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I am currently interviewing with a company who is asking me to provide references for them to call. I am thinking of asking my supervisor from my most recent internship for a reference because I don't have many other options, but don't know what the etiquette surrounding this is. They gave me a return offer but are aware that I am actively interviewing. Our industry is fairly competitive though, so I'm not too sure if it is too bold a move to ask for a reference so that I can apply for a competing firm.

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The only reasons not to ask for a reference would be:

  1. You suspect you'd get a poor reference from them.
  2. You have a reason to suspect that a reference request would burn your bridges completely with your current company.
  3. They are unaware you're interviewing and you don't want them to know.

Otherwise it is quite normal to ask your previous manager to act as a reference. In many places they want your last employer to be one of your references. I know from what you say at least on thing on the list doesn't apply in your case.

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Is it reasonable to ask for a reference from your internship supervisor who wants you to return?

It's completely reasonable.

Assuming you did a good job during your internship, most supervisors would be happy to give you a great reference.

I know I always did.

While supervisors would like good interns to stay, most understand that it doesn't always work out that way and would be happy to help anyway.

It always made me feel good when our interns went on to do great things, no matter where they went.

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  • Not everyone is you, believe me when I say - most of them are not like you. :) Oct 20, 2022 at 8:50
  • Most, as per your experience. What I've seen (and heard, firsthand or otherwise) is that, if you are trying to get a job somewhere else, then they take it as waste of effort training you, and that you are not "loyal" (whatever that means). P.S. - I'm in India. Oct 20, 2022 at 11:21
  • Right, and that was the base of my first comment. :) Oct 20, 2022 at 11:26
  • That’s why people should always mention their country.
    – gnasher729
    Oct 21, 2022 at 7:25

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