Internships are a great way to build experience and it is considered a major plus on any CV. You automatically increase your chances of being employed purely by having something relevant on your resume. This is something employers look for first when they scan your resume.
This is the reason why so many young people do an internship nowadays because not only does it build experience but it can boost your employability chances after you are done with your studies.
If you have applied for multiple internships and received offers then that is great! You are well on your way to boosting that resume and getting the experience you desire. The problem is that while the offers are great, your gut is telling you to wait as a potentially better opportunity may arise so how do you tackle this?
The obvious answer may seem like asking for an extension on your existing offer. It is not as simple as “just asking”. You really have to think about how you are going to ask but the anxiety that keeps you up is how they would respond. The last thing you want is to regret your decision in the end.
That is why we have written a special blog to tackle your anxieties. This blog will answer how to ask for an extension on an internship offer as well as provide a list of questions that you should ask yourself before choosing an internship. The list will make it easier for you to pick the best offer for you. So let’s get stuck into it!
Tips For Delaying The Deadline For An Internship Offer
So you just received your first internship offer but want to delay it? Well firstly, congratulations on receiving an offer! This is a great step in launching your career and taking the leap from the academic world to the real world.
While the first offer is great you potentially want to wait if one better arises. You are probably wondering how you can do this. After all, you might feel like it is your obligation to accept an offer from a company purely because they are willing to give you an internship. Do not be intimidated by this concept because there is a way around this.
We firstly advise you to be familiar with your institution’s employment policies. These policies exist for good reasons too, they are meant to protect you from unreasonable offers made by employers as well as protect you from an employer’s bad behavior. Also, make yourself familiar with the deadline of the offer. If it is not clearly stated, email your recruiter!
So remember, make yourself with the policies and inform your organization about your offer and ask your institution what they recommend in regard to the deadline.
Reasons for your request
Next, you need to provide reasons for your request. You need to have valid reasons for offering an extension. It is always better, to be honest as well. Therefore think about the possible reasons why you need an extension. Do you have school deadlines? Do you need more time? Do you have exams you need to prepare for? Whatever reason it is, you need to inform your recruiter.
Communicating with the recruiter
Now that you have all the information and completed the first two steps it is time to talk with the recruiter. Consider it almost like negotiation and these are best do to through a face-to-face conversation. However, if this is not possible it is advised to schedule a phone call and only email them if it is hard to reach them.
When you write an email to the recruiter you have to be tactful. It is better to start off by expressing your gratitude for receiving the offer and express your excitement before moving on to the offer extension. When you mention the extension please refer to the school policy on offer deadlines and finish it off politely.
Remember, to ask for an extension do it as early as possible. Giving a late notice is inconsiderate and wrong. In the end, you want to make it easy for the recruiter to extend the offer deadline. So please treat them the same way you would like to be treated and surely they would be happy to give you an extension!
What to ask before accepting an internship?
Now that you know how to extend your internship, there are still some questions you need to ask yourself. We have compiled a list of 10 questions you need to ask yourself before starting and accepting an internship offer.
When do I want to be an intern?
This is probably one of the first questions you have to ask yourself. If you are a student you have to ensure it does not clash with any of your classes unless you are only looking to do an internship part-time rather than full-time.
Most students tend to do an internship during the long holidays so winter or summer break. This gives them a few months to gain valuable experience. Employers are also most aware of this timeline but in the end, it is up to you when you want to start your internship!
Where do I want to intern?
Next, you have to ask yourself where you want to intern. The excitements of doing internships are that they can possibly be done in another city or abroad as a whole.
While this is one of the best parts of doing an internship abroad, it requires a lot of financing and commitment too. You, therefore, have to ask yourself whether you have the financial means to support yourself whilst abroad as well as commit to the duration of being abroad for an extensive period of time.
How long do I want to intern?
If your internship is a requirement for your studies, chances are that a minimum requirement has to be met. This can range from meeting specific hours or duration in months. You want to ensure that if it is needed for academic reasons you meet those.
If an internship is not necessarily required for your studies and you are looking to just gain valuable work experience and boost your CV, then it is advised to do one for as long as you can. Remember, the longer you do it, the more valuable experience you build and we personally recommend a minimum of three months to really get the most out of your internship.
Does the company align with my values and interests?
Ideally, you would like to intern for a company that is of similar interest and shares the same values. This will likely make the experience more enjoyable for you. If the company challenges your values, it can make it difficult for you to adapt and understand certain decisions and methods. This could make the overall experience less enjoyable and you most likely will not take anything valuable with you.
Do I need this experience for academic credit?
It is not uncommon to gain a few months of professional work experience as part of your studies. You, therefore, want to ensure that the internship can help you gain the necessary academic credit for your studies.
Is there a potential for a permanent role?
An internship is seen as a great stepping stone from your academics into the real working world. You, therefore, want to know what your chances are of landing a full-time position after the internship. Each company will of course have their own requirements but chances are if you impress and positively contribute to the workplace and overall leave a good impression, the company could look to hire you full time or refer you.
Will this experience help me in my future career?
One thing you might wonder before committing to an internship is whether the experience is right for you. After all, you have probably heard about all the positive benefits of doing an internship but you still remain unsure.
Well, any experience nowadays is seen as valuable even though you might end up going down a different career path. You learn a lot of new skills and a majority of them are transferable, especially soft skills which can be used for different professions.
You also get to learn more about the industry you have chosen and whether it is the right career path for you. No experience will be wasted and you will learn a lot about yourself and what you want to pursue!
How will this internship affect my other commitments?
A lot of students tend to do an internship during the holiday periods such as the summer or winter break. The reason being is that it avoids any potential clashes with classes and more time can be focused on the actual internship itself rather than balancing out the internship and school.
Because these internships are done during the holiday periods, it might potentially affect other commitments you may have such as a holiday with family or friends. Heads up, a lot of plans will have to be rescheduled or worked around your internship.
Can I afford to take an unpaid position?
While most internships are paid you have to be aware that there are few that do not offer any compensation. You, therefore, have to ask yourself whether you can afford to take an unpaid position. Especially if you are doing an internship abroad, you will need financial support during your internship so having no compensation can be quite difficult.
Will I have opportunities to network?
In case you did not know, roughly 85% of jobs are filled as a result of networking. Networking Networking offers many opportunities for your career and it is, therefore, significant you maintain and expand your current connections. Especially if you get the chance to intern in an industry you are interested in, spend time researching the industry expert and attend as many networking events as possible!
The Appropriate Time For Decision Making
Before arriving at any decision, you want to make sure you have thought it through carefully. These decisions will take time but you do not want to keep your company waiting forever. The standard is that it takes two weeks to decide. You do not want to take longer than that to respond to the company's offers. The last thing you want to do is waste the company’s time and leave a bitter taste with them.
So we hope that we have answered any anxieties you may possibly have had. Now that you know how to ask for an extension on an internship offer and the questions you ask yourself before starting you should feel more prepared than before. If you are looking to do an internship then let us help you! AIP offers internships in more than 14 countries and more than 20 different industries. Check out our website for more information!