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I'm currently doing a summer internship until the beginning of September, and today I received a formal return offer for next summer. I only have until next Friday to respond, which is before my internship even ends. I don't want to have to consider the offer while under a lot of pressure (I have a lot of things to wrap up at my internship), so I would like to ask for an extra week or so to think about it. I was thinking of sending this email:

Hi Recruiter,

I received my offer letter through email yesterday, and since the deadline to respond is set before my internship ends, I was wondering if I could have a bit more time--perhaps after the end of my internship--to consider the offer.

Thank you!

ZebraSocks

Is this appropriate?

  • It's not. However I'd rather ask it in person then with a mail. – Jean-François Savard Aug 20 '15 at 17:17
  • It's not rude, but there is some risk of having the offer rescinded as a result. That risk, however, is pretty low when it comes to an obviously non essential position, such as an intern, or for positions way in advance, both of which apply in this case. – Kai Aug 20 '15 at 17:23
  • @Jean-Francois I can't ask in person, since the recruiter is at a site two hours away. :/ – ZebraSocks Aug 20 '15 at 17:23
  • @ZebraSocks Ok. To answer more your question : I was in a nearly same situation few years ago. I was offered a a job from the company where I was doing my internship only two weeks after I had started. I did ask for an extension to give an answer only at the end of my internship (3 months later) mentionning that I wanted to know more the company before I accept. I did get the extension, and the CEO did not look upset at all. Make sure you chose the right words while still beeing honest. – Jean-François Savard Aug 20 '15 at 17:27
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    @Jean-FrançoisSavard excellent, I shall proceed with caution! – ZebraSocks Aug 20 '15 at 17:32
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It's perfectly appropriate to ask for more time to consider an offer, as long as the extension you're asking for is within reason. Of course, you should always be prepared for the possibility that they might say no. It's also a good idea to mention the reason why you're asking for an extension, assuming that reason doesn't reflect badly on you or the company.

In your case I would ensure that your email contains the following:

  • express thanks for the offer: as Frisbee says this is quite the compliment
  • explain that you're inclined to accept (assuming that is the case)
  • explain your reason ask for an extension: "given how hectic things are while I'm wrapping up my final week I wanted to ask if it would be okay if we pushed the acceptance deadline an extra week so that I have enough time to make sure that I'll be available."
  • acknowledge that the deadline might be set in stone: "Of course if that's not possible on your end I'll make sure to get back to you before Friday/the Xth"

Now, I suggest bringing up that you're checking your availability for next summer because that gives you an alternative reason to ask for an extension. That's because no matter how you look at it, the fact that you need additional time to consider means that you're not completely sure that you'd want to return. If you love the work, look forward to coming back, don't have an alternative offer coming up in the near future and don't have a scheduling conflict for next summer then I would recommend simply accepting.

Note that a reasonable manager won't think it weird that you're not entirely sure yet. In fact, if you were asking for an extension face-to-face a good manager would probably ask you what concerns you have over coming back and try to work out what both of you want to get out of your next internship. I would actually recommend that you have this exact conversation with him before accepting as it's a good way to get aligned on your goals for next summer. For instance, if you felt like you were only doing low-level work and would like an opportunity to work on some higher-level stuff then that's something to bring up. It's not unreasonable to ask those questions when you're offered a second internship.

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To be offered a position for next year is compliment.

What you have to consider is they may be on a deadline to offer internships to schools and are willing to allocate a spot to you up front.

It is not rude to ask for an extension but I have to ask why you need a week? What is going to change in a week? It is not like you have other offers to consider.

As the company I would be thinking if he needs a week to decide then he is not excited about the opportunity. We are excited enough about this guy to offer him a position next year and he is clearly not as excited about us.

Let's say you have been dating a girl for the summer and need to back to school and 2 weeks before you go back you ask her if you can make plans for your first break from school - Thanks Giving. If she said I need a week to think about it would not be rude. But it is clear she does not consider you a keeper. You are sending the message you clearly are not excited about the company.

  • I'm not sure what you mean by "offer internships to schools," but I didn't think asking an extra week to decide is a long time, given the next internship doesn't start until June 2016. I just want to be clear headed, looking back at my experience, before making a decision. And I do realize that this is a good opportunity, which I'm very thankful for. I'm not trying to be ungrateful in the slightest. – ZebraSocks Aug 20 '15 at 17:28
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    Pretty simple. HR may be on a schedule they need to decide how man inter positions they need to fill for next summer. – paparazzo Aug 20 '15 at 17:34

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