I've been working the last year as an intern in a large company, with a lot of excellent people and benefits. The place is nice and one of my bosses (I have four different bosses, as I said is a large company) have said that they like my performance and are thinking on giving me a job offer.

However, other boss (and the one who is technically my direct boss) is not one of those "excellent people". Just to show how it is: he position ocuppied for his right-hand man is said to be cursed, and I'm aware that the guy currently in it -has 2 years- is actively looking for new offers.

In summary, it's a good place, but my experience could have been better. This discourages me to accept this hypothethical job offer. Also I've been said that the job would be as a support person for projects of my direct boss, so i'll be responding to him, which I don't want to.

I also would like to look for other job offers to find new environments and other areas, but the problem with this statement is that I live in a rather small city where I know job offers for my carrer are scarce and poorly paid, specially to someone with technically no experience (I'll still rather try this). Also the company is well known in the area to be one of the best companies to work with, due to it's benefits with the emloyees. So the rejection of such an offer would be seen from strange to just ridiculous, but I will still do it.

This is my last week in my internship and I'm afraid the main boss finally decides to make oficial this job offer. If this happens, how can I reject it without showing arrogancy or looking like that I'm not grateful with the internship?

Note 1: Sorry for my bad english

Note 2: The other bosses (the whole area actually) are aware of the atittude of my direct boss, but can't do nothing against that, or their actions haven't had visible effects.


2 Answers 2


You really don't owe them anything. I'm sure they picked you for the internship because they thought you could add value to the company, and you did. You don't have to act like they did you a favor by giving you the internship. You're not terminating a contract, you're simply deciding not to sign onto another one so there's really nothing for them to be offended by. If it's really one of the best companies in the area, they should have no trouble finding someone else who fits the role and who actually wants to be there.

I wouldn't say anything about why you're declining unless they ask. Tell them you were really grateful for the opportunity to learn from them and that you enjoyed the experience. If they really press you for an explanation, just say you're interested in exploring new opportunities. This is ambiguous enough to not come across as insulting or arrogant.


You owe them utterly nothing.

If an offer comes, just politely say "no" to the offer.

"If this happens, how can I reject it without showing arrogancy or looking like that I'm not grateful with the internship?"

The answer is "be polite", couldn't be simpler.

Simply compose sentences where you combine the three thoughts:

  • no
  • thanks for the offer
  • gratitude for working here


"Ah, I'm pursuing other opportunities, so I'll pass on this offer, but thanks! It's been fantastic working here, the best internship ever! Thanks again!"

It's that easy.

(Never, ever, ever explain yourself as to "why you don't" want an offer or "what your alternative is". Don't say a word about it. Use phrase like "following other opportunities" or "working in another field".)

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