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Is it possible to quit an internship early without burning any bridges? Seeking advice.

Mikeb1123Mikeb1123 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
Hi all.

Here is kind of an explanation of what has been going on this last few months. I live in the greater Minnesota area. I had a previous internship at a company last spring that was absolutely terrible. I stuck it out until they didn’t need me, but I knew I needed something else on my resume. At the fall career fair, I was talking to a representative at a small manufacturing company, which led to an interview and an offer for a spring internship in my field (Supply Chain). The internship is supposed to go from January until mid-June, and I was excited. Now it is the beginning of April, and I have had my fill on this “internship”. I have strongly disliked it from the first week I started. First off, it’s a 45 minute commute one way. I also attend class full time, and the fact that they told me in the interview they need someone who could work at least 25 hours, and after I accepted the offer I was put on for 31 hours five days a week. Right off the bat, I am working more hours and days than I want for a full time student.

To be frank, this internship has affected me in a way that I don’t like. I’ve become depressed, and dread going in every week. My SO notices it too. The work is not what I was expecting. It’s become boring and stale. It is cold calling. Cold calling 31 hours a week, five days a week, trying to get trucking companies to haul for us. I can’t stand it. They pay isn’t that great either, but this was an internship for academic credit, so I stayed. Knowing how miserable I was and still am, I started looking for greener pastures and found it. A big, well know company in the area, wants to bring me on for a summer internship starting May 21st. The headquarters where I would be working is only 15-20 minutes away, and offer significantly more pay for things I want to be doing in my field. After reviewing the requirements for academic credit, I have exceeded the 240 hours needed to be completed. Even if I didn’t and did not receive academic credit for it, I could just take an elective next semester and still graduate on time.

Here is where things get complicated. First, the company likes me. They have discussed with me about the internship being extended into the summer, and possibly being brought on full time. I like the people there, but I am miserable. I didn’t commit to anything, and told them before I had another offer I would have to make an informed decision. I also found out Friday that another intern is quitting the same time I would be, which would eliminate two out of the three interns. I would also be leaving the internship before the end date of mid-June.

Even though this job has made me want to walk out, I still worked hard and I did the best job I could. I would plan on giving them a two week notice, but I don’t want to burn any bridges. I would like a reference out of this, since my reference from my previous internship is no longer with the company. I guess I am afraid that they will be upset, and will not let me use them as a reference, for leaving the internship before mid-June.

I could use some advice on this. I feel trapped.

Replies to: Is it possible to quit an internship early without burning any bridges? Seeking advice.

  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 2,034 Senior Member
    What college are you enrolled at, and what year are you in college? It sounds like you are a junior or senior, but just trying to understand your situation.

    You can quit any job you do not like. You are an employee at will.
    If you have a higher paying job that appears to be a better fit, give two weeks notice and
    take the better position for this summer. If you give notice, and explain your new opportunity,
    you will not burn a bridge.
  • Mikeb1123Mikeb1123 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    Graduating in December of this year. Senior.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 56,062 Senior Member
    You have to make a choice. If you have a better opportunity and leaving shy of completion won’t jeopardize your getting credit for the internship, you diplomatically tell them you have appreciated your time there but you are pursuing another opportunity. Just dont expect the reference.
  • mysmommysmom Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    Cold calling? You've really paid your dues. They offer these positions as internships because they are hard to fill otherwise. Know that you've given it your best and don't look back. The whole point of an internship is to get an idea of what you like and don't like about opportunities in your field. Give your two weeks notice and move forward with the new opportunity. Don't be miserable just to make someone else happy.
  • Mikeb1123Mikeb1123 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    Can I still list it on my resume?
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 56,062 Senior Member
    of course you can.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,966 Senior Member
    Does the employer have to sign off on the academic aspect of the internship? How does your college know how many hours you have worked?
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 3,591 Senior Member
    You can give your two weeks notice and leave. However, for an internship for college credit give your internship faculty advisor a head's up about what's going on to see if there is any consequences on your transcript.

    You don't necessarily have to use your supervisor as a reference. It could be a coworker who saw you work hard until you were burnt out. And try to follow your references on LinkedIn, so that if they change companies you can still reach them if you need to.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 56,062 Senior Member
    This thread is almost a month old. OP, what did you decide?
This discussion has been closed.