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In 2011 I graduated college, moved to Chicago, and began the intimidating search for my first ever ‘big girl job’. With two previous internship experiences under my belt and a college degree in my hand I assumed I had forever kissed the title, ‘intern’ goodbye. I also assumed moving to the third largest city in the US would provide endless opportunity for a fresh graduate like myself to score a full time job.
Technically I got everything I asked for: A challenging yet flexible work environment right downtown Chicago, opportunity to grow within a company, gratification from my work, and a full-time position in which I felt valued. The only catch? I’m the Intern. One of ten to be exact.
And I couldn’t be happier about it.
I wear my current, “Creative Writing Intern” title with pride. Interning at a startup company is a much different, dare I say more enriching, experience than the average corporate internship. I feel more challenged and involved as an intern than I could have hoped for in an entry-level position.
And because it's a startup, they’re more willing to take risks and chances on their talent, even if it’s temporary intern talent. I’m granted full ownership on projects, nothing detrimental to the company or clients, but real projects that give me needed experience and responsibility. And since I’m in a trial position I have more freedom to test out different areas within the company rather than the one position I was hired for; in fact it’s encouraged.
As part of the internship experience at RECSOLU all interns rotate through a Mentor program, meeting weekly with individuals within the company from different fields to learn more about what they do. One week I’ll be having lunch with Ryan and learning about Mobile Development, the next week I’ll be enjoying breakfast with Colleen and discussing Solutions Consulting. It’s a comfortable way to increase understanding of the company and the work we’re putting out.
For any college student, or recent grad that has shut down the idea of yet another internship, I say reconsider, and join a Startup. It’s the way to go. And the Chicago startup scene is the best place to get going.