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A bit of background :

Part-time studies are a thing here in France. I am completing my DUT Informatique (equivalent : Two-year university degree in Computer Science). For next year, I'm looking for possible choices:

  • Plan A : Engineering school for which I passed the tests, and have been accepted. I need to find a company to take me for the part-time studies (3 years).

  • Plan B : three-year university degree in Web Design (I only need to do 1 year), for which I have been accepted too, and need to find a company to take me too.

I've been invited by the university I was in, and hosts the Plan B to help me find a company.

Here's my question : While interviewing, could I ask if they would be interested in taking me three years as part-time to complete the engineering school? Would it be ethical/socially acceptable to ask such a question?

I would ideally like to have feedback from people who were on the other side (e.g. interviewer), Would asking such a question kill my chances at getting Plan B?

Edit : I forgot to mention, but Plan A would take place in a different city, 2 hour away from the city for Plan B. This isn't a problem since part-time studies are 2-3 week at university, 2-3 week working, so I'll probably have 2 apartments, one in each city, and I can afford to do so. The university from city of Plan B doesn't offer an opportunity similar to plan A.

  • Which plan you prefer? Or what outcome would you like to get? – DarkCygnus May 28 '18 at 17:11
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    As the Plan names might suggests, I'd rather go with plan A, but above all I would prefer getting at least one of the two, so if Asking for A makes me get none, I'd prefer not to ask. – Average SE User May 28 '18 at 17:13
  • I see (edited your post to improve it a bit, feel free to edit it further). Also, does this university invited you so you can together coordinate finding a company for you because they assume you are going to take Plan B? Or are they just offering you to find a company regardless of your career? – DarkCygnus May 28 '18 at 17:17
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    The invitation goes something like "You've been pre-selected to join our three-year degree, you need to find a company to take you part-time... [...] A group of company searching for part-time students are organizing...", so I'd say they are offering regardless of the career ? – Average SE User May 28 '18 at 17:24
  • Hmmm, so it seems that the ones interviewing you would be from those companies, and not the university that holds Plan B, correct? If this is so I can work on an answer – DarkCygnus May 28 '18 at 17:36
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Following the update from the OP that the Plan A studies would be carried out at a different institution I would say that while not out and out unethical doing this does skirt the edges of it.

It depends upon the exact circumstances that lead to the Plan B university getting you the interview with the company - if they are leveraging connections with companies that they have taken time and effort to build then it is a little dubious to use those connections with the intent of cutting the Plan B university out of the "deal" as it were. If there's no such relationship then I would say it is much less of an issue, and probably not something I would particularly be concerned about from an ethical point of view.

  • I'm accepting this as an answer : The university indeed has a relationship with those companies, so asking for companies to take me for Plan A while I was in the Plan B university would sound really out of place. – Average SE User May 31 '18 at 13:28
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I'd say yes, why not. If you've been accepted by both, and would like to get a better degree (because obviously, getting a bachelor degree in engineering will open many more doors than a web design degree), this could enforce a positive outlook on you because you want to do more. What I would do is, researching ahead of time if Plan A is feasible (e.g. looking if your university already did that in the past or is currently doing that) so you know ahead of time if there is any chance. The worse that could happen is:

I'm sorry, we don't do that. We just do "plan B".

Which is the worst that could happen, IMHO. Just don't close plan B, say that plan A would better fit you but, you are there for plan B, so it should be the focus of the interview.

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While interviewing, could I ask if they would be interested in taking me three years as part-time to complete the engineering school? Would it be ethical to ask such a question?

On further clarification on comments, it seems that the ones interviewing you would be recruiters from companies seeking prospect part-time workers, which are independent to the University hosting Plan B's career.

Given this, it seems that there would be no problem in asking the recruiters about a part-time opportunity for the Engineering career. Those companies are interested in getting good candidates, and most likely they don't care what career you are in as long as it is related and relevant to the position.

In my experience, Universities often do these sort of reunions or "job fairs" to fetch some potential student candidates, but also to benefit companies they may be partners with in some sort of symbiosis.

I'd say you give it a try; you even are a current student of that University, so you should be able to enjoy the benefits they offer. However, it would be wise to check if there are some sort of restrictions we may ignore to this event before proceeding just to be completely safe.

  • Thanks for the help through this question, and thanks for the answer. I will wait before accepting any answer, because I would like multiple points of view – Average SE User May 28 '18 at 18:14
  • @AverageSEUser glad I could help. Yes, I advice you wait for other points of view if any before accepting the one you chose, so don't rush :) – DarkCygnus May 28 '18 at 18:18

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