D is a rising Junior spending this summer working an internship with a major food company. She is enjoying using her Chemistry Lab skills and has already gotten a Safety Certification that gives her a boost for any future job. Job is great, company treating her (and paying her) well, and they have offered her full-time employment upon graduation. (No future salary discussed yet.) She has been told she will enter their workforce in a leadership position, even though she will only have her undergrad degree. D has 3 more semesters of college to graduate, and will have about $20,000 in student loans.
D thinks this company is going to ask for a commitment to work with them again Summer 2016, and she isn't sure how to answer. We are all thrilled for her to have a job offer in hand so soon, but not sure if it limits her options severely if she can't shop around for other internships for Summer 2016.
One purpose of this internship was to see if the field of food science was really the path D wants to pursue. She thinks it is, and I am reading between the lines that maybe D is even a bit relieved to not have to pursue a grad degree immediately after undergrad. (A lot of companies want to see a masters in food science since D's undergrad degree is Chemistry.) This company will pay her to get her masters degree if/when they see a need for her to get it.
My D is in charge of her future, I'm not trying to make any decisions for her, but am looking for some general guidelines on how this process works. Is she flushing away this future job if she doesn't commit to next summer's internship with them? She is interested in working with a more natural/organic company, thinking she will feel more like she is making a difference in the health of the consumer. Is that goal worthy of giving up a sure thing?
How do internships work in general? Can D work elsewhere Summer 2016 and then come back to the original company and still expect to get that future job? Or does original company write her off completely and move on to the next intern?
Any advice on this process is appreciated. We had no clue that career decisions would be presented to D so early.