Startup or Large Company?

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CC photo courtesy of Alex Garcia on Flickr. This image has not been modified from its original.

In Wednesday’s Entrepreneurial Media class, Creighton University alumni Bridget, Peter and Brittany described the advantages and drawbacks of working for a startup, and offered some advice to our class.

Some advantages the alumni mentioned include:

  • There is freedom to try new things within a startup.
  • Red Bull always is in the refrigerator.
  • The dress code is casual at a startup.
  • Working at a startup is a unique opportunity to network with people who can help you start your own business one day.
  • The startup community is tightly knit.
  • Working at a startup builds autonomy.

While a refrigerator stocked with Red Bull may sound glamorous, working for a startup means longer hours and lower wages. The speakers seemed to agree that they are consumed by their job. I think it was Brittany who mentioned that she once wrote 500 thank you letters in her personal time. Bridget also added that being in charge of her own work is sometimes daunting, especially when she runs out of creative ideas. Hearing the alumni talk gave me a new appreciation for the type of people who work at startups. I learned that it takes flexibility and innovation to succeed in a startup setting.

After weighing the pros and cons of working for a startup, I asked myself: Can I see myself working for a startup? I’ll admit I am generally attracted to structured environments where I know what is expected of me. With that being said, I am willing to adapt to more a casual, startup setting. My dream is to work for a company that I’m passionate about – whether it’s a startup or a large corporation.

The speakers offered great advice that I will use no matter which career path I pursue. Peter said something that resonated with me: Students should supplement their primary area of expertise with a broad skill set. I will continue to develop a broad skill set during my remaining time at Creighton, so I can better market myself to potential employers.

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