Recent Cambridge University engineering graduate Ian Leung, reflects on his time working on a travel and SEO internship as part of Start Me Up’s Startup Internship Program.

Have you ever only had corporate internships? Or are you wondering what working for a startup would be like? If so, Start Me Up’s program is almost certainly for you.

Being on the Start Me Up program gave me a unique experience in Bali. The exposure to startups and their founders was incredible. During my time in Bali, I worked as part of the startup community across a variety of business sectors.

Initially, I started working for a travel-tech startup to help them redesign their help and support section. But I also took on a consulting project for an SEO startup in the second part of my placement.

I was given a lot of freedom to design their process workflow and I helped them integrate this process. I learned how to use different tools to help them automate more of their business, helping them streamline their processes.

Working for a startup is high impact and you get to make a big difference to the way it operates.

During my time in Bali, I also met so many great people: from YouTube vloggers with 100,000 subscribers and programmers developing apps to rival Uber and founders giving up their corporate life to start a business in Bali. Everyone has a unique story.

What surprised me the most was the popularity of the startup scene in Bali. It’s surprisingly diverse. If you’ve considered Silicon Valley as a career option, Bali is definitely a place where you can get a feel for whether you would enjoy life at a startup.

You get to experience working for a startup without the pressure that comes in Silicon Valley. Here people juggle successful startups with fun. Barely anyone follows the 9-5 routine – people prefer to surf in the morning before getting down to work in the afternoon.

Previously, I thought all successful startups would require more hours than a normal corporate job, a reputation that is seen within Silicon Valley. But this was definitely not the case in Bali.

choose baliIt’s more than just working. Hitting a creative block? Go surfing. Need a place to chill? Go watch the sunset at the beach. Feeling hungry? Hop on a scooter for five minutes and find all types of cuisines available to you. There are so many opportunities and the social/nightlife scene is great.

My highlight on this trip was climbing Mount Batur, which was organized by Start Me Up. Setting off from home at 1 am, we reached the summit at sunrise and admired the beauty of Bali. The people, the startup scene, and the activities make Bali a fantastic place to intern. For me, this experience has made me definitely think twice about going into corporate.

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