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After graduation, I took an internship role at a construction firm for the summer because I heard call backs take time and I hadn't sent out my resume yet. I start in a few weeks but I just got a call back from a design firm I was targeting.

Should I go into an interview even though I have already accepted the internship offer from the construction firm?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Dukeling, Draken, Sascha, OldPadawan, carrdelling Jun 4 '18 at 12:30

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • What do you mean by "accepting an internship offer", have you started the Internship already (seems you'll start in a few weeks)? Signed some document or similar? – DarkCygnus Jun 1 '18 at 0:21
  • I edited the question to have a clear question but I will need some more information before I can answer it. Have you started working at the construction firm yet? – TheRealLester Jun 1 '18 at 0:24
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    Sorry about the misunderstanding. By accepting, I meant signed contract – bob kobe Jun 1 '18 at 0:31
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"A bird in hand is worth two in the bush"

You say you got a call from your preferred option, but that doesn't guarantee that you will land an offer with them.

On the other hand, you already have this Internship, and depending on what you mean by accepting the Internship seems that you have already committed to that offer. If you have already formalized the internship (signing some contract or similar), then backing off now would be unprofessional from your part.

However, if you haven't formalized the internship yet, then you could explore the other option and perhaps work it into an offer in some time. Nothing is guaranteed, so have that in mind when deciding what you want to seek, as well as the relevance of the job to your desired career path.

Anyways, seems that you don't have much time to sort this out, so I suggest you get to it ASAP.

  • I appreciate this input. My follow up is, wouldnt landing a full time offer before my internship's start date, be better considering the internship ends in the fall? – bob kobe Jun 1 '18 at 0:42
  • @bobkobe What is better here is what you prefer and would like of your career. It depends on what sort of experience you want to have; it may be that the internship, although shorter, may be more relevant and valuable for your future applications and roles. However, a full time job right after graduating is also valuable to start piling up those "years of experience" many positions ask for. If it were up to me, both options were equally valuable, and you can still professionally decline the internship, then I would go for the full time offer. – DarkCygnus Jun 1 '18 at 0:47
  • So the internship is in project management, but I wanna get into design, which is why I want to interview for the FT position – bob kobe Jun 1 '18 at 0:59
  • This doesn't really answer the general question, but, as someone who often makes hiring recommendations, I can't overstate how interested I would be to see project management experience (and ability to demonstrate real word lessons learned) in the background of... pretty much anyone for any job. – mattdm Jun 1 '18 at 2:59
  • @mattdm actually this answers OP's main concern. I didn't quote and explicitly answer the written question because Should I's are off topic. However, ignoring the should I phrasing, this post has a valid concern that my answer addresses. But yes, having PM experience is valuable in many positions, and could enable OP to land "higher" position jobs that need management experience. – DarkCygnus Jun 1 '18 at 3:04
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During an internship where you don't expect/intend to stay as a full employee afterwards, there's nothing wrong with interviewing elsewhere to secure a job after the internship ends. If the internship is comparatively short (about 3 months), starting that search even before the internship even starts makes a lot of sense.

I agree that cancelling the internship would be akin to reneging on a job you already accepted. (However, if the internship is unpaid, an actual job offer might be a basis to renegotiate to see if it's possible to get at least some pay or shorten the internship.)

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I would accept the interview with the design firm. It's only an interview, with an uncertain outcome. If you are made an offer, you can then negotiate your start date.

As a hiring manager, I value honesty and integrity. If I made an offer to someone that I felt would be an asset to the company, I would value their wish to honor their commitment and would work to accommodate them.

On the other hand, when I ask a currently employed candidate when they would be able to start, and the answer is "tomorrow", I have heard all I need to. If they are willing to leave a position without giving proper notice to work for me, they may do the same to me.

And if you are made an offer but the design firm cannot delay a start date to accommodate your need, you can always speak to the construction firm to see if you can be released from your contract. But you may want to consider the idea that if the design firm can't work with you on this, they may not work with you on other things.

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