intern in big company or fulltime in small company?

I just got two job offers, an intern in well known design consultancy, and full-time designer in a very small design company.

Which one might be better for me in a long term?

Personally, I love projects and works from the small one rather than the famous one, since they are much more innovative than the famous one. And my intuition just wants to work in small design company with innovative people. Since I might have more chance to get involve in projects (for small clients), compared to working as an intern (with a big team for big clients.)

On the other hand, from the business viewpoint, having experience in big company, and having big client’s projects in portfolio (even I do not like those projects) might help my profile looks nice for HR eyes in some situations in the future… :frowning:

I know this might be a silly question. But I think it would be helpful for me to have opinions from people here.

Thank you so much. :smiley:

Go for what you like. If you don’t like the work from the big place, having their work in your portfolio won’t help you get what you want. You’ll have much more exposure to all of the design workings at the small place and will probably have more impact on designs. Design consultancies are like bootcamp with the hours and quick project pace, very good to do right after school if you can get it. Lots of people go corporate to retire with the benefits, longer turnarounds, etc. Not all are like this but that is your “typical” corp environment you may find. Now a corporation with good design that stays interesting, that would be nice.

please repost with your choice, I’m interested on what you choose.

Skinny! thanks so much for your helpful advice. I agree that having their work in my portfolio won’t help me get what I want at all. Moreover if I would be just a very tiny person for those projects, I would feel very ashamed to put them in my portfolio.

No. 2, I cannot decide it yet. However, I am thinking about going to small company. Not just because I like their works, but because I also hope that working in small environment might give me more chance to get involved on projects, and I would also be able to learn from people who I like their works.

Having big name client’s in portfolio might be nice in the future if I have to deal with HR people, but I personally don’t like some kinds of people who always focus on building up their profile/resume look good, so I feel uncomfortable to go to big company just because of the resume issue :frowning: …

I have a little bit more time to think about this. any advice would be great.

Thanks so much.

First of all, you’re first inclination is to go with the smaller yet more innovative company; you should follow this gut instinct.
At the larger company, you will only be an intern, and only have status as an intern to apply to any future jobs. At the smaller company, you will be an actual designer, and this will look good to any HR department (remember, it is the work you show, not just your previous employers). Finally, pick the one that will further you on your way to your life goals over any temporary fame that may be had.

With all that in mind, here are some famous quotes to inspire you:

Every man’s work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.

  • Samuel Butler

    Ah good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness.
  • Pablo Picasso

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

  • Rumi

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

  • Herman Melville

Be careful what you set your heart on, for it will surely be yours.

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

All that we are is the result of what we have thought

  • Buddha

It’s choice, not chance, that determines your destiny

  • Jean Nidetch

go small…since I assume will get more invovlement in projects, Maybe go back to them and ask what you will be expected to do.

I’d go with the small company as you will most likely get real design experience. That way you can build a stronger portfolio, confidence and experience with which you can then apply for a design job (instead of intern and being treated as such) at the big company.

I’m the opposite. I think you should take the internship.

First of all, it’s all about the experience instead of the work you get to do there. There is a reason why that company is big/successful. You go there to see how they do it and learn from it, which will definitely benefit you in the long run. It’s rare that one will get the chance to see how those consultancies market themselves, lure clients, keep each department competitive, keep individuals motivated etc… Things that you may not learn from a small firm environment.

Secondly, it’s definitely going to be much harder to get a full time job in a big company since it will be more competitive. So if you have the chance now, why not make full use of it?

Thirdly, this isn’t going to be your life-deciding moment. The internship isn’t forever, and once it ends, you will be a different person looking for a new venture. You should be thinking about what potential your experiences can bring you instead of what you want to do now.

However, before you do that, I suggest that you can negotiate with that small company first. Perhaps they are willing to wait for you for 3 months or something. Maybe they will see the value of your experience from the internship and be even more willing to hire you. In that case, it will benefit both sides.

that sounds like good advice! might be worth a shot…

I think the big question here is internship vs. full time position.

As a full time team member, you’re going to get a lot more out of your experience than you would at an internship. At a large company, an intern’s responsibilities will be limited. At a small company, you have much better flexibility combined with the trust they’ve put in you by offering you a full time job.

I realize there are many factors going into your decision (time, location, networking, $$). But based on this aspect solely, I think you can gain more experience from a full time position.