New Grad: Startup or Large Company, Which One is Best for You?

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Startup or Large Company: Which one is right for me?

We took to Facebook and asked college students what they chose: a startup or a large company, and why?

While most of our respondents chose a startup over a large company, they all expressed that their reasons were personal, and that there is no wrong answer when choosing a workplace. It really comes down to what appeals to you the most.

Here are some of the reasons why students chose the companies they did.

Students who chose startups said:

  • I wanted to learn firsthand how to grow and build a company.
    This is a good point for the entrepreneurial-spirited student. Working at a startup is a great way to see how a business is built from the ground up, which is an invaluable experience for those who want to start their own businesses one day.
  • I could see my work’s impact.
    At a startup, you’re generally working with a small network where everyone’s actions are interconnected in a very visible way. You can see how your work and projects directly affect the company as a whole, specifically their bottom line.
  • I wanted to learn more.
    The general consensus was that you learn a lot more at a startup than at a large company, simply because you have more interaction with the people in charge of the business. One-on-one time with the higher ups could mean working on marketing tests, or site analytics, or social media projects, all of which you have a big hand in.

On the other hand, some students chose larger companies:

  • I wanted more benefits.
    Most large companies can afford to pay you more than a startup, and can offer more benefits like stock options and the like. Larger companies also have the resources to send you on company retreats and offer perks like fitness facilities or free food.
  • Larger companies have more stability.
    Stability was a huge reason for a lot of students in the uncertain economy. Startups are still in their infancy, and their future is not always set in stone. And while no company is completely immune to the ups and downs of the economy, large companies have a better chance of emerging unscathed.
  • There was more flexibility at a larger company.
    Some students were drawn to the variety of opportunities at a large company with multiple departments. Changing around the company is easier than in a startup where only a limited number of positions are available.

As you make your decision, keep in mind that nothing is set in stone. Experience is experience, and despite the uncertainty of the economy, you can always make a change if you find that the company you chose does not fit your needs.

Photo Credit: SaritaAgerman via Compfight cc

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Liz LeCrone