I'm a third year computer science student in Switzerland. On 13th December, I sent my CV to a company to apply to do a bachelor's project under their wing, this has been done in the past with varying results.

Our academic deadline for project subscription was set to the 23rd December, and said company only replied on the 27th, saying they were interested and offering an interview (practical test followed by oral interview). Except that I had to find another project in the meantime, which is with a major research institution and the subject is highly interesting to me.

How do I explain this to the company without sounding ungrateful ? This company highly interests me and I'd like to do an internship with them after my bachelor is finished (fall this year), meaning I'd still like to go through their interview process, but not for a bachelor's project but for a fully fledged internship.

What's the safest way to express this ?

  • Just mention that you had to move forward with your alternate choice due to the school’s deadline for a project selection. They don’t need to know they were actually the alternate choice. This will indicate that if they want to participate in the program in the future that deadlines are important. 10 days is more than enough time that’s more than an entire work week. It was 7 days, 9 if you include, the 13th and 23rd. They knew almost immediately if they wanted to move forward with you or not. They indecisiveness was their fault
    – Donald
    Commented Dec 31, 2021 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


The slight problem you have here is that you sent your CV to them pretty late in business terms - while I'm well aware students tend to do things at the last minute (and I did the same when I was a student so I'm in no position to criticise here!), 10 days is not nearly enough time to expect a company to respond to a project application, particularly in the lead up to Christmas.

That said, you just need to play round that a bit:

Dear <person at company>,

Many thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, I've been offered and accepted a different project opportunity in the meantime so will have to pass on your company at this stage.

I do remain very interested in what your company does, and would be interested in doing an internship with you after my degree. Could you let me know if that is something your company supports, and if so what the timescales are for applications?

Many thanks,


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