I'm currently a junior in college and am in an unpaid internship position for the summer. The internship started six weeks ago, and is slated to end the third week of August - therefore I'm about half way through the internship at the moment. I'm enjoying the work and have an opportunity to receive academic credit for it. However, to earn credit, I would need to continue the internship into the fall semester. I just found out about the credit earning potential today, and was wondering if it is too early to ask my boss about the extension. Much of the work can be done remotely without needing to work with others at the office, and there is currently an intern working remotely. Should I wait until closer to the end date to ask?
I just found out about the credit earning potential today, and was wondering if it is too early to ask my boss about the extension.
No, it's not too early. Ask now.
Explain what you just learned and how much it would help you out.
Employers often plan projects in advance. It's possible your ability to be there for longer would make a difference.
The worst that can happen is that your boss says "No" or tells you to ask again later. Might as well find out now.
Absolutely set up a meeting with your supervisor as soon as possible to talk about your intentions. Saying it now, rather than waiting before the end of the summer, is beneficial for several reasons:
1) It shows you're serious about the position and any possible extension isn't just an afterthought
2) Allows you to convey enthusiasm about how much you're enjoying the program so far
3) Most importantly: provides an opportunity to get feedback from your supervisor on what you can do better so you can put that in action
Often times, those who wait until the end of an internship to bring up their interest in continuing are met with a "no" by their supervisor because of some level of weakness in performance. Asking what you can do to perform even better in the second half, even if you were doing fine all along, demonstrates that you take initiative and care about your impact at the company. If you make your goals clear now and ask what steps you can take to get there, it'd be hard not to achieve them.
I would ask as soon as possible. Explain the credit earning potential and that you only just became aware of it. If there's budgetting or scheduling involved for your manager, sooner is better. There's only downsides to waiting. Worst case, he says no right now, or asks you to send your request at a later date again.