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Should I take this internship?! - help

 
#1 Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 08:06

Undergrad123

Hi All,

I'm currently on a year long placement with a large market research company working as a marketing/reporting analyst. I'm due to finish end of July.

I've just been offered an internship in business development with a small start up in central london. The company is essentially an online venture company which helps start up and push through online businesses and have proven successful in brining in the likes of eBay into Europe.

However, in order to take this offer, they would want me to start ASAP, meaning I would have to hand in my resignation letter pretty soon. I'm just trying to weigh up to the benefits and disadvantages of doing so. On one hand, I have learnt what I can at my current internship/placement and on the other I'm not sure whether it would look bad(?) if I left early to pursue another.

Also, neither of these internships are related to consultancy which also concerns me as I don't want it to look like I'm going off track where I'm actually trying to gain as much experience before I graduate (I return to University this September to complete my final year).

I would appreciate any guidance, thanks in advance.

Undergrad123

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#2 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 08:15

marsday to Undergrad123 (#1)

Stay where you are - the completed year will look better and frankly I dont see what this start up internship will add to your CV other than make you look a little flaky. The experience as a marketing/reporting analyst will actually be more directly relevant to consultancy than the BD role, and you should be focusing now on your final year ahead not dancing around between placements.

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#3 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 08:26

Undergrad123 to marsday (#2)

Thanks for the advice.

I did however start early July so if I left in June, I would have completed 11 months which can't be too much worse than 12 months + 3 weeks. I do understand how the BD role isn't relevant though.

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#4 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 08:31

marsday to Undergrad123 (#3)

I was worried you would say that. Nearly finished is not the same as finished. It's like saying 'I nearly got a 2.1 but got a very high 2.2' - it's a 2.2. 11 Months is 11 Months.

Do yourself a favour and settle down for the remaining period then go finish your degree.

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#5 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 08:50

Undergrad123 to marsday (#4)

I see what you mean. In the future however, surely no one would know I left early unless I told them? Some placements range between 6-12 months so finishing the placement doesn't necessarily mean completing 12 months.

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#6 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 12:37

Bob to Undergrad123 (#5)

"...internship in business development with a small start up in central london. The company is essentially an online venture company..."

So sounds like a company run out of someone's back shed is looking to get you in at (at minimum pay / OTE r for free), to do some tele-sales cold calling.

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#7 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 13:13

marsday to Bob (#6)

Bob +1

But the OP seems to be more concerned about whether s/he can somehow hide the fact they left the placement early, so go for it OP.

See you in 9 months when you come on here whining about how employers are taking a dim view of your lack of judgement.

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#8 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 13:23

alexandermeerkat to marsday (#7)

It all depends on whether you think you can learn something from this startup. That's absolutely key. Forget about how it looks on the CV (11 months vs 12 months who the hell cares?).

Of course you need to make sure you won't annoy the people you're doing the placement for? Are they going to be ok to give you a reference/ is it going to screw up the project you are working on or do they not care either way? If you've got on well with them and you can say this opportunity has come up maybe they'll support you in taking it?

Believe it or not - doing sales for a startup could be a massive learning experience that will be way more valuable to you than anything else you could be doing.

The key is - what are the people running the startup like? What sort of traction does it have?

If it's a decent product, great team and they have funding or revenue or some other validation then you could learn a tonne.

I must say I think the advice given on this forum sometimes is conservative in the extreme. You have to take some risks in your career and when young that's the time to do it!

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#9 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 13:40

marsday to alexandermeerkat (#8)

It all depends on whether you think you can learn something from this startup. That's absolutely key. Forget about how it looks on the CV (11 months vs 12 months who the hell cares?).

As a raw grad competing with perfect Cvs for a place in a decent firm, when HR are looking for any reason to bin a CV to reduce the review pile for hiring managers, lots of people care, and the OP should care - a lot.

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#10 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 14:07

Undergrad123 to marsday (#9)

Thanks for all the input so far.

I think I may have over emphasised how much of a start-up the company is, it is been operating since 1999 and is in talks with some large clients.

However, they did over me wage that's not liveable at first and claimed the internship was more of an investment from students. After the interview however, he said I interviewed well and can see if he can offer me a better wage (which he has, still not great but just about liveable which is just under what I'm on now).

From what I gathered, it's a broad role and will be doing anything from marketing and sales to troubleshooting..

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#11 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 15:04

alexandermeerkat to marsday (#9)

It all depends on whether you think you can learn something from this startup. That's absolutely key. Forget about how it looks on the CV (11 months vs 12 months who the hell cares?).

As a raw grad competing with perfect Cvs for a place in a decent firm, when HR are looking for any reason to bin a CV to reduce the review pile for hiring managers, lots of people care, and the OP should care - a lot.

I've done the CV sorting myself many times. Someone with 11 months at one place plus some experience at a startup would be more attractive than just someone with 12 months at a startup?

I do see your point of course Mars but given that it's so hard to break through I think the safe option is not necessarily the best one these days if you want to standout. Plus - there's more opportunities out there these days than consulting - what if doing something different opens them up?

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#12 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 15:13

marsday to alexandermeerkat (#11)

Alex I take your point entirely - I'm just concerned that grads these days are having such a tough time of it, are they in a position to take risks? Maybe they are - as you say, this is the time to do it.

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#13 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 15:29

a07 to marsday (#12)

As an undergrad I think you need to see where you will develop the best skills moving forward.

You are already doing the right thing by weighing up the pros and cons, and doing an internship in the first place! Consulting often demands a broad and generalist skillset so the startup maybe the way to go.

That said as has been mentioned consulting is not the be all and end all these days, I graduated 8 years ago and have a few side projects of which one is a startup. Of my friends in consulting only 1 remains at a mainstream consulting firm and he is thinking of leaving.

Consulting is a means to an end in most cases, so maybe worth considering where you really want to end up - a difficult thing I know especially when you are still at uni.

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#14 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 22:32

Bob to a07 (#13)

Undergrad123: your clarification rings even more warning bells in my head:

"..it is been operating since 1999...": It has been operating for 14 years. Either it is no longer in any way a start-up, or it is not very successful. What/who is funding it?

"....is in talks with some large clients.": That sounds like the biggest BS ever! I'm working for a bank at the moment with a big blue-chip (solid as bricks) trying to flog a solution with that line, and is being told that this line isn't good enough.

"....wage that's not liveable...", "...claimed the internship was more of an investment from students.", "...a better wage...just about liveable...": all sounds like they're trying to take advantage of you as free labour.

"...it's a broad role and will be doing anything from marketing and sales to troubleshooting...": or in other words: dog's body to do whatever needs doing. WTF - the company has been around for 14 years - this isn't about putting in the blood-sweat-and-tears to get the new Facebook off the ground.

(BTW - I think the only downsides of actually leaving your current placment are a) if you ever want to work in that industry again (reputations last a loooooong time) or b) any future employer contacts them for a reference (worst they can do it refuse to provide a reference). So if it was a question of leaving this placement for a solid once-in-a-lifetie opportunity I'd say do it now. But seeing as it sounds like going to be someone's free labour for the summer...)

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#15 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
22/05/2013 22:51

alexandermeerkat to Bob (#14)

^ some good points - does sound a bit shady

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#16 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
23/05/2013 00:03

Mr Cool to Undergrad123 (#1)

Seriously - stay where you are !!!!!!!

BIG mistake to move!

More tomorrow when I have time, but basically done do it...

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#17 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
24/05/2013 15:17

Mr Cool to Mr Cool (#16)

simple answer is NO -

1) You can't really make you CV look any better by doing two internships - in fact it will look really odd and the golden rule is don't make your Cv look in any way odd, because the numpties from HR will use that as justification to filter you out of the over-supply of CV's

"oh look - he did 2 internships - maybe he got fired from the first one", etc etc - its all it takes

2) You won;t learn much in a short period in a "bus dev" - yeah, right - internship. Most likely you;ll be hitting the phones and it will be a thankless task. If you absolutely nail it then you won't get the financial credit and if you don;t you;ll get a load of grief and no reference.

stay where you are - you're over complicating things...its only an internship - its to teach you the basics of turning up to work, and to enhance you Cv - job done.

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#18 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
24/05/2013 17:59

alexandermeerkat to Mr Cool (#17)

Life isn't all just about how things look like on your CV ...

If it's the right startup then you could learn things and make connections and open up opportunities that could change your life forever.

Sounds like this place isn't like that but if it was it could be worth a shot. Let's face it no-one gets rich building the perfect CV and getting a job ...

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#19 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
24/05/2013 18:12

aminoacid07 to alexandermeerkat (#18)

"Life isn't all just about how things look like on your CV ..."

When you're junior, everything is about how it looks on your CV.

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#20 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
24/05/2013 20:11

alexandermeerkat to aminoacid07 (#19)

Yeah up to a point ... but as I say, no-one gets rich just by having a good CV ...

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#21 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
25/05/2013 01:09

Hypothesis-driven to alexandermeerkat (#20)

Very simple choice: stay where you are.

Finish what you start.

This is about integrity and personal judgement.

Any prospective employer worth their salt will understand fulfilling professional obligations.

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#22 RE: Should I take this internship?! - help
25/05/2013 15:53

Undergrad123 to Hypothesis-driven (#21)

Thanks to everyone for their input.

After careful consideration, I think I'm going to finish the placement I'm on right now and use the remaining 6 weeks of my summer to prepare for my final year + complete graduate applications.

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