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Turning First Internship into Full Time Job Offer upon Graduation--good deal or limiting options?

powercropperpowercropper 1679 replies73 threads Senior Member
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.

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Replies to: Turning First Internship into Full Time Job Offer upon Graduation--good deal or limiting options?

  • aunt beaaunt bea 9905 replies64 threads Senior Member
    Does she like it?
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  • powercropperpowercropper 1679 replies73 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2015
    She does enjoy the work she is doing. But this is her first job away from the college lab, and the newness of a "real" lab is still enticing. Not sure if we should encourage her to stick with this company and miss out on the chance to have a different intern experience next summer.
    edited June 2015
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  • PancakedPancaked 3286 replies69 threads Senior Member
    She could seek some middle ground and make sure her next internship would be in a different product line, or different function entirely, within the same company. Having the exact same role two summers in a row would be unusual and definitely not to her/the company's benefit, so the company should be happy to oblige (if they're not already planning to do this).

    She should definitely ask the employer if the full-time offer is contingent upon interning again, and if she can delay her decision. It's totally reasonable for a college student to want to keep his/her summer options open -- not just to try other companies, but also to do research, take summer classes, travel, etc.
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  • powercropperpowercropper 1679 replies73 threads Senior Member
    This company has plants scattered around the country, and a few international spots as well. I am assuming she could ask to be at a different plant next summer. The current plant locations are all 10 or more hours from our home city, and the company has told her that once she is officially employed with them, she will be promoted from plant to plant and will have to move when they decide.

    As parents we want her to have the best first job she can get, and we are happy that as of now she even has a job offer. But we know that working for this company will not bring her closer to home, ever. We would never ask her to change her career to suit our geographic needs. But we wonder if we should encourage her to see what else is out there before committing to just this company.

    There is still plenty of summer work left for her, and she has some time to figure out what she wants. I am just looking for some general advice from students and parents about when to play it safe and when to gamble on searching for another option.
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