I'm in a dilemma between 2 internship offers and would like to get some professional opinions here.

I'm an environmental engineering master's student (in US) and I have been professionally doing research during my studies, I have two offers for internships this summer:

1- Small startup company, started in Jan, 3 other people, environmental engineering position, opportunity to learn design and legal procedures.

2- Well established company, position in market research, want someone with technical background to provide an overview of global market for the product (by reading academic papers, market analysis and contacts)

With the assumption that none of the internships would turn into a full time job offer, which one do you think provides better opportunities in future (when applying for another job)?

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's asking for career advice for a non-academic career. And also because it is entirely dependent on personal preferences. – ff524 Apr 18 '16 at 2:20

If you will be in a small startup, you will face more problems. Most of employers appreciate it. But you have a risk that startup will suddenly fail. You will be feeling disappointed. But fail experience is useful, and fail experience is often even more useful than success experience.

But it seems to me that this question is opinion-based and will be closed. But my opinion would be to choose startup

  • But fail experience is useful, and fail experience is often even more useful than success experience.[citation needed] (Personally, I think it would depend on what the goals of the internship are.) – Mad Jack Apr 17 '16 at 22:16

I would go with the second company. For me, the point of internship is to learn and get exposed to research/industry (more likely) as much as you can. I can see a merit to choosing option 1 too (but not at your level).


What size/type of company would you like to work for after your internship? Unless you are specifically intending to work with a small startup, or if you are interested in starting your own business, I would work with the second company due to the fact that you will be in a more stable environment, and greater technical challenges as an engineer.

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