it’s like to be finding your footing at a new company and in a new industry. After all, they are also still in the process of learning and growing!

Think of your startup internship as a way to make your mark on their company. You may become their go-to candidate for their next permanent position.

When you’re looking for an internship with a startup, don’t limit yourself by geography or borders. The entire hiring market is going global, and that includes internship positions. Startups are eager to hire international students for their internship positions. 

Finding an Internship With a Startup

Wondering where to find startup internships? Intrax Global Internships has helped thousands of global interns find key roles at amazing companies, and we can help you launch your career as well. 

We work as the connection between industry leaders and interns to help match the ideal internship candidates with meaningful positions. Our customers include companies like Robinhood, Omnium, and memSQL. At Intrax Global Internships, our goal is to make it easy to find the best interns and internships around the world.

If you decide to seek an international internship at a startup, you’ll need a sponsor to obtain a visa. As a Department of State-designated J-1 visa sponsor, we know the ins and outs of finding a position as a global candidate. We’ll help you take care of obtaining a J-1 visa work permit, working out the J-1 visa costs, and navigating the 2-year rule.

As a J-1 visa sponsor, we:

  • Ensure your host company is adhering to all laws and regulations
  • Help you find an internship you’ll be the right fit for
  • Support you through the process of applying for a visa
  • Lend a hand if any issues arise during your internship
  • Take care of the legal side of your internship so you can focus on the amazing opportunity

Whether you’re looking for tech startup internships or startup engineering internships, we can match you with the perfect host company. When you’re ready to launch your career as an intern for a startup, we’ll be eager for your application. 

From Building Your Team to Launching Your Career, Startup Internships Can Be the Key

Whether you’re a growing company looking for your next team member or an early-career professional eager to jump in, startup internships can be the perfect solution.

The benefits of adding interns to your growing company are immense, including:

  1. Adding diversity to your team with global and remote candidates
  2. Tapping into worldwide talent streams
  3. Improving your company culture and reducing your employees’ stress

Similarly, joining a startup as an intern is full of unique opportunities, like:

  1. Growing alongside a thought leader in your industry
  2. Finding a flexible position to meet your needs
  3. Securing the opportunity to join a global startup as an international intern

Wondering where to begin? If you’re a startup, check out our guides on starting an internship program, or read up on recruitment strategies to help you attract top talent. If you’re an intern, find out more about J-1 visa pricing and eligibility. 

For startups and interns alike, our team at Intrax Global Internships is here to support you as you grow. Contact us any time to talk about what the future holds for your career or your company.

Featured Image: unsplash.com

Apr 13, 2022
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