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I am apart of a program where students at my university are referred by the university to businesses related to our degrees for a full time job for part of the year (in three month periods, twice a year). The university does not assign students, just provides our resumes to companies, meaning that we still need to compete and be hired. I was referred to my current company from my school, which I am still attending.

Recently, a friend of mine, who attends a different school and will be in town for the summer, asked if I could provide his resume to my boss, since we are currently hiring. However, my boss is currently looking at more students from my university to employ, using the provided referral service from the school.

These people have been classmates with me. Getting a job is necessary for us to graduate. Because of these reasons, I feel like referring my personal friend from another university feels like I am making it harder for people from my institutions to be considered and hired. In a way, I feel like this could be a kind of betrayal to my school and its program.

At the same time, these jobs are "real jobs." They're not special internships from the school, but paid positions with the expectation that when students graduate, if all has gone well with the experience, they will be hired full-time. So encountering competition is not something that should be unusual or unfair.

My question is: is it appropriate in this context to refer a personal friend when my employer is currently considering classmates from my university's program that I was hired from?

To keep this question from being too specific, I feel like answers to this could apply to other situations in which people have conflicting parties vying for the same position.

  • Though I doubt it'll be relevant or change your answer, I would like to say that I am still currently at this university. – user19996 May 3 '17 at 19:13
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There is no conflict here.

If you think your friend is worthy of a referral, give a referral.

If one of your classmates asks for a referral and is worthy of a referral, give a referral.

Let the company sort out who the best candidates are.

You are under no obligation to your University to try and prevent your company from hiring qualified candidates in order to bolster the chances of candidates from your University. Additionally, your employer would certainly frown on it, as it puts them at a disadvantage.

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is it appropriate in this context to refer a personal friend when my employer is currently considering classmates from my university's program that I was hired from?

Yes it's completely appropriate.

Your boss can always decide to reject your friend if the university isn't to his liking. But it shouldn't hurt anyone to hand his your friend's resume. From a hiring manager's point of view more is almost always better.

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