I'm currently three months into a four month internship, and there are rumours that my tutor could get fired in the near future. I'm obviously concerned about how this could affect my internship, but I don't know who and what to ask in order to understand what could happen - I obviously don't think I can directly approach my tutor about this as it's his job which is on the line, and equally I don't know who else in the company to approach or what to say to them given this is all rumours at the moment.

What approach can I take to find out what will happen to my internship, or do I just have to wait and see if my tutor does get fired and see what happens then?

  • 1
    "How this can affect me and my internship?" We don't know. "Am I gonna get fired too?" Almost certainly not. "Can tutorship be passed to someone else?" Probably, but we don't know. "Are the processes of firing someone long enough for me to pass through?" We don't know - voting to close as this is specific to your company. There's probably a question in here somewhere about how to handle this situation, but as written this question isn't it, sorry. – Philip Kendall Oct 4 '16 at 11:11
  • 2
    @Lilienthal I don't think "ask your company" is necessarily easy in this case - who should they ask, and how do you phrase the question given this is all rumours at the moment? Time for a bold edit - everyone please hold off on the close votes for a few minutes... – Philip Kendall Oct 4 '16 at 11:23
  • 2
    "Time for a bold edit - everyone please hold off on the close votes for a few minutes" That's a sign we should mass-close as unclear... Close votes aren't downvotes and have a defined purpose. As-written the question isn't suitable so it should be closed asap, mainly to prevent low-quality or incorrect answers and so the OP and community can see what needs to be changed. – Lilienthal Oct 4 '16 at 12:00
  • 2
    @Dan Probably, but that doesn't really matter. Frankly, this is all hearsay so OP should just wait it out. – Lilienthal Oct 4 '16 at 12:10
  • 2
    @PhilipKendall Thanks for the edit. It really got what i was trying to ask. – Askerad Oct 5 '16 at 8:26

I would advise against prodding anyone for information regarding your future. Acting on rumors, especially serious ones such as this, is rarely a good idea, and you have no political clout to get involved in this game.

It is unlikely they'll terminate your internship before the time is up, especially since there's only a month left. If your tutor goes before then, you will most likely be assigned to someone else, just like any other project. Yeah, it sucks, but you're something between a resource and a project, so there we go.

When you get assigned to a new tutor, they will be the one making a decision when your time is up. Your job is to incline them to your favour. Since they (officially) know nothing about what you've been working on, start documenting everything you've done so far, and keep that dossier updated until someone's time comes to find a new job. This will also help you should your current tutor remain an employee for the duration of your stay.

To summarize:

  • Keep calm and document.
  • Do not broach the subject of people getting fired.
  • Your own tenure is up for review soon, get focused on that

Good luck

  • 2
    +1 for the Acting on rumors paragraph. This is essential, it would have been my first paragraph. – user8036 Oct 4 '16 at 14:20

Firstly, do not address this with your tutor directly. If you can feel how much the weight of losing an internship, you can imagine the weight of losing a full time job in your chosen career.

Secondly, you have an opportunity to approach someone else you'd like to work with, particularly if it is a colleague of your current tutor. Be careful--you do not want to jump ship early. You will appear opportunistic and disloyal. But you can and should establish a relationship so there's an obvious place for you to go. When a firing is taking place, the fate of an intern is not given much thought. Use that to your advantage by approaching someone you have established a relationship with once the new hits, and simply handing this solution over to management. Handing someone a form to sign is far better than handing them a problem to solve.

Failing that, don't fall by the wayside. Your only job once the news hits is to find a new tutor. Unless someone is looking for something particular, any other tasks you've been working on can wait.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.