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I have recently secured an internship position, and I was offered a salary rate for the duration as well as a signing bonus. I received the offer around October last year, with a start date during the spring semester. The sign-on bonus was to be paid out within a month of the start date after accepting the offer (which is in a couple weeks). However, I have not received this yet, and I am not sure how to ask for this without sounding rude. I have already accepted the offer early enough

I have had some issues with the onboarding process, so I believe the firm may have some issues with processes/administrative capacities, which is understandable, and that may be contributing to the sign-on bonus processing. I want to know how/what to ask if the sign-on bonus is not paid even a couple weeks into the internship, without sounding ungrateful or rude (I am very excited for the internship and grateful for the opportunity).

If anyone else has had to tiptoe across such situations, I would be interested to ask how to best approach the topic after already having had the back-and-forth of onboarding issues (related to onboarding technical issues/incorrect dates the company sent me/etc.).

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  • Is this a small company, or a large, name, company ?
    – Fattie
    Jan 21 at 13:48
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TLDR: Either ask your supervisor or just wait until after the expected date to follow up.

As someone just joining the work force I apologise if I am mentioning things you already know but I will assume you know as much as I did when I joined as a graduate.

Payroll, expenses, salary - all those things that require payment from the company to you will go through on a regular schedule. This might be once a month, once a fortnight, once a week depending on the company. The reason I mention this is because any payments will not be determined by the person who has authorised them but by payroll.

Another thing to note is that companies pay people differently. Some pay you in advance (you get paid before you work the time), some pay in arrears (you get paid after you work the time), some pay both in arrears and in advance.

Now the importance of the above information in this scenario is highlighting that your bonus will be subject to specific rules set by the company that happen month in and month out.

So now looking at your specific scenario - you have been told your signing on bonus will be paid in the first month. Now rather than that specifically meaning that it will be paid literally inside the first month of work it more likely means it will go through with your first month of payroll. This could go through anytime in the month.

Because of this it might be worth talking to your supervisor and asking when does payroll/bonuses go through as they will probably have experience with the company workings.

But in general I wouldn't worry too much. It will go through when it goes through and chasing someone up will not make it get processed faster but could draw attention to the fact that rather than thinking about your first month of work you are thinking about your signing bonus.

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    If it has been “lost” then it will never “go through” unless you chase it.
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 21 at 6:38
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    True, but the time to chase is after it hasn’t gone through. By your logic you should chase your salary before it goes through so as not to lose it. Nowhere in the question does it seem that the salary is lost.
    – sam_smith
    Jan 21 at 6:44
  • @SolarMike - It's not clear when the spring semester starts for the author. Unless that has happened the bonus simply hasn't been paid since the author has not started at the company.
    – Donald
    Jan 21 at 15:05
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It's not rude or ungrateful to ask someone to give you what they promised to give you. If after 2 weeks into the internship you haven't received the signing bonus I would bring it up to my immediate manager or supervisor and pursue it from there.

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