Doing an internship at a startup is popular. And rightfully so. However, when interning at a startup, don’t expect a three-week induction programme, but expect to hit the ground running. So here are 4 tips that will help you survive the startup jungle.

1. Learn the startup lingo

CPA, PMF, AMA, OKR, VC, UI/UX, … – any clue what these stand for? If not, make sure you learn the lingo before you set foot into the startup cave, so you can speak startup with your fellow startup workers from day one.

2. Expect to work harder for less money

Startups are typically well-known for demanding a lot of hard work. After all, conquering the world with a small team creates quite the workload. At the same time, startups are perhaps even more well-known for not having a lot of money – especially when they’re in the early stages. In other words, expect to work hard (and late) and don’t expect to get rich during your internship. That said, most startups pay for your pizza and the experience you gain usually overcompensates the lack of financial compensation.

3. Read up before your internship starts

Chances are that you get a ton more responsibility during your startup internship and since the training of interns is less important than surviving the next month, you will probably have to hit the ground running. So make sure you’re prepared. If you’re doing a marketing internship, read the book Traction ahead of your internship. If you’re getting into data, read Lean Analytics beforehand. And no matter what kind of internship you’re about to do, read Eric Ries’ classic The Lean Startup.

4. Ramp up your ping pong- and Mario Kart skills

Finally, most startups have a ping pong table or a Nintendo64 (we have both 😀 ). Now these make for great entertainment in between the hard work, but it is also not uncommon that ping pong- or Mario Kart showdowns determine who has to clean up after lunch. Hence, if you don’t want to waste your time on putting the milk back in the fridge every day, make sure you practise your table tennis backhand and learn how to take the shortcut at Koopa Troopa Beach before you get in.

Not landed an internship at a startup yet? There are plenty of startups that are looking for interns on