Is it better to get startup experience or experience with a more formal organizational structure?
In general, if you’re early in your career and trying to learn the nuts and bolts of marketing, I’d go for a startup only if you can work for someone who has more experience / has done it before. I’ve seen a lot of early career folks go to startups where the people above them are just as clueless about best-in-class marketing as they are. That’s not going to be a valuable experience for you.
However, if you can find a small company where you’re working under someone who has a lot of experience, it can be a really fulfilling experience and you’ll learn a ton. You’ll likely get way more scope, way more at-bats to do interesting things, etc.
The flip side, going to a place like Facebook or Google, is that you’ll get very little scope, very little opportunity for upward career trajectory, few opportunities to manage, etc. But those places have really smart, experienced folks who you can learn from over time. That’s the tradeoff.
For candidates who are early in their careers, there's a huge benefit to getting experience with a more formal organizational structure. Larger companies tend to have well-thought-out best practices, and a deep bench of resources and mentors to tap.
On the other hand, startup experience can be more challenging for an early hire, where you have to learn by hustling and have access to fewer resources/mentorship on the team. This can create bad habits and blind spots around what best practices should look like.
There are definitely exceptions to the rule, but in my experience this has generally been the case.