4 Entrepreneurial Skills You Can Acquire During Your Startup Internship

Suyash Jain, a Retail Management BBA student at UPES, Dehradun, did not want to be idle during her vacation and decided to do an internship in the first year herself. He went to an online portal and started applying for several internships.

Since he had no previous work experience or job-specific skills, he faced many rejections before he was finally shortlisted for a marketing internship at a startup. After a phone interview with HR, he was hired for the two-month internship.

Since it was a startup, he had to take on multiple responsibilities ranging from marketing and business development to blogging and social media marketing. It gave him exposure to various aspects of a business and helped him learn a wide range of skills, including marketing, customer relationship management, graphic design, and a bit of coding.

The likelihood of learning important entrepreneurial skills is much higher if you choose to intern at a startup.

While working closely with the core team of the startup, he even developed many entrepreneurial skills such as creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, autonomy and team building, which later helped him launch his own startup.

Being an active student who enjoyed participating in extracurricular activities, attending workshops and competitions, he discovered that students did not have enough resources to learn about events in the city and ended up missing out on good opportunities.

He saw a problem and decided to solve it. This resulted in InstaKhoj – a website aimed at promoting competitions and events in Dehradun.

Just like Suyash, with an internship you can also take a crash course in entrepreneurship. You can learn these skills at any internship that gives you exposure in business.

However, the likelihood of acquiring these entrepreneurial skills will be higher in startups. You will ask, how?

Well, startups typically have a flat hierarchy where you often work closely with the core team on projects that directly impact users, so learn directly from entrepreneurs and accomplished professionals in a real-time environment.

Here are 4 major entrepreneurial skills you can acquire by doing an internship in a startup:

1. Steering:

Goals are achieved through focused team effort and that can only happen with thought leadership that knows how to bring everyone together and use all resources and talents in the most optimal way possible.

Leadership is more than leading a team and delegating work. Instead, it includes a wide range of aspects from team building and management to self-motivation and motivating your team.

During an internship at a startup, you observe leaders closely and you might even get the chance to lead your own team.

2. Communication and interpersonal skills:

An entrepreneur must be highly skilled in all types of communication with all stakeholders. This involves having good observation and listening skills, writing skills for emails, reports and proposals, negotiation skills, ability to delegate work and manage conflict while being fair.

In a startup, you often work on multiple projects and coordinate with team members with different mindsets and from diverse professional backgrounds. Sometimes you have to deal with a difference of opinion with a team member or some other technical hiccup.

Here, while solving these problems, you develop a positive attitude and patience and learn to communicate your points of view in an ideal way.

3. Flexibility:

It is extremely important for an entrepreneur to be flexible in their business plans and decisions. Optimism, risk tolerance and acceptance of failure are the three main elements of flexibility.

Simply put, an entrepreneur must be able to handle failure, redefine their goals, rethink their plans based on changing market needs, be willing to take risks, and keep going.

Startups keep exploring new concepts and this gives you the opportunity to understand and learn this skill by working on such projects.

4. Critical Thinking:

As an entrepreneur, you must be able to recognize opportunities, analyze problems, plan a creative solution and make critical decisions because that is the only way for a business to grow.

During internships, you are often expected to come up with new project ideas, perform analysis and plan their execution, helping to instill creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

– Article by Sarvesh Agrawal is the founder and CEO of Internshala – an internship and training platform (internshala.com)

Read: Want to hone your skills? Here’s how internships can kick-start your career

Read: Here are the 25 highest paying internships in the world

Read: 5 tips to help you land a summer internship

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