Written by contributor and industry specialist Maria Borsaru.
If you’ve finished university with a degree in marketing, comms or business, chances are you’ll still ask the same question as every other graduate – “what now?”
The possibilities are endless – and that’s part of the challenge. Will you keep studying, apply for a graduate position, take a gap year, start your own business, work in a startup, or something else entirely?
How do you choose?
After graduating from my degree in 2018, I took half a year to travel, did another year of study, had a go at starting my own business and then ended up employed at a startup.
Turns out, this was the best decision I could’ve made.
Risk for reward
Working in a startup straight out of uni seems scary. Lots of people don’t even know what “startups” are. And if they do, they only know about the probability of failure, the hardships, the uncertainty.
While a job in a startup is not straightforward, the community and ecosystem is something you want to be part of. At Startupbootcamp I get to work with startups from all over the world and be part of a global network of accelerators. Day to day, I get to be in the room with talented entrepreneurs, corporate CEOs and innovation leaders from the largest companies in the world.
Thanks to the flexibility and sense of community in the startup space, I get to work on side projects partnering with talented creative strategists lie those at Bray St. Brand & Growth Agency in London – it’s a special feeling working with those who share my passion for the start-up space and the incredible people in it.
Wear many ‘hats’
A startup offers endless opportunities to try different roles within one company in a short amount of time. Actually, it’s almost mandatory to jump in and help wherever you’re needed. One day you could be putting together your first marketing campaign and the next you could be working with designers to build out a new product function. Basically, you’re wearing a new hat each day.
The beauty of being encouraged to “wear many hats” is that you can explore different roles and build a more diversified set of skills. This breadth of exposure helps you, as a young professional, figure out what you’re best at and what you really love doing.
Sure, you’ll be given some responsibility you’re not ready for, but they’re not expecting you to be an expert. You’re there to grow and learn alongside the business – it’s a mutual growth experience.
Young grads help startups succeed
Young people are invaluable to the success of startups. They bring fresh ideas and skillsets – and a hunger to learn and develop. New graduates are an asset in a fast-paced, flexible environment where there’s no “we’ve always done it this way” mindset. When you flourish, the startup flourishes. And when you make mistakes, you all learn from them, adapt and improve.
Dare to be different
The benefits of working for a startup at the start of your career far outweigh the challenges. You gain varied experience, venture outside your comfort zone, become confident, take risks and learn from your mistakes.
Startups succeed by being different to large companies, and so you can succeed by following a different path. Why not take a risk and try something with unique rewards and opportunities?