I'm a rising junior that goes to a top tech school in the USA. I worked for a big tech company as an intern this summer and got a return internship offer for the summer of 2017. Thing is I have only 2 weeks (until the last week of August) from receiving the offer (that was 4 days ago) to sign it. First of all, is 2 weeks standard? Secondly, the school semester would not have even begun by then, which means I would not even have a chance to see what other companies are doing before making a choice. Is this normal? Or should they be giving more time, considering that school hasn't even started and that the internship is 8-9 months away? Thanks!

Also, I do love the company I worked at; it was fantastic. It's just that I feel scared graduating and yet not knowing what else is out there.

  • 1
    VTC - "What job to take" is off-topic for Workplace. As someone who grew up farming: Never try to top the market. You'll go broke waiting. Decide what it is you want, and take it when it's offered. Be happy after that. – Wesley Long Aug 11 '16 at 19:33
  • @WesleyLong yes, I'm more inclined to take the offer. I'd still like to know if this is a standard practice. Also, my question is less about choosing a job and more about the way offers work, if that makes sense! – Mathguy Aug 11 '16 at 19:38
  • What is a "rising junior"? – Nolo Problemo Aug 11 '16 at 20:52
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    @NoloProblemo Someone prior to starting their Junior year of school, usually used during the summer break. – Poolsharker Aug 11 '16 at 21:44

To answer some of your answerable questions:

is 2 weeks standard?

Yes. Offers usually have an expiration date. 2 weeks is very reasonable. Companies will sometimes push you to make a decision immediately or within 24 hours to prevent you from continuing to interview and potentially getting better offers.

Secondly, the school semester would not have even begun by then, which means I would not even have a chance to see what other companies are doing before making a choice. Is this normal?

This seems less normal to me. I don't have a ton of internship experience (either as an intern or hiring manager), however, asking you to make a decision 8-9 months in advance feels unusual to me.

As to the unanswerable question of "Should I take this job", there are lots of things to consider. It sounds like this is a good, respected company. You interned there and they immediately offered to have you intern again the following summer. They liked you. A lot.

Did you enjoy it? Would you want to work there again? Would you want to get hired there when you graduate?

If those things are all "Yes", strongly consider accepting their offer. There may be other opportunities available, but if you like the one you have, what are you hoping to gain by looking and maybe finding something better or maybe finding something much, much worse.

If any of those are "No", strongly consider declining their offer. They are a known quantity that you aren't super interested in. There are lots of other big tech companies. They will also likely desire your skills and pedigree. It may be worth keeping your options open.

  • Wanted to piggyback off of Chris' reply, the fact that HR, or the company's equivalent made the active decision to retain your services in advance would signal that they have long-term plans for you. At the end of the day, the offer in of itself is a little rushed in my opinion, but having a job lined up after graduation is far better than the potential for other offers. On this note, if they really like you, you can ask if they would be willing to keep the offer open until the end of the semester. As you am unsure if you that far into the future. Summer school perhaps? – Frank FYC Aug 11 '16 at 20:38
  • To add on: I was given a return internship offer (at a big tech company) and I was told to email them in late Fall/early Winter to let them know I wanted to return. Emphasis on if you can see yourself working there after you graduate go for it, otherwise I would suggest "not putting your eggs in one basket" so to speak. – amza Aug 11 '16 at 21:04

It is not about evaluating your options.

You a have an offer and two weeks to decide. That a reasonable period of time to make a decision.

If your decision is that you would rather evaluate your options then fine.

Let's say you ask a girl to the prom and she says I need to think about it. Then the next day you asked her and she says I need to think some more. Then the next day she say she still needs more time. You ask why and she says I need to see if I get a better offer.

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