When recruiting for internships, it may be easy to gravitate towards larger and more established companies. But not so fast! Smaller companies offer interns an opportunity to engage in valuable work, manage their own projects from start to finish, and have an immediate impact on the company. Although you’re forgoing the big brand name on your resume, startup experience will give you hands-on work and exposure that may be hard to obtain in other industries.

Photo: stocksnap.

There’s no steadfast definition for “startups.” They are often associated with a fast-paced culture and a certain mindset. The work is fluid and interns may frequently find themselves involved in various projects. In addition, teams are a lot smaller so interns are able to build a close network and get more exposure to the company. These startup attributes are good to keep in mind when searching for internships! Be prepared to be flexible and take charge of real responsibilities. Startup internships may not be as well advertised as others. Begin your hunt by looking into startup accelerators, company websites, job fairs, and a variety of other resources!

Mobile Application Development

Ranging from games to productivity tools, the mobile application market is set to get even bigger. More people own smartphones and mobile use continues to rapidly grow. Additionally, almost every company needs a mobile app in order to compete. Mobile developer interns often work on small engineering teams and assist with backend services, improving code quality, and testing.

Education Technology

This industry is rapidly growing and cloud-based learning solutions are increasingly becoming popular. Companies are looking to change the way we learn by developing the best online learning platforms. Responsibilities may include product testing, data analysis, marketing, and tracking leads. An internship in this industry will provide the perfect experience for those passionate about education and want to combine it with the power of technology.

Mobile Health

With thousands of health and fitness mobile apps on the market, the popularity of this industry is undeniable. Moreover, patients believe that mobile health will benefit them by reducing healthcare costs, creating convenience, and improving quality of care. Mobile health, or mHealth, supports medical care through mobile devices and offers opportunities to address challenges in healthcare including access and affordability. In mHealth, interns have a chance to be a part of this technological transition by working on frontend development, managing products, or forming partnerships.

United States

Many of the biggest success stories – Etsy, Warby Parker, Airbnb – come from the United States. Saturated with funding resources, the most attractive locations for startups are Silicon Valley and New York City. Companies in Silicon Valley are driven by tech and consumer solutions and those in NYC are centered on design, media, and fashion. Whether you’re on the East or West Coast, both offer ample opportunities for interns to learn and help a startup grow.

Hong Kong

Although Hong Kong’s economic environment doesn’t foster growth for startups, it is a remarkable place to establish an idea. Entrepreneurs here are working towards creating a space where small companies can thrive in. Moreover, because Hong Kong is a small market, most startups here operate as multinationals from the start. Similar to Singapore, Hong Kong’s innovative startup community is often underestimated.


Australia is teeming with startups! Entrepreneurs are taking their ideas to the next level in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and other major cities. To support these startups, there are a number of accelerators including 25fifteen, The Founder Institute, and Slingshot. Sydney is currently the largest startup hub in Australia with a large university community, talent, and business expertise.

Contributed by Thuan Hoang


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