I completed a 13 week internship over the summer. I was offered, and accepted, an extension part time into the fall. However, I did not expect school commitments to take up as much time as they do, and I don't want my grades to suffer because of my internship. I do enjoy the internship and it is a company I'd like to work for when I graduate, so I don't want to quit improperly.

How can I end my internship early without burning bridges?

closed as off-topic by Masked Man, HorusKol, Chris E, gnat, Retired Codger Sep 8 '16 at 20:55

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  • What's the reason not to continue the part time intern? You said I did not expect school commitments to take up as much time as they do. So, the PT job should not impact the grades. – scaaahu Sep 8 '16 at 14:13
  • School commitments take up more time than I expected, meaning I do not have as much time as I anticipated to study, complete homework, etc. – SVN600 Sep 8 '16 at 14:17
  • Just for clarification: are you still on an internship or are you a part-time employee now? – Erik Sep 8 '16 at 14:35
  • I'm still on the internship – SVN600 Sep 8 '16 at 14:36

It's wise you're thinking about your grades first, because your study should be your priority. Discuss this with the company, they'll understand the issue.

Maybe you can ask to work less hours at your internship and extend the internship period to catch up with the hours. That way you complete the internship but just over a larger time period.

  • Why should study be the priority? Isn't the point of school to get a job which apparently the OP just got? – user42272 Sep 8 '16 at 19:37
  • @djechlin No, the OP has an internship, a short term position. Internships are normally for no pay or a small stipend as a learning experience and to be able to put on your resume. They also act as a opportunity to get your foot in the door, make yourself known to the company, and sometimes for them to line up to hire you when you graduate, but it is not the job itself. – dlb Sep 8 '16 at 20:09
  • @djechlin the OP has an internship and wants to work for that company in the future. But if this internship will cause bad grades for his study, he won't even graduate & find a job at all. That's why his study should be the priority. – Luchadora Sep 10 '16 at 11:59

If you truly feel you cannot balance the internship and school you need to communicate that to them honestly. It can go good or bad depending on the style of the person you answer to over there.

On one hand it shows you are dedicated to your schooling, are cognizant of the negative effect(s) it could have for your future if your schooling failed and are learning important lessons like not overextending yourself and balancing commitments - which you will need to learn when you are in the work force. You can ask to shorten the hours and extend the internship, or they may just end it right there since you have already done 13 weeks, it is not like you just started and then got cold feet. Communicate the fact you are still growing, and would very much like to continue in some capacity and that it doesn't blacklist you or look bad.

On the other hand, it highlights the lack of critical thinking, forward planning and over-committing, which honestly should be expected - you're in school still, not experienced with life in the grand scheme of things. So if that manager happens to be harder on the approach they can get you blacklisted or complain to the school if that is how your got the internship.

I wouldn't worry about the bad results - but it is worth mentioning. Honesty is key and I would focus on school, who cares if you burn a bridge on the way to a degree, internships are nothing like the real thing anyway so don't have any qualms no what happens or what you choose. Either way you do not want to overcommit and burn yourself out.


Just my opinion, but most companies would understand. If they extended your internship they likely have a high opinion of your effort. Explaining that your workload this semester is simply heavier than you anticipated, but you would love to come back next break if they had an opening would likely ease any misgivings on their side. If it did not, that is if they held it against you, then it might not be someplace you wanted to work after graduation after all. The fact that you even feel concern and want to talk to them will go a long way with many people. Pointing out that you do not want either your work in school, nor your efforts with them to suffer likewise can win points with many. But how it will strike one individual is always anyone's guess.

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