In my time working as an intern with GiveForward I’ve learned a lot, given a ton of hugs and have been able to be part of a growing movement that is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people. GiveForward.com is a Chicago based start-up company that helps people create online fundraising pages to raise money for a loved one’s medical expenses. If you’re thinking of getting involved with a start-up – do it! If you aren’t – here’s why you should be:
1. Variety: Internships are all about learning what you enjoy, what you’re good at and (oftentimes most importantly) what you aren’t so crazy about doing. Working for a start-up is the ultimate way to jam pack your internship with a wide variety of experiences. Start-up companies are typically staffed with a small amount of (amazing) people, allowing everyone to be involved in various types of projects to help the company develop and grow. You’ll be able to find out what your strengths are by working with all different facets of the organization.
2. Passion: People who choose to found or work at a start-up company are extremely passionate about the work they’re doing. They love their job and are excited to help you learn and excel with the company. One of my favorite parts about working with GiveForward was the strong desire to help others that each and every employee radiates. In order to succeed, start-ups need people who truly believe in the work they’re doing, so if you’re passionate about something – go for it!
3. Creativity: If you’re looking for a place where you can express your ideas and have them heard, a start-up is definitely where you want to be. GiveForward has an intern project program, where each intern is allowed to create and experiment with an activity they believe will benefit or promote the company in a positive way. Internships with start-ups truly appreciate your input and give you the chance to give back to the company just as much as you take in.
4. Communication: One of the unique things about working with a start-up is the open flow of communication among all employees. As an intern you’ll most likely be directly working directly with everyone in the company on a daily basis, including the founders and CEO. You have the ability to form great personal relationships with these people, and can gain a lot of insight and knowledge by learning to effectively communicate with everyone in the organization.
5. Fun: Most importantly, start-up companies like GiveForward are exciting! It’s fun to be a part of something that is gaining momentum, and to know that your work is truly making a difference in laying the foundation for a great organization. One of my favorite projects as a GiveForward intern was helping to plan their holiday Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl for well over 300 people (check it out: Ugly Sweater Crawl 2011). There definitely aren’t many companies where I’d be able to use my event planning skills to put together a pub crawl for charity (just another reason why GiveForward is beyond awesome).
To learn more about GiveForward and the amazing work they’re doing to help people in need, check out www.giveforward.com. If you’re located in Chicago, IL and looking to be part of something that is both rewarding and exciting, definitely reach out to them – you can thank me later!