Handling multiple internship offers

If you find yourself having to decide between multiple internship offers, first of all, congratulations!  Next, take a deep breath; you are in an ideal situation where you can pick the position that is going to be best for you!

Whenever you receive an offer, especially if you know you will be hearing back from other companies soon, politely tell the employer you need a few days or a weekend to consider the position.  Employers are used to this.  According to the Elon Career Services website, “It is not advisable to make a decision immediately.  Find out when the organization needs you to respond to the offer. If this employer is your first choice, you may choose to request a day or two before your final decision.  If you have other interviews or offers pending, tactfully request more time.  You may say, for example, “I’m very excited about this position, but this is a big decision and I would like a few days to consider the offer.  May I have until (date) to make a decision?”  However, when you do this, be sure you respond to the employer by the agreed date. Never accept an internship, and then turn it down because another more appealing offer came later.  Companies frown on this, and it may impact you and the university later.

When debating between multiple offers, consider questions recommended by College-Career Builder:  “Is the internship for a company you like?  Can you see yourself working there full time?  Is it doing a job you would enjoy?  What skills will you build by working there?  How do these skills relate to your longer term career plans?”  Also, keep your gut instinct in mind.

After deciding which position will be the best opportunity for you, it is time to accept and decline your offers.  When rejecting a job offer, always keep the door open for future opportunities.   Though Company A may be your first choice now, it is possible that some day you will want to change jobs and may be interested in Company B.  Maintain a good relationship by tactfully turning down the offer from Company B. Graciously thank the person extending the offer, and let them know you are unable to accept their internship.  For example, you may have decided to attend graduate school, accept an offer in your hometown, or take another internship that provides needed income, etc.

Finally, it is time to accept your first-choice offer!  Be excited and professional when accepting the offer.  Although you may accept the offer over the telephone, it is important to follow up in writing and also request that the offer be sent to you in writing as well.  Thank the person extending the offer to you and show your sincere interest in joining their organization!

Again, give yourself a pat on the back for obtaining multiple internship offers- your hard work paid off!

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