Small business internships

Published: September 25, 2015

OLIVIA LEVINE
Small Business Development Correspondent

While any internship experience is useful to students, opportunities at small businesses are often overlooked. Small business internships allow students to experience a different side of the business world. Interning at a small business allows students to apply classroom knowledge and skills to a professional environment. Here are six reasons to consider an internship at a small business:

1. You can make bigger impact.

You can get the answers to your questions and have decisions made more quickly. Since processes in small businesses tend to be shorter and simpler, you can see the effects of your work relatively quickly.

2. You wear more hats.

In a small business environment, you may be asked to use different skill sets or complete different tasks within the same week, or even the same day. You may be called on to fulfill additional roles outside of your job description, which allows you to determine where your interests may lie in the future.

3. You have professional freedom.

Work experience at a small business is unlikely to follow a standard, predetermined schedule. Many small businesses thrive on innovation and take your ideas and recommendations seriously. You get to play around with different ideas that could have a significant impact on the business.

4. You can understand the business as a whole.

You will be closely involved in the employer’s whole business and you will gain a real insight into how they operate.

5. There’s a good chance it can lead to full time employment.

Your work can be seen by everyone in the business, making it easier to distinguish yourself as having certain skills. A high proportion of small employers will be able to offer students further work after their placement, from additional projects to full-time employment after graduation.

6. Impress Recruiters.

Many small business internships are project based, meaning that you will take ownership of a task and see it through to the end- something that will impress recruiters when applying for jobs. Interning for a small company is also a great way to establish your abilities and gain references and a reputation that can follow you in your future career path.

Don’t overlook the possibilities that can come from a small business internship experience. Interning at a small business is a dynamic, exciting opportunity that allows you to see that business as a whole. You can gain valuable experience that can help you later in life, and you can also see your ideas put into motion. Previous students who have completed an internship at places like Backyard Ale House and Condron & Cosgrove can’t say enough about the value of their experiences.

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