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Negotiating intern compensation


Replies to: Negotiating intern compensation

  • soccerguy315soccerguy315 Registered User Posts: 7,245 Senior Member
    But option 1 isn't very ethical, wouldn't you say? I don't want to burn bridges.

    Likely (as posted above) if you don't stay in their intern program, they aren't going to hire you when you graduate, so by leaving the intern program, you also might be burning the bridge.

    People apply to multiple jobs (your case: internships) all the time. They have to decide between taking the first offer they get and taking the best offer they get (if they get multiples). Obviously there are pros and cons to both. Only you can weigh them.
  • commentcommentcommentcomment Registered User Posts: 733 Member
    If you aren't comfortable working for what you are being offered for the position, then let them know. If they say no you can either accept the current offer or find something else. If they really feel like you are a top performer who has potential to become a full time employee, they will give you a bit more money. Just make sure you are reasonable in answering if they counter with "how much do you want or what are you looking for" question.

    Typically interns have a set budget but there is no harm in asking.
  • workingATbig4workingATbig4 Registered User Posts: 317 Member
    ^^To this response, and all the ones like it, I wonder: what is your experience with negotiating at an intern level or negotiating with interns?

    In the Big 4 we tell interns up front there is no room for negotiation. I can't imagine it being any different for other companies. Interns are a dime a dozen. You bring the students in, give them a shot and if you like them, you hire them. Pay is always a secondary factor. You are there for experience and a try-out...the fact that some of you believe that, as an intern, you are entitled to negotiate is laughable. Interns don't negotiate pay. The only way to change your pay would be leverage. Meaning if you bring us an offer letter with a higher pay, we will match it. However, if an intern who had no other options seriously tried to tell me they were worth more, I'd laugh, tell them they just blew their full time opportunity over something as silly as a few bucks for 10 weeks during the summer, and wish them the best.

    You are not a "top-performer". Sorry to burst your bubble. Every intern and new hire are expenses...you are learning, you are NEVER adding any value. The work your doing can be done by other students who won't bother the HR manager over intern pay. Seriously, wake up and quit being so narcissistic - or explain how you are a "top-performer". Did you do the extremely mundane tasks every intern in every industry are asked to do exceptionally well? Good for you, want a cookie?

    Every company that has an internship program has structured pay with a "take it or leave it" system. End of story.
  • Sligh_AnarchistSligh_Anarchist Registered User Posts: 2,193 Senior Member
    Thanks for your response, but the great thing about my role is that I could be measured exactly. I executed "X" in savings and was paid "Y" in salary. It was very easy for HR to calculate their ROI on me. I was not an expense to the company. Not all interns are the same, despite what you may think. "X" was in the millions (I won't give an exact figure). If there isn't any negotiation room between salary "Y" and savings "X" (measured in millions), then there is something wrong.

    Anyhow, I declined the offer. I'll go back out to market this spring and see what I fetch.
  • workingATbig4workingATbig4 Registered User Posts: 317 Member
    So you had a performance review that made you feel special and you think that makes you different? No...it doesn't. Any company with a structured internship program will have a performance review process. Usually, if they intend to hire you, they will make you feel like an allstar. It is part of their recruiting process. You weren't an allstar. If you were they would have offered for you to come back next summer and also offered a full-time position.

    You're gonna see "what you fetch"? You truly are delusional. Youll be paid just as much as the other interns. Even if they didn't "save" their company "millions". The emphasis you place on pay of an internship over the experience and full-time job offer shows you have some seriously messed up perspectives.
  • Sligh_AnarchistSligh_Anarchist Registered User Posts: 2,193 Senior Member
    If you read my original post, you'll see that I was offered a full-time position above entry level pay and grade.
  • workingATbig4workingATbig4 Registered User Posts: 317 Member
    I read it as if you come back, he would offer you a full-time offer NEXT summer. "I will be giving you an offer" is not the same as "I'm giving you an offer." What he seems to be implying is that there are conditions to meet before he offers you anything. Like accepting the offer to return and not being stingy about pay.

    So...did you get an offer or were you told you would get an offer? Two very different things. The Big4 tells every intern at the start of their internship we intend to make you a full-time offer. If they don't fit in, we don't give them that offer. No different.
  • Sligh_AnarchistSligh_Anarchist Registered User Posts: 2,193 Senior Member
    Let me more fully explain myself: I was given a full-time offer from the manager. There is nothing conditional about it. I have rejected both the summer return offer and full time offer.

    I completely understand your points if the intern is in a learning situation and gaining experience. But I did not feel as if I was in a learning role. I developed strategies to cut costs and implemented the strategies. Money went to the bottom line, exponentially above what I was paid. So yes, my focus on salary might seem ridiculous in the context of most normal internships (go get my coffee, mindlessly edit this Word doc, etc.), but this isn't a normal situation. Otherwise I wouldn't be asking for advice.
  • workingATbig4workingATbig4 Registered User Posts: 317 Member
    Than I am even more confused. Why would you care about your salary as an intern if you know the next summer you'll start out full-time above what other entry level people are making? Isn't that what you want? Is it not worth being paid the same as other interns in turn for making more than them when you become full-time? Youre talking about fretting over one summer and sacrificing YEARS of full-time pay.

    As I said, most large companies have structured internship programs. The pay is set in stone for all interns because it is a part of the budget.

    You were offered a job at a large company where you had a good reputation and you gave that up over one summer. You did this without having other opportunities at a time when a lot of companies plan to cut back on things like interns next year. There was nothing smart about what you did.
  • Marco117Marco117 Registered User Posts: 529 Member
    Hahahahaha. Dude you didn't seriously do this did you? Even assuming you were right to feel the way you do, to give up an internship where you (In your opinion) had a full time job offer next summer is stupid. And what's even worse is that you don't even have a good reason for doing it. You basically turned the offer down out of pride. Something people in our generation have far too much of. You felt you deserved more so you turned down an offer that would've led to a full time position, when all you had to do was stick with the same pay you recieved the previous summer.
  • workingATbig4workingATbig4 Registered User Posts: 317 Member
    ^^I hope, for his sake. It was a ****. Surely nobody is that arrogant and naive.
  • sarahdollysarahdolly Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    I'm still glad this thread was here. Basically the lesson is, if you have other offers, then negotiate. But reasonably! I think too many students applying for *full-time* aren't even aware that negotiating is possible, even when offers are "non-negotiable". BTW I'm in computer science so we're enjoying a nice bubble at the moment...
  • chriswchrisw Registered User Posts: 1,585 Senior Member
    For the record, not every company with a structured internship program has a fixed salary. That said, if this kid actually declined an offer because he thought that he deserved more money but had no other offer on the table, he made a serious mistake.

    For those out there pursuing jobs/internships, if you receive an offer to return to an internship program but would like to test the waters, you do not need to decline that offer! Tell their HR people that you appreciate the offer and are seriously considering it but that you need to weigh all of your options first.

    My college said that any company extending a return offer to people was expected to give them a reasonable amount of time to go through the recruiting process. For example, if you are a rising senior who receives a FT offer at JPM after an internship, my school demanded that JPM allow you until mid-November (when other banks extend their offers) to decide whether to accept that offer. This protects the interests of the most talented students, as it gives a good frame through which applicants may negotiate.

    It would appear that the OP values himself very highly and is willing to make serious mistakes to try to show companies this perceived value (or is a jokester). As a rule, nobody with any sense of sanity will decline a viable offer without another offer on the table. And nobody will negotiate salary without a bargaining chip, be it relocation, other offers, industry standard or whatever else seems fun that day.
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