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Omar Reda
Omar Reda

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Undergraduate experience in corporates and SMEs

In this article, I will try to cover the experience you can get from joining a corporate or SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) company as an undergraduate software engineer, and the information provided in this article is based on my real personal experience in 3 different scale companies ... So let's get started.

Points of Comparison

Environment ๐Ÿ˜

Corporate: The first trivial thing about joining a corporate is the formal environment that meets the worldwide standards, from every aspect you will learn how to act in a formal way like sending and receiving formal emails, your outfit at work, the way you communicate with team members and managers, the fixed working hours, everything is organized and runs within the system of the company, also you will find a well-structured hierarchy for the company and a clear vision for your career path.

SMEs: The environment in SMEs is more friendly and more flexible than corporates, due to the small number of employees compared to a number of employees at corporates you can easily make many friends, in some SMEs the whole company could be friends and know each other, so you will surely find more flexible system than that of the corporates and that will make you act yourself more, and one more thing that is added as a bonus for working in SMEs is that you become more familiar with business and how it grows, and what are the market needs, and how to sell the company's idea or product to the customers.

Your Impact as Team Member ๐Ÿšฃ๐Ÿšฃ๐Ÿšฃโ€โ™€๏ธ

Corporate: You will find yourself working by default on large scale projects that have an impact on society, you will work in a large team with different backgrounds and experience levels, and that will make you learn so much whether from technical or non-technical perspectives, and that's because employees in corporates always focus on getting promoted and reach higher levels in their career path, so they learn about many things and they take in their consideration the non-technical stuff especially the managerial content, as it will help them to manage and lead teams and get promoted faster.

SMEs: You will work on different scale projects some of them are large ones and some are not, and you will have more time to learn on your own as the intensity of the work won't be like the intensity in corporates, and of course you will have a team with different backgrounds and experience levels, but won't be as large as the corporates teams, and the variety will be also less than that you can find in corporates teams.

Learning Curve ๐Ÿ“ˆ

Corporate: Your learning curve is affected mainly by 2 points the first one we previously mentioned above when we talked about experienced team members and the technical or non-technical information you will learn from them, the second point which is mainly found in corporates is the access you got to enroll in a huge amount of online courses whether provided by the company you work for or any other online courses provider, and you will find this point in most of the corporates once you get your company domain email you will get the access on many courses and e-books offered online.

SMEs: Your learning curve is affected also by 2 points the first one is also the experience you got from working with the team members, and the second point is that you will search and learn about topics that you need at work if you aren't working in a company or within a team it will be difficult and confusing to select which topic should I learn about, and is that information is important or not, and this issue will be solved once you have a team you work with when you join a company which can provide you with guidance regarding what to learn about in order to finish your job and this guidance is very precious.


Recognition ๐Ÿ†

Corporate: Working in a famous corporation could turn out to be very useful for your future career opportunities. Letโ€™s face it! It looks good on a resume! Brand recognition has a heavy weight on anyoneโ€™s resume.

SMEs: Itโ€™s a bit harder to get this kind of recognition with SMEs, but not impossible. Usually, when they hit an important milestone, they do not become recognized brands instantly. It might take years until people will get to acknowledge them and automatically identify their activities.

Now The Fun Part ๐ŸŽฎ๐ŸŽฏ

Perks โœจ

Corporate: Working in a corporation will ensure you some more significant perks. You will get a life and social insurance, gym membership, transportation reimbursements and many other benefits. In fact, corporations have the tendency to design their hiring positions around these advantages.

SMEs: You will feel very relaxed within the atmosphere of SMEs, The employees also enjoy many perks like free food and drinks, and a play area to release the work tension and enjoy your free time and make new friendships with the company's employees from different departments.

Income ๐Ÿ’ต

Corporate: All of the corporations have a standardized income that is brought to the average level of the market and sometimes higher. It may vary according to the marketโ€™s value and it can also go through some minor changes as you advance.

SMEs: The amount of resources is limited, so you cannot expect a high income. Moreover, sometimes it is going to be lower than the average income of the market, and also sometimes it is going to be very close to the average income of the market, and despite that it may sound a bit discouraging, but as an intern your main goal is not to get more money but to gain more knowledge, and as this knowledge increases the money will come definitely by time.

Small tips and advices to you as students

  • First, try to get the most out of any experience you get in while you are a student whether you joined a corporation or SME company, because what will you learn will be very beneficial to you when you start searching for a job as a full-time employee.
  • Second, try to make as many relationships as you can with people at work because this could help you to get a job in the future if you have proven your competence, and this will happen by getting a recommendation after you graduate from college to join back the company you worked at as intern.
  • Third, I mentioned this before in the income section, but I want to mention it again, don't search for money at the early beginning of your life, first learn and gain more knowledge and improve your resume with quality experiences, and trust me money will come to you after that.
  • Forth, don't you ever stop learning, this career is about learning new things every day to keep up with the market changes, so the most valuable weapon in your career journey is the ability to learn.

That's it, I hope this article was beneficial to you and you enjoyed reading it. Furthermore, feel free to contact me on email from here Gamil if you want to ask about anything, and you can find me on LinkedIn, My Website.

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