Interesting Situation (Work vs Study Abroad or Both)

Hi guys, I am a long-time lurker, but a first time poster. I have an interesting situation, so I wanted to seek some advice.

Currently, I am a sophomore, and within the last week, I secured a summer internship at an investment management company, which is well-known in my hometown. Before I got the internship, I had already accepted a study abroad opportunity at one of the top economics/finance universities in the world (paid tuition, flight, housing, etc....) Anyway, the internship is supposed to last through the summer, but my study abroad starts in July. Essentially, I would have to quit my internship to do the study abroad program. Since I have already shelled out a lot of money for the study abroad program, I don't really want to give it up. Also, the university is very well known, so it gives me a good name on my resume, along with my current non-target, state school.

The internship is editing excel sheets and other typical intern work. I don't want to tell them I have a study abroad opportunity and I plan on quitting or that I am considering quitting, because they may take the internship away, and tell me to go fuck myself. Honestly, the only reason I took the internship is so I have something on my resume.

What do you think I should do? Give up the study abroad opportunity and do the internship the duration of the summer, or quit the internship in July and do the study abroad opportunity? If I quit, will it hurt me in IBD recruiting as a junior? Any other repercussions? Any issues during a background check? I appreciate any advice you guys can provide.

Comments (19)

Apr 20, 2014

If I do quit, what should I tell them?

Apr 20, 2014

I appreciate any and all advice. Thanks guys, and Happy Easter!

Apr 20, 2014

BUMP

Apr 20, 2014

BUMP. :)

Apr 20, 2014

Wait, so you took the internship knowing that you had a study abroad program lined up? I'm very confused. Why in the world would you accept the internship if you knew you were studying abroad?

Apr 20, 2014

I wanted to do something from the time my school ends (early May) until my study abroad program starts (early July).

Apr 20, 2014

You really should not quit an internship or plan on quitting. It's quite rude and I doubt you'd get any referrals or connections that would be willing to help out if you, suddenly out of nowhere and with no good reason, quit. If a company is checking your credentials and asks your past employers whether or not you were a good employee, this may come up.

Is the position paid? If unpaid, they may be flexible with the end dates. I would write to the HR department, lie and say that you were accepted into a study abroad program AFTER you accepted the internship, and express concern that it overlaps with the internship. Ask if there is any flexibility on the dates and work with them. Emphasize that it is a possibility and only something you are considering, or else they may be offended.

I would suggest doing the study abroad program, as long as you are officially enrolled in the school. It may be possible you can reach out to alumni from that school, and it will look good on your resume. But that is not said with any experience with study abroad.

Please think these things through beforehand in the future. It's a pain for everyone involved. This could have so easily been avoided if you took minimal preventative measures and realized that the dates overlapped.

Best of luck.

    • 1
Apr 21, 2014

bump

Apr 21, 2014

I would agree with aassddff in that you should not have accepted the internship knowing that the study abroad overlapped with it. And you definitely shouldn't go work for them and then quit out of nowhere in July. That being said I think the situation is salvageable.

First off, studying abroad is an incredible opportunity. Speaking from experience my time abroad was one of the highlights of my time in college and proved to be a tremendous learning experience. You never know who you're going to meet or what connections you might make - plus you might not get the chance to go abroad in the future. It also looks great on a resume - my abroad experience became a major talking point for me in interviews. I wouldn't throw that opportunity away.

I think the best thing for you to do now is to contact the people who hired you for the internship and address the issue that your study abroad program overlaps with it. You can either say you found out after you accepted the position or simply omit when you found out so you don't have to lie. Explain that you are really excited about the opportunity to work for them, but that studying abroad is something you've always wanted to do, etc, and that you were wondering if they could be flexible on your end date. Hopefully they will work with you and you'll be able to do both.

If they aren't quite so accommodating then you'll have to pick. I can't tell you which option is the best for you but there are a few things I would consider: 1. Is this a company you might want to work for in the future? If investment management is what you really want to do once you graduate and this is a firm you could see yourself with then don't ruin the relationship now by going back on your commitment. BUT if you just see this as an opportunity to get some experience in Finance and not somewhere you want to work in the future then going back on your offer might not be totally damaging (though it definitely is not ideal). 2. Internships you get the summer after your sophomore year are not nearly as important as those for the summer after your junior year. Be realistic as to how much you will benefit from each of these options. 3. Could you study abroad at a different time? You mentioned you've already put a lot into going abroad, but it is worth looking into whether or not you could go the following semester if you decide the internship is more important. 4. Could you do a different internship? Look into any other internship opportunities that fit your time horizon or maybe consider getting an internship while you're in school. This might prove difficult if your school isn't in a major city, but it could be a good option.

So basically try and see if you can do both but if you can't then weigh the pros and cons of each before making a decision. If you do end up turning down the internship, be as gracious as possible and thankful for the opportunity. I hope this helps!

    • 1
Apr 21, 2014

Thanks for the responses.

@"mec11", I don't see myself working for this company in the future; it is just more so to gain experience within finance, to learn, and help develop my resume. Also, I want to go into IBD, not investment management. Since this is my sophomore summer, this would be my last chance to do study abroad with a top-school. My non-target offers study abroad in the same location where I have accepted to study abroad this summer, but, again, my school is a non-target, so it's not worth it for me to spend all that money, and not have a name-brand school on my resume. Unfortunately, my school is not in a big city, so we don't have many finance opportunities besides PWM, which I already have done.

If I do quit, would that cause problems in a background check, if I were to receive an offer from a BB? The internship is paid, so I could use pay stubs to prove I did work there.

Apr 21, 2014

You usually have to provide references for a background check. If you flat out quit and screw the people over, I most definitely would not put it on my resume if I were you.

I would call them up, explain that you have been given this opportunity to do study abroad that you would really like to do. Ask them if there is any way that you can work from end May to start July... It may work out if you are honest and humble. Just my two cents - there is no reason to purposefully be a dick.

Apr 21, 2014

Just ask the internship manager. They weren't planning on extending you an offer anyway knowing you are a sophomore. Like they said, just tell them you got approved for the exchange program after you accepted the offer

Apr 21, 2014

BUMP.

Apr 21, 2014

Please do not bump this so consistently. If it's still on the front page, there's no need to bring more attention to it. It also seems as though your questions have been answered.

If you list this internship on your resume, then a company conducting a background check will contact the people you worked under. If you don't provide their contact information, they will ask you for it, because you listed it on your resume. The whole point of background checks is to verify you're not lying about who you are and what you've listed. You cannot pick and choose what they investigate because they investigate everything. It doesn't matter if it's listed as a "reference" or not. Again, the company wants to make sure you actually worked at the place you indicated. If you quit after a month, that will come up.

Therefore, you cannot use that information on your resume. Then that makes the entire internship pointless, as you are not interning there to learn/grow but to simply pad your resume. Which it will not be able to do. Because you will quit.

Do not lie about a family death. That is not a "BS excuse". That is a real tragedy that happens to people and is not some story for you to spin. Also, you can so easily be caught in that lie. It's not easy to fake tragedy. And if you want to make any connections there at all, included something as simple as LinkedIn, you cannot advertise that you've been abroad. You can never send a contact there your updated resume and you cannot post it on social networking sites (including, again, LinkedIn).

You really should think this through more. It doesn't seem as though you've given it much thought at all.

Apr 21, 2014

@"aassddff", I would be working there for 8 weeks, not one month, so I would still have a chance to learn and grow, which is the main reason I am doing the internship. I wanted something to do from the time school ends until I have to leave for my summer abroad program, and this internship seemed great. I don't have to use death; I could say something like they have fallen really ill, and I must go.

Apr 21, 2014

I'm confused. You said in your first post, "Honestly, the only reason I took the internship is so I have something on my resume." You should figure out exactly why you want to intern this summer, because it seems you have not figured it out.

Regardless of the lie, it is still a lie and my points still stand. You will not be able to utilize your network after you leave the company because you will not be able to extend your resume.

This internship is not great because the dates do not line up, which is huge. That is your reality. Face it and stop making up excuses. I am trying to help and offer advice, and you are skimming over my posts and defending your lack of ethics.

I'm not sure what you are hoping to get out of this thread. You have been offered great advice and insight, yet you are not absorbing it. No one is going to tell you that prematurely taking an internship when you were fully aware you had prior commitments was a good idea.

Apr 21, 2014

It seems as if you keep trying to justify this to yourself, even though you know what is the right thing to do. The way I see it, you have two options:

1. Blatantly lie, and hope no one finds out. You know this is a dick move, but you hope it will better your career
2. Be honest, and hope they will let you intern regardless. If they do it will provide you with solid references, and whatever the outcome you won't have anything to hide

It's a question of ethics. I know what I would choose, and I doubt you're going to find people on here advising you to do otherwise, as much as you would like to justify to yourself that it is the right thing to do.

    • 1
Apr 21, 2014
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