To Start-up or Not To Start-up?

Most of us have either seen or heard of the movie, ‘The Social Network’, or at least know it is about Facebook. With 58.3 million millennials having an account I’d put my money on you having one too.

‘The Social Network’ follows the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the treacherous journey he undertakes on his quest to develop Facebook into the empire it is today. (I won’t say anymore as it’s actually worth the watch). The point is, throughout the film you get snippets of what it’s like to work in a start-up, in a Hollywood version of course. It’s safe to say not all start-ups are run out of a college kid’s share house, but what this film does is pick up some of the highlights.

A start-up by definition is a ‘newly established business’ and whilst studying I was able to spend some time working in a start-up and from my experience, I would recommend it to anyone who’s about to graduate for a number of reasons. I was able to work in a start-up that was creating Statistical Analysis System (SAS) software, it was my first exposure to the tech world. Just a little disclaimer, I can’t promise you’ll end up working for the likes of Google or Facebook and realistically, not all start-up’s succeed.

So, have a look at the three best takeaways from my startup experience so far, maybe you could be the next Mark Zuckerberg?


It’s not a secret that it can be a difficult task to get employed after graduating There are a large number of people who graduate at a similar time all educated, and with 30% of Australian graduates, it’s a competitive landscape, to say the least. Working or interning at a start-up will give you experience in a fast-paced, real-world scenario. You won’t be sheltered as an intern, instead, you will often be treated as a normal staff member, and be expected to participate in discussions with anyone, from another intern to the CEO. Experience in that kind of environment is one of a kind and will be a huge bonus on your resume.


Variety of tasks

Unlike a ‘typical’ corporate grad job, at a startup, you will juggle a plethora of roles and do a variety of tasks. In a single day, you might start in a marketing mode looking at a product and how to launch it. Then half-an-hour later you could be doing background research for a sales meeting. Just give it an hour and you’ll put on your design hat and be asked to create some graphics. At a startup, you get exposed to a multitude of different industries that you may not otherwise experience in a traditional setting. Not only does it allow you to think on your feet but also allows you to upskill and to learn new things that will be useful later in your career.

Entrepreneurial culture

The best reason I would recommend working at a startup is the entrepreneurial culture. Entrepreneur Culture is created by, “A human capital shock where existing business expertise is less useful, is more disruptive; growth occurs through the emergence of a new class of entrepreneurs.” It creates a professional space that thrives in creative, development and looking at things in a new or unique way. As a graduate, it gives you the opportunity to think differently. No longer are the linear traditional education theories always correct, sometimes the best thing to do is something new and before you know it you’ll see things differently. You’ll be asking yourself; ‘What if I look at it this way?’, ‘Is there a gap in this market?’ and ‘Has anyone created something like this before?’ It’s an inspiring environment to work in and makes you wonder, ‘what if?’.

So, when you start to look for graduate jobs, consider the smaller companies that are still growing. Most likely,you’ll get paid a little less or not get all the perks but the experience is worth it tenfold, think ‘what if? You could end up working for someone like Mark Zuckerberg, or be able to experience the starting point of a company like Facebook or just be able to see the passion that entrepreneurs have for their companies

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