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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

extending the length of an internship

A reader writes:

My current summer internship is amazing. I want a full time position at this company but I do not think one is available. However, my internship doesn’t have a set “end date” and I am not sure how to bring it up with my boss (we have a good relationship). I am pretty sure time is running out for me, but I’d like to stay here as long as possible so I can get as much experience (and save money) as I can.

Just talk to your boss. Tell her that you're loving the internship and that you're wondering what they usually do for ending dates, because you're hoping to stay longer and not get kicked out at the end of the summer. The worst she can do is say that they can't extend it because they haven't budgeted for it, but she also might be thrilled to have you stay.

This is a normal thing to ask about; don't feel weird. You don't need to wait for a context or opening to bring it up in. Just email her or ask to talk in person.

I often would love to have interns stay on and curse school schedules for taking them away from me.

You should also mention that you'd love to work for the company full-time at some point. Just because you don't know of any available positions there doesn't mean that doesn't know of some coming down the pike.


Kerry said...

I used to work with a guy in that situation. He had just graduated and had this summer internship. He had four days left when I started working there. He talked to the boss about staying, and she agreed to keep him until he found a permanent job (this was during the recession in the early 1990s).

Good thing for me, too, because I thought he was cute and I wanted more than four days to get to know him.

He worked for them a few extra months, and we are now married. So that worked out pretty well.

Rachel - I Hate HR said...

Sorry I'm late in replying to this...

Towards the end of my paid internship and finishing my degree I had been doing a job search but nothing came up. I went to my supervisor and told her that I knew the internship was for 9 months and that I was looking for employment but if it would be possible to continue on for a few months. She told me that she'd be happy to have me another year as an intern if needed. Luckily I found a new job soon after that though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice. I spoke to my boss, and while he cannot extend my internship or offer me a full time position, he is giving me names of other people to talk to. I am pursuing some other leads, and hopefully I will end up with a job at the end.