Some key questions to ask when considering entrepreneurship and startups include: Do you like working in teams? Are you ok with working extra hours/nights and weekends? Is job security important to you? A strong sense of ownership and proprietary values can be applied to any situation, whether you are the ultimate decision-maker operating an independent business or an “intrapreneur” running a venture within an organization.
You can use your summers (or term time) to explore what it would be like to own and run a business or join a startup company. Be proactive; see if you can create your own experience. Reach out to Harvard alumni and ask those who have launched their own organizations if they’ve ever considered hiring interns. Familiarize yourself with the startup community. Attend local startup meet-ups, review resources, and join innovation challenges. It is important to note that most early-stage startups will not have a formal internship program, so if you are interested in working at a startup, it is helpful to network with founders and current team members to see if there is a project you can take on at their company.
Most startup organizations do more “just in time” hiring or hire based on immediate needs. The best way to learn whether the startup scene is right for you is to talk to a successful entrepreneur or get on-the-job training. Reach out to Harvard alumni through the Alumni Directory or the LinkedIn alumni dashboard. Also, joining a Harvard student group can help you learn about career fields, enhance key job skills, and develop industry contacts.
Paul Kewene-Hite (ALB 1991) shares his career journey and insights for entrepreneurs.
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Harvard College encourages undergraduates to take time during the Winterbreak to refresh and recharge. MCS is one of numerous Harvard centers and departments that offer some limited programming during the Winterbreak and Wintersession periods.
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