Startin’ Up at a StartUp: Why I chose to work for BeeHyve for my first internship and what I’ve…

The summer ’17 BeeHyve team ft. lovely RGB birch paintings

So, you’re considering working for a startup, but not sure if it’s the right move for you?

Hopefully my story can help provide some insight! As a disclaimer, I’m still far from an expert on the startup industry. However, I have had an amazing summer on our four person BeeHyve ( team, and would love to share how I ended up here / what I’ve learned from it!

As an intern, there’s probably a few general drawbacks when working for a new startup versus a more established company; these likely include a slight drop in pay, as well as an experience that may not speak as loudly on a resume at face value. However, I knew I wanted to learn a lot and needed to start somewhere — rather than focusing on a known name, I instead searched for passionate, helpful people, and definitely found those qualities during my interview process with Vera and Varun. Admittedly, I didn’t exactly know what the pros of working for a startup would be when I decided to intern with BeeHyve, but I’m happy to say I definitely do now! So, without further ado…

What you’ll hopefully gain from working for a small startup:

  • An incredible learning experience!
  • Fast paced work in a variety of areas
  • Proximity to passionate people

Learnin’ a lot

If your startup experience is anything like mine, you will be put to work. And thank goodness for that! On a team of four, it’s impossible to get left behind or slide by unnoticed. You will certainly be challenged and probably be asked to do things you have little-to-no experience in doing before, but luckily your boss/mentor/fellow intern is only a seat away. Although I at first felt a bit over my head with very minimal web development background (i.e., I didn’t know what the jQuery ‘$’ was…), I was strongly encouraged to ask questions and soon found myself taking on new tasks with more confidence.

BeeHyve JQuery

I definitely still get confused and make plenty of mistakes, but I know that they’ve allowed me to grow from here (my interview website; humor = 10/10, sub-sub-par understanding how to render any updated information) to lots of implementations of features on here (profiles, class-cards, inline-commenting, etc.), thanks to the support of my team.

Global tag search feature I worked on the first few days of this week. jQuery schmayShmery amirite?

Fast task turnover, and not just coding!

While interns at other companies have told me they know that their summer projects simply aren’t going to be used, I’ve been able to start each week by picking out new features, bug fixes, scoping exercises, or growth tasks that seem interesting to me, each with clear impact on the site and completed within a short time frame. Although I primarily write code, I’ve also been able to work on design, help plan and scope out potential features, participate in student interviews, work on growth, etc., and have loved being part of the broader picture of the company rather than simply being confined to one task area.

Although not *all* of my design choices have been used, such as this lovely profile suggestion, it’s been fun to put some ideas out there :)

Surrounded by drive

Over the course of this summer, every week seemed more exciting than the last. We’d just put out new features, launched new classes, jumped in users — something in which we could clearly see where we improved for last week, and had a plan for where we wanted to go next. I’ve loved being around my team, who each seem to always be brimming with new ideas, and more impressively, a plan of action of how to get there. I’m not sure there’s been many weeks where Varun hasn’t said something along the lines of “I’m so pumped about this week! It’s gonna be huge!”, but I am sure I’ve always felt it.

The friendly new office gong to help celebrate BeeHyve achievements (+ jmo!)

All in all, I have had an amazing time with my first internship and learned an invaluable amount in regards to both coding and working on an effective, supportive team. I certainly had a lot of good circumstance in my ability to take this internship, including an open summer to focus on learning, as well as family in the bay who greatly helped with my transition out to the area. However, if you have found an opportunity that works for you and are looking to work in a fast paced and passionate environment, I highly recommend giving the small start-up experience a try! Good luck! :)

Still reading??? Found a cool startup that you think you can work for but need *more* convincing?

If your startup is one of the many on the western edge of this country, further perks include enjoying the beautiful sites and sounds of the western edge of this country!

Couple a’ Michigan gals enjoying the California coast

Additionally, if your startup is public on the web, you may get to see people from across the globe using what you’ve helped create. Below is a screenshot of some of the user locations who were recently on BeeHyve. Pretty neat!

Alright that’s officially it — good luck again!

Checkout BeeHyve — . I’d love to hear what you think @BeeHyveBuzz on twitter

By Emi Jackson, rising Junior at the University of Michigan studying Computer Science. This is me on BeeHyve — and on Linkedin —

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