I applied to two CO-OP positions at the same company and I have already been interviewed for the first position.

A few days later I received an offer but I realized that this is does not align with what I would like to do. I feel it would be a waste of both my potential and time.

I am a computer science major and the offer that I received is a position for testing and debugging which I feel is more of a MIS or IT related position, whereas the position that I am more interested in is the development aspect of Software Engineering.

I have verbally accepted the first offer but I have not signed anything, although they have sent me the contract by email.

The other CO-OP opportunity has been removed but they have recently re-posted it as an Internship.

I am unsure of how I should handle the situation. I would like to call the HR manager tomorrow morning and speak of my concern with her so that I could interview for the other position.

I am afraid of the HR managers reaction, although she seems nice. I am afraid because I have wasted the hiring managers time for the interview and the HR manager who was working on my paperwork today.

What are the potential issues I could face by rejecting this offer and applying for another opportunity with the same company, and likely the same people?

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    Testing and debugging are part of the software development process..."I am a computer science major and the offer that i received is a position for testing and debugging which is more of a MIS or IT related position while the position that i am more interested in is Software Engineering." This is just plain incorrect. Do the co-op position you got. I feel you will learn something. – MobileFire May 7 '13 at 5:07
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    your post is rather hard to read (wall of text). Would you mind editing it into a better shape? – gnat May 7 '13 at 5:11
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    Why do you want just end your job hunting at UPS? You could try for other companies before the deadline to accept the existing offer. – samarasa May 7 '13 at 5:27
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    Hi user2122810, i edited your question to make it easier to read and to change the focus of the question onto your underlying concerns, this is more suited for the site than the original question which seemed to be asking for career advice. Hope this helps and welcome to the site! – Rhys May 7 '13 at 9:35
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    You don't know that you'd even get an offer on the other position if you turned down the first one. Are you ok with the idea you might not get the other job after you turn down the first job? – Amy Blankenship May 7 '13 at 20:59

What are the potential issues I could face by rejecting this offer and applying for another opportunity with the same company, and likely the same people?

Potentially, you could face any of the following:

  • Nothing. The company understands that these things happen, and treats the new opportunity all on its own
  • Dislike. The company may not like you changing your mind on a verbal acceptance, but offer no resistance.
  • Rejection. The company may conclude that you aren't mature enough to work there, or that you are "flighty", and thereby choose to withdraw any offers.

It's hard to tell which would apply in your specific case, and it's unfortunate you hadn't made this decision before you verbally accepted the first offer. Calling the HR manager, being honest in your explanation, and living with the consequences makes the most sense.

When I have hired interns in the past, maturity was near the top of the list of attributes I sought. Once you changed your mind on a verbal acceptance from me, I'd make sure you were never invited back to my company. But that's just me. It may or may not be the same in the company you are targeting.

Full disclaimer: I run a QA Team. Your comment about the "position for testing and debugging which I feel is more of a MIS or IT related position" tells me that you don't understand testing in general (which unfortunately isn't uncommon with college students). You may be right that in this particular company the testing/debugging position is part of a different group than development positions, but that's not the case in places where I have worked. I don't think your opinion on testing/debugging has colored my answer in any way, but I felt it was necessary for me to be completely transparent here. This might help: http://www.allthingsquality.com/2010/04/hiring-qa-interns.html

Good luck!

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    This is a good answer, but could you add something about there is a good possibility that the company won't even interview or offer for the second position? They may not withdraw offers just because he is flighty, but because he simply isn't the best choice for the other job. Flighty is a good reason to not offer it IF they were considering him, but he has no guarantees that he's even a likely candidate for the other job. – thursdaysgeek May 7 '13 at 22:27

As far as the two jobs at the same place. If you have verbally accepted the offer, I personally would not consider you for the other job. You need to be mature enough to live with the results of your choices and you chose to verbally accept the offer. If you turn it down, you have likely burned your bridges at that employer and probably for the future as well as right now. You may also find out it is a small world out there and you have burned your bridges with people who are friends of the hiring manager as well at other companies. People don't like someone who agrees to come on board and then change their minds before they show up as it creates extra work for them.

On a side note:

Don't think either position is going to give you amzing interesteing thigns to do. People rarely give the hard development tasks to interns as they have the lowest set of skills and are least likely to succeed, so even in the development shop you are likely to have tasks you think are beneath you. We certainly don't give them the kinds of tasks that will make or break the product or that will go to the client.

And in the real world you can't just work on what you want to anad what you personally find interesting. All those other pesky things like debugging and testing and cleaning up bad data and maintaining legacy applications wrtitten 15 years ago in technologies you never heard of are all things you may have to do. You will probably also have to fill in timesheets, and make copies and attend meetings. There is no reason to give you something better to do until you prove yoursef to me with the less difficult tasks. People who wont do the less popular tasks, make a bad impression with the boss and don't get the interesting work later. People who whine that stuff is beneath them can easily find that no one wants to work with them.

If you think testing and debugging is beneath you, I wouldn't hire you for any development position as 100% of these jobs require these skills. A chance to concentrate on those things and get good at them will help you in any future job.

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  • Sorry but i'm a junior from a good university with a 4.0 GPA so yes i think it's beneath me. – user2122810 May 9 '13 at 15:09
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    Big deal, no one gives a rap about your GPA or the university you attended. We just know you are junior and thus get junior tasks. CEOs at lot of companies make copies occasionally and do things you would consider beneath you. You aren't anything special, lose the attitude if you want to be successful. – HLGEM May 9 '13 at 17:58

this will almost certainly get you dropped as a candidate and have you flagged as do not hire. I can't speak universally. However, HR does not want to deal with this. Few candidates are valuable enough where they want to deal with this.

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