I Accepted an Internship Offer And Then a Better One Came Along...
I get it. You applied for a ton of internships (because I told you to apply for at least 10 per semester) and out of all of the opportunities -- the one of the bottom of your list wrote you back immediately. They are interested! They want to set up an interview! You are scared because you don't want them to offer you the position before you hear back from everyone else. What do you do? Here are my thoughts -- in true "Intern Queen" tip format:
1. Congratulate Yourself. You heard back from one of your top choices! You should be flattered that one of your top ten choices got back to you at all. Many students apply for a ton of internships and never hear a word back from an employer.
2. One Step At A Time. The first step is the interview -- sometimes you are required to do a second or third interview. Since this company was one that you applied for and was one of your top ten choices, I encourage you to go through the process. The opportunity might surprise you.
3. Ask Lots of Questions. Use this opportunity as a time to really understand what the company does and how they structure their internship programs. Ask questions like, "Can you describe a day in the life of one of your company interns?" You could also ask, "What is the best thing that you think students get out of this opportunity?" Don't judge a company by it's brand name. You want to intern at a company where they keep interns top of mind and where you'll learn if an industry is right for you.
4. Ask for More Time. If the company offers you the position, ask them if you can have another week to get back to them and accept the offer. Tell them you want to make sure you do your homework and think about the opportunity and discuss with your family and mentors. I would also recommend following up on your other applications at this point to see if you can set up interviews. You want to get the other balls rolling.
5. Accept If You Must. If it's crunch-time and you don't have any other offers on the table, you might want to accept -- unless it's something you wouldn't be happy doing. If that's the case, it's probably not worth your time. You don't want to do something that you already dislike before it actually starts.
6. Be Careful About Dropping Out. If you get another offer that interests you, I would see if you can do both internships. If that's not a possibility, you need to go with the opportunity that is going to be the most beneficial experience for you. If you had someone personally refer you to the company that you are dropping, speak to the person who recommended you first and ask for their advice -- these situations can get sticky. Otherwise, it's best that you call the internship coordinator and let him/her know ASAP. Let them know their time is valuable and you know that. Tell them you want to stay in touch and then actually stay in touch. I would try to avoid dropping the internship once the semester has already started. That's usually the "too late" point.