Taking the leap to intern for a startup has been one of the best decisions of my life. It’s put me on a path I’m not sure I would have discovered otherwise. I’m learning, I’m growing and I’m creating.

I’ve been working in Bali for less than three weeks and I already have so many lessons to include in this post. It’s proof of how much I’ve learned in such a short amount of time.

How to start my own company.

From copywriting to coding to sales funnels – I’ve had a taste of it all. The small size of startups allows you to learn about every aspect of a company and how you can implement it into your own business ideas. I came here with an idea of my own and I’ve already found someone who is just as passionate about the topic as I am. In two short weeks, I found a business partner and we’ve started putting together a plan with the help of those around us. How crazy is that?

Every single person knows something you don’t.

Each person you meet has a story and knowledge that comes from their unique experiences. The entrepreneurs I’m working with have a vast knowledge and, more importantly, they’re willing to share it. I’ve been taking the time to get to know the people in my coworking space and each day I’m astonished by the things they have done, the people they have met and the lessons they have learned.

Clothes or tattoos don’t determine your work ethic.

I come to work every day in yoga pants. I work next to people with multiple tattoos. Heck, they even had a live tattoo session here at our coworking space, Hubud, yesterday. I haven’t seen a single person in a suit and tie (well, this might be due to the Bali heat) or pencil skirt. Startups know creative and innovative minds aren’t dependent upon outward appearance or self-expression.

Startup Bali

There is so much more to life than climbing the corporate ladder.

Before graduating University, I was planning to move to New York City. I had set up interviews and meetings with executives to start making connections. I was on the fast track to working for a corporate PR agency. While I’m sure I would have learned a lot, working in Bali has opened my mind up to so many more opportunities. Working around entrepreneurs each day, you realize how possible it is to live your dream. These people combined their passion, intelligence, and love for travel into one beautiful package.

A deeper understanding of my University degree.

I earned a degree in public relations but, funnily enough, I didn’t learn much about the main PR aspects like writing press releases, creating media lists or pitching to the media. Within my first week, I was participating in an online course, creating website material and learning from previous projects my startup founder had worked on. By the second week, I knew how to write catchy headlines, create a targeted media list and write pitches using different angles.

Learning is exhilarating.

Spending seventeen years in school, being force-fed knowledge and cramming for tests sure takes the fun out of learning. Now that I’m in an environment where learning is interactive and supportive, it has completely changed my outlook on learning new things. Reading has become a passion of mine again and I feel thrilled to learn in this open environment.

Failure is a good thing.

Startups recognize the value in failure and their process is usually along the lines of: experiment, fail, learn, repeat. They aren’t afraid to try new things because if it doesn’t work out, you learn from it and move on. This opens the door to so many more possibilities than in a corporate office where you have overheads are controlling your every move.

Haley talks more about her post-university life after joining the world of startups here:

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