I am currently an intern for a large (non tech) company working in a technical role. I will graduate in about six months. I have been applying to a number of full time roles with businesses that better align to my personal career goals and interests. To date, I have not heard back from any of the jobs I have applied to, but it has been less than a month, and with six months until graduation I feel that may not mean much. I feel I am well qualified for the jobs I have applied for, and therefore have a fairly good chance of receiving an offer from one of them.

To make matters difficult, however, I have just been offered a full time role with the company I am doing my internship with, to start after graduation. This role does not closely align with my professional or career goals, and I believe I could get better compensation elsewhere. The deadline for accepting this offer is about 2-3 weeks from now.

I don't want to turn down what, in the end, is really not a bad offer, but I don't know when I could expect a decision from the companies I am more interested in.

I believe this situation is slightly different than others posted on the site in that the offer I have on the table now was not for an advertised, open position I applied for, but rather one that was extended only because they liked my work as an intern. Furthermore, the companies in question are in no way competitors (one is a financial institution and the other a technology firm). How do I deal with this situation if the company in question refuses to extend their decision deadline?

EDIT for clarification:

If I do not accept the offer I do not believe they are actively looking for someone else.

The internship started 10 months ago and will continue until I graduate. The company has no influence on my graduation,

  • Curiosity, is the proposed role is an extension/linked to your internship? Also, is your internship is aligned to your career goals?
    – Tom Sawyer
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 14:12
  • The offer I have would keep me on the same team I'm working with now, and (as far as I know, it's still early stages) working on much the same work. Saying that what I do does not align with my career goals is not entirely true. It's just that it does not align with my career goals as well as many of the others.
    – bendl
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 14:18
  • From my perspective, I think they gave you a fair deadline, asking for an extension is like stating that your employer is your second choice, they may expect your performance/motivation decreasing on the long run and then they may revise their proposition. I do not recommended to ask an extension because it look like monkey branching.
    – Tom Sawyer
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 14:25
  • 1
    Is successful completion of the internship required to graduate and does the company have an influence on that (e.g. would a negative review from the company about the internship mean you may not graduate)? Also, how long ago did the internship start? Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 14:26
  • The internship started 10 months ago and will continue until I graduate. The company has no influence on my graduation
    – bendl
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 14:52

4 Answers 4


If you do try asking for an extension to the offer deadline you'll have to word the request carefully to avoid it coming off as "I'm waiting to see if I get a better offer", even though that is technically true it probably wouldn't go down well. I'm not advocating you lie however, just keep it vague. Something like:

Thanks for your offer, that's really generous of you. I haven't really thought about what I'm doing after graduation yet though because I've been so busy with working here and finishing up with school. Can I have a bit more time to think about it?

Don't get too greedy with how much time you ask for however as a) they probably won't give it and b) it's not really fair to keep them hanging on if you likely won't take the job. You also need to be prepared for them to say "No" to any extension - assuming they have a need for someone to fill that role regardless of whether it's you or A.N.Other then they (quite reasonably) will want a decent length of time to recruit that person.

If they don't extend then that obviously lessens your chances of knowing whether another company is offering you a job so you'll have to weigh up the options of whether it's worth taking the offer anyway and pursing more "interesting" opportunities later or whether you take the gamble that you'll be able to find something else in the time before you graduate. 6 months is a good chunk of time so unless entry-level opportunities in your field are rare or heavily oversubscribed it's not unreasonable to think it should be possible.

You could always agree to the offer and keep the hunt going - with the plan being to quit the role at your existing company if/when something better does come through. A short duration job immediately after graduation is pretty common and unlikely to stray into "job-hopper" territory but you'd have to accept that doing this will almost certainly burn bridges with your current company pretty comprehensively.

The ultimate choice is of course yours.


It's probably important to note that you the company you work for does not owe you an extension on their deadline, as if you decline they will want time to find another candidate for the position.

With six months still to go until you graduate I don't think you need to put pressure on yourself to accept a job offer that you don't want. The way you've described your problem doesn't sound like you have any interest in sticking around.

In addition, it'd probably be in worse taste to accept an offer that you don't want only to decline several months down the line.


I made that mistake once of leaving a company I got an offer from and ended up with neither. If I was you I would honestly just wait. I mean you have six months until graduation and you said it's only been a month since you've started applying for other companies.

IF you take this offer and also start applying elsewhere within a short period of time, employers will ask you why you're leaving within a short period of time and may see you as a "job hopper" and uncommitted for long term employment.

This role does not closely align with my professional or career goals, and I believe I could get better compensation elsewhere.

Well, there's your answer. Why be at a company you feel doesn't align with your career goals?


This role does not closely align with my professional or career goals, and I believe I could get better compensation elsewhere.

If this is at all true, and if you have any confidence at all in your abilities, then you simply decline their offer. No need for a big explanation here - companies offering internships will understand. Something like "Sorry. I'm really not ready to accept a full-time offer quite yet." should do.

If at the end of the six months you find that you have overestimated your value on the open market, or change your mind about your career goals, you can always go back to them and apply for a position. If they like you now, they will probably still like you in six months.

It makes no sense to accept an offer that you don't feel is a good one for you personally.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .