Tips to Evaluate a Full-Time Job Offer from a Summer Internship

Full-time offer at the end of a summer internship? Now what?

Monday, July 30, 2018
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Students working in an office in the city

As your summer internship winds down, you may interview for a full- time job beginning after graduation. Truly, your 8-10 week summer internship was an extended interview - - at this point the employer pretty much feels you are a fit. If you get the offer, is it the right fit for you?

Exciting, nerve-wracking, intimidating, and a dream come true! 

A job going into your senior year sounds amazing, but should you take it? You ask yourself…

  • If I accept this offer, will I want to start my career here and do this type of work?
  • What if there are better offers if I just wait?  But, how great will it feel to go into my senior year with a written, job offer in hand?

Before you accept an offer, consider these 5 questions:

1. Am I excited about what I will be doing on a daily basis?

  • Read the job description and understand the job responsibilities.
  • Know what training you will receive and your reporting structure.
  • Examine whether or not the job responsibilities align with your career interests.
  • Are you excited or just settling because you’re afraid of not having other offers?
  • Consider whether or not the location (city/facility) and commute are reasonable for you.

2. What is the full compensation package beyond salary/commission structure?

  • Can I afford to live a reasonable lifestyle with what I am being offered?
  • What are the health/dental/vision insurance and 401K/retirement plans?
  • What is the vacation/time off plan?
  • Is there tuition reimbursement, health club membership, and/or other perks?
  • Can I expect bonuses or other performance rewards?

3. Will I have a future here and/or will it move me where I want to be in five years?

  • What is the growth path going forward?
  • Do I believe in the culture and do I belong here? You just spent the summer at this place. You know the company, your future co-workers, and the general environment. Is this the place for you?

4. Do I have time to explore other options?

Some companies want a decision within a couple of weeks; others will give you more time. NEVER FEEL RUSHED!  If you need more time, speak with the HR contact and let them know you need time (5~10 business days is reasonable) as it is a big, personal decision. If you are not granted extra time, do some soul searching and dig into whether or not this is the right choice for you. Trust your instincts and go back to what you value.

5. If I accept the offer, but what if I think I can still do better. What now?

The bottom line is you won’t do better. Once you decide, recognize that you made the best decision for you at this time!  Once you accept the proposal, it is a commitment to take seriously. All dating is over! Stop applying and exploring other options. Reneging on an offer you accept can come back to haunt you later!

Get Help!

If you are not certain of how to approach this dilemma, seek out advice from your school’s career professional (schedule an appointment in Handshake or come to Career Express) or a respected mentor. Ask for insights from people who know you, then take a step back and take the time to reflect on this big decision.


Kimberly Clark is the Director of Career and Professional Success (CaPS) within the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics and Megan Turnbull is a Career Counselor within the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics. See more from the Paul College CaPS team.