Congratulations on your internship! Whether it is your goal to be ultimately hired by the company or not, this internship will be an important relationship. If you accept, you will want to list the experience on your resume and probably ask your supervisor to act as a future reference. So, it is important to be professional from the outset, and that includes your letter of acceptance.
This article will explain what to do when you receive an internship job offer and when you should send a response. The article tells you what information you should confirm with the hiring manager and provides a sample email to send in response to the offer. The article also provides advice on how to leave the firm gracefully after your internship with a formal thank you.
If you have applied to multiple internships, don’t feel pressured to accept the first offer that you receive. The worst thing you can do is to accept an offer and then renege later. It’s perfectly acceptable to take two or three days to decide, or more if necessary.
If the company extending the offer is not your first choice, you could contact your preferred company, explain that you have received an offer from someone else, and ask if there is any likelihood that you might receive an offer from them. It’s worth a try and would make your decision much easier.
College students should talk to their advisor or mentor before accepting an offer. A mentor or career counselor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of the internship offer and help you make an informed decision and move forward with the next steps.
If you decide to accept the offer, there are a few things that you should confirm.
Your pay if it is a paid internship, or how other benefits will work if it is an unpaid internship, such as a stipend or tracking for school credit.
Your start and end dates.
The hours that you will work and the location.
What you will need for your first day.
Hopefully, these items were discussed during your interview questions for the internship. If not, you will need to confirm them before accepting the internship. The email or letter you receive from the hiring company might lay out these things or explain that paperwork will be forthcoming. If you still feel that these items are not clear, make a phone call or email your human resources contact to find out how these things will be handled.
Wait for paperwork that confirms these items before accepting the internship.
Find out how to write a resume for an internship program, read “How to Write a Killer Internship Resume”
Let’s look at the steps you should take to accept an internship offer.
Respond quickly to the offer letter or email once you are sure that you will accept. That way, the hiring manager knows that you intend to take the offer. If all of the details are not yet confirmed, you can say in your email something like, "I accept the offer contingent on written confirmation of [payment, stipend, or school credit.]" Layout the terms here that you are expecting.
It may seem like you are being demanding, but it is just good business to always have things in writing, and neither party wants to back out of an agreement later.
If these were discussed during the interview process, and they are outlined in the offer, confirm them in your response. If not, include your availability.
Include any other questions you might have, and offer to complete any paperwork ahead of your start date. Ask the recruiter in your email what you will need on your first day and, for bonus points, ask if there is anything you can do in the meantime to prepare for the internship.
The most important thing is that your acceptance letter or email has an enthusiastic tone.
Here is an example of an acceptance email response that you can use as a template.
Dear Mr Lewis,
Thank you for your offer of an internship with DataFirst for the summer of 2021. I am delighted to accept and am excited to have the opportunity to work with your coding team.
My availability for this internship begins on May 15th and ends on August 25, 2021. I confirm that I am accepting the position of data science intern at DataFirst with pay of [add dollar amount/provision of credit.]
I am happy to fill out any documentation or provide any information that you need regarding my internship/employment.
Please let me know what I will need for my first day and if there is anything I could be doing to prepare for the work at DataFirst in the meantime.
I’m very much looking forward to this opportunity.
Be sure to include your contact details at the bottom of your email, such as your phone number and Linkedin URL.
Remember that your internship is a relationship that you will need in the future. Even if you are not hoping to work with the company full-time later, you will want to list the experience on your resume. If the internship went well, you will probably also want to ask the person who supervised you to act as a reference.
For more details on references, read “How to Ask Someone to Be a Reference.”
Therefore, it’s important for your career goals to leave a good impression by sending a thank you note. It is best to send a formal letter, typed out, but signed. It can be sent in the mail if you are no longer at the firm.
Your internship is the start of your professional career, so take control by taking the time you need to respond to an internship offer in a professional manner. Make sure you confirm the conditions of the job—your job description, your pay, and your hours.
If you are assertive from the start, it is less likely that a company will try to take advantage of you and more likely that you will build a strong relationship that will help you as you begin your job search and career journey.