There are various research oriented companies where I'd like to do an internship and possibly come back for a full-time position later when I finished my academic education. However, most of those companies explicitly state that they don't offer internships.

On one hand, I'm very interested in gaining experience in the fields of those companies. On the other hand, it seems wrong to apply with having in mind to quit after 6 months or a year. Also, when I want to come back later for a real full-time employment, my chances might be smaller.

Is it acceptable practice to apply for full-time positions and quit after a year or earlier? What would be the implications?

  • So, that 6 months or a year employment you were talking about, would be while you're at college?
    – Dawny33
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 14:54
  • @Dawny33 Nope it would be between bachelors and masters.
    – danijar
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 14:56
  • 2
    Company may not like it but on a resume it looks fine. If you left on good terms I suspect most would consider you after you got a masters. Maybe leave out that you planned the masters all along with you resign.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 15:15
  • Thanks for all the good thoughts. Bottom line, as expected, don't do it.
    – danijar
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 9:35
  • Companies use contractors for 6 month or one year periods. Maybe the company's understanding of internship is something other than a year-long contract, so they would be open to it.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 19:59

2 Answers 2


Is it acceptable practice to apply for full-time positions and quit after a year or earlier?

No Most companies don't appreciate it. But, if you can manage to convince them that you would be indeed joining the company after education, then they might. But trust me, they wouldn't get convinced most of the time(sadly).

What would be the implications?

Unfortunately, there aren't many. But. these are some ways which I can think of, which happen at my company, which might help you:

  1. Work Part time from college after the 6 months: Companies do appreciate that. One of my colleagues is working part-time in a position, which he worked in, during his 4 months stint at the company. He is pursuing his education parallelly, and would join the company full-time after college. So, if you are interested, you might want to ask the company whether they can allow such practice.
  2. Ask them for an unpaid intern: Some companies agree if the internship is unpaid, as they have nothing to lose. So, they might take you in as an unpaid intern as interns are one of the best ways to get things done for peanuts. So, try asking them regarding this.
  • 2
    It depends on what the typical turnover rate is like for a particular industry, but I would say leaving after a year is fine, but less than a year no. Companies do spend time and effort to interview candidates, and once hired, to train them as well. To leave in 6 months would feel like a waste of time for the company and they would probably blacklist you.
    – jingtao
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 16:24
  • @jingtao Those are some nice points there.
    – Dawny33
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 16:25

Is it acceptable practice to apply for full-time positions and quit after a year or earlier? What would be the implications?

I don't know of any companies in my field and locale that would think this was an acceptable course of action.

It's almost virtually certain that none of them would hire you back when you finished your academic education. And it's unlikely you would get a good referral if they found out your intent.

It's your professional reputation, and you could play any games you like. But if you go this route, you might wish to keep your true intentions to yourself.

  • 1
    Also, junior employees and interns will be treated differently in many important ways. Joining for the short term in the hopes of gaining internship like experience will leave the OP deeply disappointed and without future job prospects at that company.
    – Eric
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 1:18

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