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This summer I was planning on returning to a large software company (Company A) for a second year of internship. Between when my prior internship ended and the present I've since partnered with someone incredibly intelligent and have formed a company. We've been accepted to a startup incubator, have an excellent network, and have been doing extremely well in all the competitions. Funding is beginning to roll in, and I find that I am no longer interested in interning with Company A.

The timeline looks something like this:

  • Late Summer 2016- When asked if I was interested in interning at Company A in 2017 I said "yes"
  • Early Jan- Company A paperwork finalized, offer letter received and accepted.
  • Late Jan- Met with (now) co-founders
  • Mar- Accepted to accelerator, offers for funding begin to roll in
  • Now- Funding continues to pile up and competitions continue to be won. Other founders are turning down offers for summer internships/full-time positions

I realize that this seems sudden, but assuming that I intend to "quit" my internship, how can I so in such a way to preserve my relationship with Company A? They have a reputation for hiring those who intern with them, but at the same time I've heard that being associated with startups can hurt your chances with established companies.

I have an excellent relationship with the HR person who works closest with the interns, so it wouldn't be out of place for me to ask for a phone call with her.

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assuming that I intend to "quit" my internship, how can I so in such a way to preserve my relationship with Company A?

You might not be able to, but could.

Let them know as soon as possible that your circumstances have changed though. Do not drag this out for longer than it needs to. You seem to have come across a good opportunity that you shouldn't pass on so let Company A know as soon as possible to prevent any further wasting of their time and yours.

It depends what the common courteous thing to do at that particular company is, but generally, write a letter and hand it to your manager or higher up so to speak explaining (simply) you wish to move onto another opportunity and thank them for the time they have invested in you so far.

At the end of the day, it's business. It's not friends and family here, you shouldn't need to worry about a company being upset of someone leaving. There have been occasions when people have left within minutes of joining a company or never even showed up. It happens, it's not fantastic but it does.

Tell them, thank them and wish them well.

That's all you can do and if they're reasonable, they'll appreciate the notice. If they're not, then why would you want to work there in the future?

  • Exactly make it short, courteous and professional. If you have started a company and are doing well, nobody there would begrudge you pursuing that opportunity and they won't miss an intern anyway. – Alper Jul 27 '18 at 9:48

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