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Thread: Offers dilemma

  1. #1
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    Offers dilemma

    Hello fellow planners,

    Next week I'm supposed to hear about a summer internship decision from Company A, company B is supposed to respond with their decision 3 days later. Internship with A is ok (basic GIS, administrative support), but B is the "dream" planning internship (large design firm). I don't want to count my eggs before they hatch, but not sure what would be the most ethical solution to my dilemma.

    -Do I accept the offer from A, but then renege on it if accepted at B?
    -Do I ask A to wait a few days and risk losing the offer?

    Advice anyone?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    What does any of this have to do with ethics? Ethics and planning is a whole different can of worms. You don't have any offer yet, and besides it's just an internship. Chances are (A) they might not get back to you immediately and (B) you might be lucky if you just receive one offer.

    First, make sure the letter of offer is in writing from both places. Second, I wouldn't overlook ANY internship right now, no matter how mundane. Third, a good rule of thumb is not to deliberate on any letter of offer for more than 1 business day, unless you are planning on negotiating the offer (which you really can't do for internships or entry-level positions anyway). If Company A offers you the internship first, you will have to ask yourself which is more important: do I accept the offer or do I turn it down?

    There are very very few circumstances where it is good business practice to walk away from a new job before you have even started working. It's just bad form. Planning is too small of an industry and you cannot afford to damage your reputation before you even start.

    Hope this helps-
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  3. #3
    Well let's just whittle down your choices here.

    You should not accept Job A, then walk away from it if Job B is offered to you. As Nrschmid says, it's unprofessional.

    However, you cannot turn down Job A simply to hold out for the possibility of Job B. That would be stupid.

    So, you could either convince Job A to give you 3 days to make your decision, or convince Job B to make their decision 3 days ahead of schedule. Doing the latter will be easier if you do, in fact, have an offer in hand from Job A. You could speak with People From Company B and make it clear that you are enthusiastic about interning with Company B but have this other offer and need to make a decision soon, and if there is any possibility that they could give you an offer now based on your qualifications, interview, etc.

    I had a similar situation recently, and you have to be delicate so you don't lead on potential employers, while, as you say, not putting all your eggs in one basket. You have to do what's best for you, but only as far as you are making professional decisions. Without professionalism, you really aren't a professional, no matter how qualified you are to do the job.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    This is an internship, not even an entry-level position. Cheap manual labor is cheap manual labor. I hardly doubt many employers would bend around to your special requests. You have to meet the employer's needs first, whether you are an intern or a planning director.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  5. #5
    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    This is an internship, not even an entry-level position. Cheap manual labor is cheap manual labor. I hardly doubt many employers would bend around to your special requests. You have to meet the employer's needs first, whether you are an intern or a planning director.
    Handling the situation as if it were an entry level position would most likely impress potential employers. I see nothing in my recommended approach that an employer would take offense to, and rather think it would leave a good impression, with them perhaps seeing this person as someone who takes decisions seriously. After all, three days is not a long time.

    Not all employers see interns as merely "cheap manual labor," despite all the hub-bub we see on the forums regarding unpaid internships. An intern is a "planner-in-training" first, and not just cheap manual labor. Hell, interns aren't so cheap, anyway, considering the time that goes into training them (or at least the time that should go into training them). Each intern is an investment, and it will only benefit the OP to treat himself as if that is indeed the case.

  6. #6
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    Whats that saying, "A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush". If you do receive an offer for Job A, the last thing you want to do is risk losing it or starting off on the wrong foot. Your best course of action, IMO, would be to ask for one day to make a decision; I don't think thats asking too much. Call company B and tell them what Chocolate Chip said. If they make you an offer, you take it and tell Job A, "Thank you very much for the offer but I have decided to accept a different position". If you don't receive an offer from Job B, then the decision is made for you. In either case, make sure to be honest, professional and polite.

  7. #7
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    Thanks nrschmid, chocolatechip and nyuhokie! I felt that accepting an offer, but then turning it down a few days later would be the wrong course of action. Just needed some reassurance from older and more experienced colleagues, I guess. I'll do exactly what you suggested, ask Company A for 1 day to think it over and try to get a response from Company B. Will see how it goes from there.

    With my luck I probably won't get either of them.

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