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I am a student with an internship at a predominate tech company. ~4 years ago, before I had my internship, I had a summer job at another company as a non-tech person, but they also have a tech side too. Since during that summer job, I was also going to school for a tech degree, there was talk of me someday moving to that side. However, at the end of the summer, I chose to end my employment there for a variety of reasons, which were explained, and I left on good terms.

Fast forward, and I recently got a message with a generic "Hi! How's the internship going?"

Now, to me, based on previous experience, this is a message designed to feel out if I might be a potential employee soon, since I will graduate this year. Which, would be easy enough to respond to, however, my internship currently has some potential caveats.

Specifically, due to hiring restrictions, it is currently extremely unlikely that I will get hired on after I graduate. However, there may be a work-around for this by me going further in my education. This is something I've discussed with my manager when it was proposed to me, and details are being looked into.

I do want to stay with my current company, if possible. And would look into other departments if the new internship thing falls through. Also, doing the new internship greatly increases the probability of getting hired when I get my graduate degree.

So, in the end, the internship is going great, but that seems too sparse of an answer.

So, in the end, I'd like my message back to convey that things are going well, but I also might be interested in the future. Or, in other words, I don't want to close the door, but I also don't really want to open it wide. I want it to be more of a, check back in a few months.

I've thought something like:

Hi! The internship is going well. [Semi-vague explanation of furthering education to keep interning].

My question is: Does this work? Should I add something? Remove something? What's the best way to respond to this?

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    This is really unclear. You jump around a lot, it's not really clear if you're a student or working PT or FT. I was basically able to answer from your title but would appreciate an edit where it's clear 1) what your status is, 2) what you received, and 3) your objective (which I understand is messy but at least the conflicting goals can be clear.) – user42272 Mar 18 '17 at 5:39
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    +1 because I could answer from title and I found it interesting, but your question might not be well received because of body. – user42272 Mar 18 '17 at 5:40
  • @djechlin, I feel like those questions are answered in the first sentence and 7th paragraph. – David Mar 18 '17 at 5:52
  • if that's really the objective it should be the first paragraph. and status still unclear. – user42272 Mar 18 '17 at 5:54
  • Hi are you me? :) I overthink things like it's my job and I think you do too. It's perfectly okay to say things are going well, talk about a couple of things you like about your internship, and ask how things are going at $company – Mel Reams Mar 18 '17 at 6:54
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Fast forward, and I recently got a message with a generic "Hi! How's the internship going?"

  1. Briefly
  2. Positively
  3. Sound slightly more available than not (if true)

Just as far as communication protocol goes, if he initiated this much, he's also the one to follow up with a more useful question than a generic scope-out, or possibly some useful information. You don't stand to gain much by supplying information until he's made it relevant. Especially because you're pretty uncertain what you want to share with him (so share very little until he does.) If you reached out to him, the opposite would be true and these questions would be a bit trickier. Fortunately, you have the easy role for the moment.

As for "slightly more available than not", the following will do:

  • "Thinking about graduation!"
  • "Wrapping up my studies."
  • So, how would you respond? Part of the trickiness (in my mind) is that there's not been any explicit "offer", I just have a good idea as to why the message was sent. – David Mar 18 '17 at 5:25
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    @David three.sentenc.es I would seriously recommend trying to put this together yourself. The "briefly" part is the secret to making it easy. – user42272 Mar 18 '17 at 5:26
  • Thanks. I'm not accustomed to having to write between the lines. – David Mar 18 '17 at 20:25
  • I'd go with the slightly longer "Wrapping up my studies and starting to think about future opportunities. How are things at __?", that will sound a bit more available/interested and less evasive/terse, and gives him a natural question to respond to. But it still does not offer him any specific info. You want to at least peak his interest so he shares more info. I think "Wrapping up my studies" on its own is perhaps a bit of a conversation ender. – WetlabStudent Mar 25 at 6:07
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"Hi! How's the internship going?"

I would suggest something along the lines of:

It's going great! I'm working on x at the moment, it's good, challenging work that I'm really enjoying. How are things at y?

In my mind, in addition to the positive and brief elements, firing a question back at them to show your interest is always a good thing to do. If nothing else it's polite, and provides a good platform for them if they do wish to enquire about your availability (now or in the future.)

Of course, the above may vary depending on the relationship you have with the person that sent the email - the tone of the email you received certainly sounds informal though.

  • Generally good response, but I'd delete the "working on x" part since it may be unrelated to what the other person is looking for. I'd go with, perhaps something like, "It's going great! At the moment I'm working on fun and challenging projects and starting to think a bit more about future opportunities. How are things at y?". If they then talk about an opportunity, you can change how you word X so it sounds more desirable to them in a follow up, if you it turns out you're interested. – WetlabStudent Mar 25 at 6:14

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