Regardless of which industry you choose to go into, you will be presented with a countless number of companies that you can work for. But How do you pick one?
How do you decide which one is the best? Do you pick the company that is ranked first in its industry or do you pick a startup?
Deciding which company to work for especially when you are choosing for your very first internship can be challenging, particularly if you have little to no knowledge of the actual industry. Before you choose a company you need to have a goal in mind. What do you hope to gain from working with this company?
If you have a few companies that interest you, keep them in mind. We’ll go through a few points to help weigh your options.
First of all, let’s look at size. The size of the company matters.
An advice that I heard often when I was choosing a company for my internship was to pick a small company because then you will be given more meaningful responsibilities, rather than serving coffee if you go to a big company.
When you are first starting out, choosing a big company isn’t all bad. A big company has more employees and more career opportunities. With the number of employees they have, a fresh graduate may not be tasked with anything important, but for this reason, it forces you to be excellent if you want to catch your boss’ attention.
Working at a big company allows you to gain more experience as big companies generally have more projects than smaller companies. This also helps open more doors. Working for a small company does not mean you will not have any career opportunities. In a small company, all employees have to take up different roles, this versatility added to your resume will make you look more interesting to future employers.
Second, assuming you have the size of the company in mind, maybe you are thinking of a big company. But that still doesn’t help narrow down your choices. What you can look at are their previous projects. Take for example video production houses. Some companies make movies, some do music videos, and some specialize in commercials. Then there’s the concern of genre. There can be many movie production houses but they cannot be the same. Their styles are what differentiate them and their competitors. So, pick the company whose projects are similar to what you want to do.
Third, when you choose to work full time at a company, it is crucial to work in a good and healthy environment. One way to assess this is when you go in for an interview.
The attitude of the employees and the interviewer reveals a lot about the company’s environment and culture. When you first walk into the company, look around, see how the employees interact with each other. Be mindful of what the interviewers ask and how they respond to your answer, especially to questions that are out of the norm. As interviewers are either the head of the company or someone who holds a high position, how they act gives a glimpse of what the working environment looks like.
Everyone has different needs. Some put importance on salary, some care more about learning. Fresh graduates, sadly, need these two. They need to put importance on salary because of student debt but they also need to find a company where they can learn and improve from.
At this juncture, you have no choice but to pick which one is more important. If you can get by with a slightly lower salary, perhaps you want to go with a company that has more to offer you in terms of your career. But if you have a lot of financial responsibilities then the company that pays more is a better choice. Or you can pick the first company and take on another part time job.
Choosing who to work for is tricky. You have to take into consideration many aspects of what you want and how much of it the company can offer. It is important to work for a company that shares the same values and goals as you do because you will be spending most of your waking hours with them, both of you will be growing together. And working with a suitable company will motivate you to strive for excellence.