You applied to a bunch of internships, and were selected for your top two DREAM opportunities. You're used to being super busy, so you decide to juggle both over the summer. But after the first couple of weeks, you realize that you may have bitten off more than you can chew. Or maybe one of the opportunities just isn't what you had in mind -- you hate your internship. Hey, it happens to the best of us. While it's best to avoid this situation at all costs, there is a way to gracefully quit your internship:
1. Don't Leave an Internship Over Email. At this point, the hiring manager, supervisor(s), etc. have invested hours of time in interviewing, training and even mentoring you. Speak to your superior in person about your dilemma whenever possible. For virtual opportunities, a phone call is the best bet.
2. Recognize Your Supervisors' Time. Again, your supervisors have devoted lots of their time to teaching, training and fitting your role within their business structure. When you speak to your employer, you always want to recognize the time they devoted to bringing you into their company.
3. Know What You're Getting Into. We're all still learning. To prevent this situation in the future, make sure that you are 100% aware of what you are committing to. If you are juggling multiple opportunities, have an "hours" conversation with both parties BEFORE making any commitments. Two internships may sound nice on paper, but is it actually doable? If one opportunity is more flexible (i.e., a virtual internship), work with your supervisor to find a solution before deciding its not going to work.
4. Don't Burn Bridges.You always want to be very sensitive in these situations, as you don't want to burn any bridges. Everyone knows everyone and you have to have that mentality. You don't want a decision you made as an intern to affect the future of your career.