Summer Internship or Summer Entreprenuership?

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What should I do with extra time this summer?

1) Get an internship that will look better on my resume and help get a real 9-5 job. Make decent money.

2) Continue working to grow my freelance business, and perhaps try some new ideas out as well. Make as much money as I work hard enough or smart enough to make.

I realize there are a million shades of grey I’m leaving out, but I think the real question is do I really want to work for myself. Hmm. Maybe try both?

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  1. clicclic says

    You’re young, smart, and already on-track – you’ve got zero to lose following the entrepeneurship idea.

    Internships are totally fun but they don’t really rock your career world going forward.

    This site though is a MAJOR resume plus. Obviously it’s a money maker already so you’ve already managed to succeed in the entrepeneurship department.

    Now’s the time for act two…

  2. Definitely focus on and devote lots of time to your entrepreneurship. Working for “The Man” is rarely as satisfying as working for you.

  3. You’re getting an extra degree because you wanna land another 9-5 job, so why bother with summer entreprenuership experience?

  4. Do you want a job after you finish your degree or do you want to start a business?

  5. I’m doing both currently and it’s works out quite nicely. Although it’s frustrating when you have two dozen ideas in your head and a 9-5 job getting in the way. Just be patient with the “side” business growth when opting to do both.

  6. Bigmouth says

    What is your freelance business anyways? How much are you making currently?

  7. You can definitely pull off both. Depending on the internship, usually you can do 20-25 hours per week and use the rest of the time for yourself. What I would suggest instead of spreading the hours through the week is try working a couple full days and then a half day or something like that. That way you’re getting the best of both worlds. You get to see what the 8-5 feels like on a small scale (2-3days) and you also get to see how well you can manage your time for yourself on the “days off.” Just my two cents. =)

  8. Personally I think that being an entreprenuer would look better on your resume. It shows motivation, daring, a business mind and will provide experiences/skills not easily found in any other position. My only advice would be that if you are going to take the second option that you treat it as though it were your job. Working a full 40hrs per week on at a set schedule. If after a few months of that nothing comes from it, oh well, you have a unique experience and would hopefully have learned a lot.

  9. Since you don’t have kids yet, you could do both. If your business starts to do really well, your internship only lasts for a summer, so you’re extra busy for 3 months. If your business is not doing as well as you hoped, at least you have the internship on your resume.

  10. One other point I wanted to bring up. Doing an internship is actually great business training IMHO. Same with the ol 9 to 5 J-O-B. The ideal situation is to learn and be trained on their dime. The thing is, many people go to their job, work, and go home. I think they are missing out on some great opportunities to learn about business and how it functions. I’m one year out of college and grew up in SoCal. One summer I lived out in NYC and did an internship with Spike Lee’s personal puclicist, I learned some of the ropes in the entertainment industry. Last summer I lived in Orlando, FL and worked for a magazine and got to see how business functions there. Why pass up the opportunity to learn when you don’t even have to pay for it? Sure it costs time, but I’d be willing to give up time now to learn and heck sometimes you even get paid for the internship! Put yourself in a position to sponge(meaning absorb the business going on around you).

  11. I cast my vote for doing both. An internship can either be busy or not busy depending on the field, but you should still be able to find time to devote to you own business. 9 to 5 is not a dream for an entrepreneur, but you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot until you’ve positive you can generate solid earnings on your own. Then you can shoot yourself in the foot.

  12. Added a link to the original post about where I am right now regarding working for myself.

    Hmm… putting my blog on my resume… interesting.

  13. Anonymous says


  14. Why not both?

  15. If theres any chance you might do a 9-5 job after you graduate, even if not permanently, I’d do the internship. You should be able to work some on the business ideas in your free time since you don’t have kids. I was in a similar position earlier this year. But my plan was that if I didn’t get one of the internships I was applying for that I’d work alot on some business/entreprenuerial ideas. But the internship was my first choice as I know I will work at least for a little while in a 9-5 job.

  16. When I was in college back in the late 80s, I did a daytime internship and worked nights doing telemarketing. The night job sucked but it paid bills; My day job, as an intern, was an amazing experience; the things I did as an intern gave me alot of self confidence which was way more valuable than my BA degree..oh, did i mention that I worked for free at the internship?

    It used to be that an internship was a key way to gain valuable experience without having any responsibilities like you do in a job. You are different Jonathan. You are not dependent upon others to create, assemble and manage this business. You’ve got intellect to examine the options and opportunity that the internet brings and put into motion. If you didn’t have that intellect to get started, we wouldn’t be here sharing in this forumn. Internships had a time and a place but it is not for you.

  17. I think you should put this blog on your resume. This counts as entrepreneurship.

    I would say get an internship if it will surely advance your career. More experience = Greater Pay… i think.

  18. I’m currently in the middle of an internship for a large consumer products company. If there is any chance of you getting a 9-5 job after you finish school, then you should definitely go for an internship. You may just realize, like I have, that 9-5 is something you don’t want to do the rest of your life.

    I believe, in turn, this internship will prove motivation for me to get off my butt and start my own business. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial streak, but I’m glad I took this summer to learn what it’s like to work in a real job.

    Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

  19. I’m in the same boat, so I can’t offer much advice to you Jonathan, so I’ll mooch for some help myself. So same situation but only have an undergrad degree and am uncertain of what I want/need in other degrees…I currently have a Entrepreneurial gig using online marketplaces(both domestic and international) as a means of arbitrage on all kinds of products, but mostly entertainment(non-adult, fyi) related.
    I made rougly $6,000 in Marginal profit last month on roughly $30,000 revenue, and don’t have many living expenses(cheap food, gas, and cheap rent), so am just putting most of that profit into more inventory, so month on month profit seems to increase pretty steadily.
    Any advice from those in similar positions on their experience as entrepreneurs(frankly anthing from your experiences, books to read, etc. would be helpful).

  20. Susannah says

    I think it depends on what your plans are. I don’t agree with the other commenter saying internships are worthless, because out of college I had 2 great offers (great when I compared them to my friends’) from 2 of the groups that I had done internships for. Not only did I know I would like the people I would be working for, I didn’t have to spend any extra time interviewing (wonderful bonus when you have a senior project to do and a wedding to plan).

    If you really don’t want to go back to the 9-5 world, however, I would concentrate on entrepeneurship.

    Is this the last chance you will get at an internship (I guess the real question is, how far away is your degree?)? If it is not, then this might be a good opportunity to test yourself to see how well you perform as an entrepeneur, working for yourself. Do you have what it takes to make a good living at it?

  21. I think doing both is not a bad idea.

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