My professor of computer science sent out a job posting in programming, as they needed more technical people. I called, asked about the job, and he said it would fulfill a computer science requirement as an elective for credits. Which was the selling point. Interviewed, got the job, all of that was fine.

Later, I contact my computer science adviser who said it will not count for any requirements, because it is technically an internship, and the computer science department does not count that for anything. It only counts for empty credits.

As such, I really do not want to participate in the internship now; it simply is not lucrative. However, I have already accepted the job and been working here a week.

Is there any polite way to leave a job this early?

  • 1
    Is it really so horrible that you want to give up some pre-graduation experience that you can use as a reference when you do finally graduate? I'd think carefully... Jul 3 '14 at 17:27
  • I'm the most technically skilled person at the job, which means I am not learning as much as I could. I mostly decided to take this job to expedite my graduation by fulfilling requirements. On top of that, there's an initial hit of paying for the credits ($1k). If the credits will not benefit me in any way, I feel like it's something of a waste.
    – Crow
    Jul 3 '14 at 18:17

"he said it would fulfill a computer science requirement as an elective for credits"

Do you have that in writing? Even if not, you might be able to hold him to it. I'm going to take a wild guess that the professor can overrule your adviser to make it happen if it means keeping you in the job. I'd at least explore the possibility since it was what brought you there in the first place.

Explain the situation to the professor and ask him if he can make it happen, that your requirement will be fulfilled. Get everything in writing (email) so you have a record of what was promised in case the school tries to back out later.


Since you have been mislead about the benefits that this job will report you, of course there is a polite way (in fact, apart from quit while yelling obsceninities and stealing office equipment, I cannot think of an impolite way to quit).

Put it simply to your professor: you want to get your credits and while you are working there you are missing opportunities to get your credits elsewhere, or use the time to study. Now that you have found about his mistake (to put it "politely"), you think it is in the best interest of both that you leave immediately (so they can begin training a new intern who is interested in staying longer).

If you want the "extra polite", tell him about the issue and give him a short term (3 or 4 lective days) to let him try to navigate the bureaucracy and try to get an arrangement that would be satisfactory for you.

Note: my witty remarks (including the bold "his") are for use in this post, and not to be expressed towards the professor. Try to avoid finger-pointing (he should realize by himself whose mistake is) and keep positive (No "you told me that" but "I need to get that")

  • Just mentioning leaving a job early is almost always due to differences in expectations. This being a perfect example. You were provided the expectation this would count, it does not, therefore your expectations of your employer are not being met. This is a perfectly valid reason to discontinue employment and it's perfectly fair to explain this to your employer at the time you notify them you intend to end your employment. Jul 3 '14 at 17:37

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