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background: I'm having a two semester long internship with a local small (only 2 formal employees including the boss, and the rest of the 10 people are all student interns like me) financial consulting company. I told them that I'm willing to work 18 hours a week every week during this semester. However, I didn't realize that my classes this semester are hard and I have to put in more hours for studying. I speak to the boss last week asking for reducing my hour to 12 hours per week and she literally insulted me because of this, saying that I'm breaking my promise and she refuse to do so. The work I've done so far are scanning documents, preparing mails and checks, and simple data entry to excel sheets, which I do feel is a waste of my time. Also my boss, as you may tell, is very emotional and demanding. The problem is I'm also trying to find a summer internship next summer and I feel that it will be consider bad to quit an internship within a month, but I really think that I can use these time to do things more useful and relevant to me.

I'd appreciate any ideas/opinions on whether or not I should quit my internship. I don't know how to address this to my boss neither, as she is very emotional and irritable. Thank you :)

  • Are your duties in line with the expectations you were given before starting the job? – P. Hopkinson Sep 8 at 19:39
  • Are you paid? Are you paid a pittance? Given most employees are interns a pittance seems likely. Hand in your notice and walk away. – Solar Mike Sep 9 at 6:17
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A intern quitting the job to focus on studying is pretty understandable. Sure, it will look a little weird the 1 month internship, but most recruiters will understand it was a question of priority, and a bad judgement on your part.

So, if you feel the internship will jeopardize your degree, you should definetly quit it, although this is a decision we can't make for you.

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As a rule of thumb you should prioritise your degree ahead of almost anything else.

Depending on your location studying can be extremely expensive. Speaking from experience, a 3-year degree in the UK cost me ~£87k due to a combination of tuition fees (9k per year) and lost earning potential (£20k per year). Add to this the amount of time that it takes to study (time within which you can't reasonably expect to buy a property etc).

In contrast your internship is worth.... £7k wages, maximum? Plus it gives you some photocopying xp and adds a reference to your CV. Experience and a reference are not to be underestimated but you could obtain them cheaply at a later date.

Your numbers probably look a bit different to the ones I've thrown around but it is likely that the money generated by the internship pales into insignificance in comparison to the time and money you have already invested into your degree. Thus, if your job is jeopardising the degree then the job needs to go.

Disclaimer: you need to make a judgement call. My answer will be incorrect in some situations. For example, if you need the money from working to stay afloat, or if the degree is worthless (e.g. if you are studying Fake News at Trump University then maybe you should keep the internship and bin the degree).

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It sounds like you already know the answer and you just want us to agree with you that you should quit.

First, I've never heard of a company which is almost completely run by interns. Normally an internship is a two-way relationship in which you learn about your chosen field, and they get a low-cost employee. The value proposition is usually based on what you're learning and how little you're making.

In your case, it sounds like you are nothing more than a clerk, not that there is anything wrong with being a clerk, but I doubt you are going to college to learn how to effectively scan documents. If you're going to college to learn what you're doing, quit college. I suspect you aren't going to college to be a data entry clerk, so don't quit college.

Now for the next bit. Are you breaking your promise? Well, did they misrepresent the internship? Did they know what you're attending college to learn and is your work the least bit relevant? Sounds like the answer is "No", so perhaps they misrepresented the internship and you need to be very direct with this boss -- you feel the work is completely unrelated to your degree program and remaining as an intern furthers neither your education nor your career goals.

I did a brief "internship" when I was an undergrad. The university I attended need some software written, I was studying CompSci, I had experience, I was willing to work on the cheap, so I did. Because it was relevant to my degree, it wasn't all that much of a bother. That's how an internship should work out -- you get enough benefit that the hours are less imposing than working at a completely unrelated job.

If I were in your situation I wouldn't have mentioned the hours at all. The work is unrelated to your chosen degree field, and the hours you are working provide no benefit to your degree. The End.

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