I am a 20-year old college student and I'm just about to finish up my third year before going home for the summer. I worked as an intern last summer and during my winter break as a programmer. As far as I can tell, I am a far more valuable asset to the company than any intern has been in the past. From what I understand, most intern tasks at this company consisted if the usual monotonous tasks interns are given--normalizing data, entering data, other busywork--the typical grind.
I, however, have been programming since I was in middle school, and was quick to offer up my talents and started coding for the company relatively fast, rising above that typical intern grind and working on public-facing websites, SEO, automation, internal-use tool design, and other "higher level" tasks. In fact, I know for certain that one small automation project I worked on has more than paid for my employment. According to my coworkers, I'm not the typical intern. Apologies if this comes across as big-headed; I'm just trying to fill you in as to my value to this company relative to most people who have had my position in the past.
So, when I left last summer to go back to school my boss said that unless something changed, he'd be happy to have me back again the following summer at the same pay. He then looked at me, gestured with his hand and quickly added, "negotiably", as if to reassure me somehow that he he knew I was worth more. I fear that I may be reading too far into this quick addition to his sentence and that it may have simply been a throwaway thought. After all, I've only worked there for a grand total of four months since last June. On the other hand, I do believe that I have provided a substantial value for my wage ($10/hr) and position in the company. I have a fairly broad skillset and I've put a lot of it to use, and I do genuinely believe that my boss has been impressed by me.
For what it's worth, over the summer he did offer me a job if I quit school (semi-jokingly) and then gave me a more serious offer for a salaried position around December, when a developer left the company. I turned it down, as I do not want to quit school, but I told him I would love to continue working for him when I could. I then worked for him for a month when I was home for winter break.
To make a long story short, I am going to be contacting him shortly to make sure that he would still like me to work for him this summer. I have no reason to believe that he doesn't want/need me, so I'm fairly confident that I will have a job there this summer. I would like to ask for a larger compensation, as he implied was a possibility at the end of last summer. What I would like to know is when the best time to ask would be. I can think of three times to bring up the topic, as follows:
- Before I get home and begin working again. This would have to be via email or the phone.
- Right off the bat before I do anything on the first day
- After I get settled in, get my computer and desk set up, before I actually start working
If someone has a suggestion other than these, I would love to hear them.
This also makes me wonder if asking for more compensation would even be appropriate. I assume it would be, based on the value I've provided, my boss's comment about his negotiability, and the fact that I'm technically an independent contractor (despite showing up to work in the same manner that everyone else does). If anyone has any advice that is relevant to my situation, I would be very grateful.
Again, apologies if this is way too much information. Please let me know if it is, so I don't make the same mistake in the future. I really appreciate any help you can give me, as I'm still very new to the office life.
Thanks so much, everyone!