Most students decide to undergo an internship for the summer of their penultimate year. But what is an Internship? And does it suit students that want to be entrepreneurs? Well, the leading employment site for internships and graduate jobs, define it as:

“An episode of work experience, offered by an organisation, usually lasting for a fixed, limited period of time. Internships are usually undertaken by students and graduates looking to gain relevant skills and experience in a particular field.”

So does this apply to entrepreneurial students who want to create their own startup?

Usually not, as most organisations that have an internship program are of a size whereby they hire people to merely fulfil a process, usually involving little responsibility.

Whereas being an entrepreneur is about identifying a problem, highlighting possible solutions and then coming up with a process to resolve it. This means they are less suited to give an entrepreneur the relevant skills and experience.

So what is the alternative?

Form an idea, get like-minded people to join your team, and then launch a Startup. Why? In my penultimate year I struggled with what to do to emulate an internship, so I decided to just give it a go and set up my own company based on one of my passions. This gave me some of the relevant skills and experiences, especially what I learnt when it failed.

However, had a programme such as The Startup Race been available to me it may have been a different story. As The Startup Race offers a recommended path, helpful resources, and, above all, mentorship – thus improving your chances at success.

What if you still want a job after graduation? Recently companies have been on the hunt for Intrapreneurs, employees who promote innovative product development and marketing – an entrepreneur within an organisation. So it could be an amazing addition to your CV.

But would entering the start-up race outweigh the benefits of a traditional and conventional internship? Prospects outline the benefits of an Internship, I have listed these below and added how launching a start-up with the Startup Race would fulfil these:

  1. “Increasing your skills and knowledge”

    • With the combination of the recommended path and the access you will have to mentors, you shall amass the ability and understanding to start and run a company.
  2. “Improving your understanding of a particular job or industry”

    • Being a founder is a form of career and therefore job, there is also an industry surrounding start-ups such as IT services, private equity, and other services.
  3. “Gaining an insight into the way organisations operate and the challenges they face”

    • In starting your own company you will gain unparalleled experience of this as you won’t be working for a company – but running it.
  4. “Networking”

    • Your mentors will help create your network, your cohort of aspiring entrepreneurs may go on to be world changers, and at every step, you shall meet new people to add to your network.

For people who want to be entrepreneurs, the benefits are greater than an internship, as you may solve a problem, create a lucrative company, and make a dent in the universe – all through following your passion.

So for students who would like to be an entrepreneur, whether now or in the future, launching a start-up is where to begin and The Startup Race can enable this.

Written by Dan Drummond, student at Heriot Watt University 31/3/16


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