Dance is a startup with global ambitions: to help create more sustainable, connected and liveable cities around the world. Key to our mission are interns and working students, who work on integral projects at Dance. As students gear up for new roles for the spring semester, we asked our current students to give advice to classmates seeking work experience.
Want to learn? Choose a startup
Multiple interns pointed out that working in a growing startup environment is an advantage.
“Flat hierarchies and a dynamic working environment was an easier start into work life,” advises Hannah in marketing. Her teammate Josua also added working at a startup can help students “learn how to deal with uncertainty,” which is unavoidable in the technology industry.
The direct experience with constant change is unique to the startup world. “You get ample opportunities to explore and learn from scratch,” added Guls, who is part of the people team.
Startup roles also allow direct access to leaders, which can provide practical learning opportunities. “If you are curious, do not hesitate to ask the person who might know the answer. And it doesn’t matter if the person is another student or the CEO,” said Tung, who works with the founder’s associate.
Many founders are willing to share their experiences if you ask; in fact, Dance cofounders Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss and Alexander Ljung even recorded a class for the German government’s Makers of Tomorrow program, which is available for university students.
Be curious and connected
Work experience doesn’t have to feel like hard work all the time, however. Operations team member Kaye advised, “Choose a role that’s going to be intellectually fun!”
Just as important is to feel connected to a company. “Find the company that aligns with your values,” Kaye added. The research confirms this advice: to many in Generation Z, aligning with a company’s mission is also important; a recent report from Business Insider noted those born after 1997 are flocking to careers that support sustainability as the world faces climate change.
Experience business principles IRL
Ola, a member of the people team, noted that the “No Rules Rules” principles “can actually be achieved” at a startup like Dance, noting that “people can thrive.”
Hardware team member Karthik agreed, noting “flexibility and freedom at work does bring out your best.”
Internships can span many projects, departments and call for diverse academic backgrounds
Dance’s students come from both undergraduate and graduate backgrounds, studying everything from international management to sociolinguistics to sustainable engineering. Their projects in 2021 have included designing fender and axle nuts, testing various smart lock components, project management, and even directly communicating with Dance members.
“Look for positions that would benefit you during your studies,” Guls from human resources added, noting that pairing practical work experience with theoretical can help with professional growth.
Most importantly: go for it!
Feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities? It’s to be expected. But, Hannah from marketing advises, “Don’t shy away from applying to jobs that have high requirements and don’t underestimate yourself!”
You’ll never know what you’ll learn if you give something new a chance.
For information on Dance’s open roles, please visit https://dance.co/jobs.