URGENT: Advice on reneging

Accepted a return offer from my soph summer internship, which is ~6 hours away from home. I loved the team and role and saw myself joining the firm full time, but one of my parents was suddenly diagnosed with a chronic medical condition and I'm not sure if I can commit to live so far away for a summer, and possibly full time. I have a verbal offer for a very similar role ~1 hour away from home and want to take that job simply because I can commute and stay close to my family as we try to navigate this situation. But I feel terrible at the idea of rescinding my acceptance since I have made connections at my soph firm. What is the most ethical way to approach a situation like this? I know that rescinding is looked down upon, but are there exceptions considering my situation? I'm feeling pretty desperate about all of this.


I actually told the soph firm about my situation prior to accepting but stated that I don't know what I would do in case things got worse. They replied that they understand and will try to be as flexible as possible (not sure what that means). Unfortunately, his condition did get worse and he is undergoing a bunch of diagnostic tests. I'm thinking of reaching out and saying that I'm worried at the idea of committing to live far from home with the way he's been recently, and that that's why I would consider rescinding my acceptance. Would this be a good idea?


Yeah just tell them you have to deal with family health issues and can’t commit to living that far away / you really want to work with them but need to prioritize family.

Maybe mention you would love to stay on if you have the ability to work remotely otherwise will unfortunately have to rescind.

This is not a big deal and no one will remember.


Many of us have dealt with a similar situation, at one point or another.

I was ready to drop everything, and throw it all away if necessary, just to be there.

It didn't come to that, but I did have to manage a few things very carefully (during/after) -- it's possible to manage, even if it requires a bit of a setback, before pushing forward.

To put things in perspective -- I later inherited significantly, but I would gladly give it up, for one more moment with that family member. There is huge value in spending time with family, especially through these difficult moments.

Focus on your family.

(Note: when they said that they will be understanding, they likely just meant allowing a few days off, if you needed to rush home or something).

Explain to them that while you were very eager to return; that due to a critical medical situation, involving a parent, that you need to remain close to home during this time.

Also, try to get something concrete from the other firm (the verbal offer, 1 hour away), to be sure you don't lose out on that opportunity; or in case you need to seek out other alternatives.

Normally, if someone flakes on an accepted offer, we might not view it kindly -- however, when it deals with a genuine scenario of a parent, in a serious medical situation, I think many (most) of us might be very understanding.

I would not hold it against you (given the circumstances), and I doubt many others would either.

Focus on family. 

Manage it the best you can. 

Good luck with everything. 

Investor (30+ years); IB/RE/PE/Corp. Exp (MD level); currently, head of boutique private equity firm; principal of family office.

I actually just received a offer letter from the other firm and will keep all of this in mind. Thank you so much for your kind response.

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