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cutiepi92's avatar

What do I do about this internship?

Asked by cutiepi92 (2252points) December 16th, 2013

So here’s the situation.

I will be graduating this upcoming May from university. As of now, while I have work experience, it is not experience in my field (I’ve worked as a secretary, cashier, etc). So, a few months ago I went on an internship application frenzy and applied for multiple jobs that were at least related to my field. I received an email from one of them a couple of weeks ago for a phone interview. It wasn’t like my favorite company or anything but work is work so of course I said yes. Just received an email earlier today from the company (non profit) saying that they want to hire me and they want me to start working the second week of January. Normally, I would be ecstatic, but there is a problem. The number one company I want to intern for is a major television network. I did a tour of the place last week and was able to actually talk to the people that I would directly be working with if I was chosen. Got some emails, networked, and I think they like me. I found out though that they don’t even choose people for their Spring program until the second week of January. Basically, I won’t even know if I got that internship until AFTER I’m supposed to start the other one. What do I do? I need work experience; the last thing I want to happen is that I accept the job and then I hear that the TV network wants me and I can’t accept. But then at the same time, I don’t want to turn down the internship with the non-profit company only to find out that I didn’t get the job with the TV network either. The non profit wants a response. What do I do?

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4 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

An internship isn’t a marriage. You won’t be making a lifetime commitment if you accept, and you won’t then be a monster if you break it off soon afterward.

Accept the current offer if it has any appeal to you, and keep your options open – and your application active – for the position that you really want. Even if good news comes your way and the hoped-for position is offered, who knows how long it might be before you could start?

Take the offer – and do what is expected of you there! (don’t be just a drone as you kill time waiting for your better offer; there may not be one, as you know) – but look out for the future. When the time comes that this or some other “better offer” comes along, give proper notice, clean up behind you and leave on good terms. It’s your career; it’s up to you to take care of it.

ETpro's avatar

I agree with @CWOTUS. Take the offer. Get some work experience. Chances are too great that if you hold out for what’s a deam

cutiepi92's avatar

@CWOTUS if I get the other internship, I would start the last week in January. It’s hard to give proper notice if I only end up working at the other place for 2 weeks.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’d still suggest taking the offer, as long as it’s done in good faith. You don’t know that another offer is coming – and no one else needs to know that you’re hoping for one. Assuming there are no special conditions in your employment / internship agreement that would preclude you from other employment (and never having been an intern before, it’s all a black box to me), I’d take the offer that’s given, and “give the best notice that you can” when it’s time to leave.

As an example, we have to hire very experienced expatriate American, South African, European and Australian / New Zealander construction professionals with very specific skill sets to work on our overseas assignments. These people definitely do not grow on trees. It costs us a fair amount of money and time to review résumés, arrange and hold telephone interviews, meet with the candidates after a good interview (and pay for overseas travel and lodging when they visit us for the purpose), and then arrange for their hiring by the overseas branch of the company, arrange for travel and work visas (and pay for that, too), and order computers and software to be ready for them when they graduate from “candidate” to “employee”. Two months ago we went through all of that for one person from the UK, had him signed up as an employee and paid for his air travel to India… and he begged out just before getting on the plane, to take someone else’s offer for other employment. There’s not much we can do. He won’t be a candidate with us again, for damn sure, and it leaves a bad taste in our mouths to think that we were probably just a stalking horse for another offer he had in hand all the time, but we don’t have any recourse, and in a few months we’ll forget all about him – except to have his name on a list for “do not hire”.

But that was an example of someone operating in bad faith we believe your situation will be nowhere near so dramatic – or costly! – and since you will only have been an intern for a week or two anyway, there shouldn’t be hard feelings when you leave, assuming you do.

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