What’s better than one offer? Two offers! While having two offers from two great companies is definitely a good thing, it sometimes doesn’t feel like that due to the stress of making the right decision. The “right” decision is also a personal one, heavily dependent on your own career-related goals and aspirations, among other factors. Below are some things to consider before you say “yes” or “no.”
- Field and Position
- One of the most important aspects of an internship to consider is how interesting the work that would be done is to you and how relevant the experience is to your resume and career development. If you can get really valuable work experience in a field and position that you can see yourself working on full-time after graduation, that should be held highly. The money that you get from an internship is more of a short-term gain, while the technical skills that you receive may land you a really good job in the future, so I would not take this section lightly.
- Benefits Versus Costs
- Hourly pay is definitely important when looking at two offers, but should not be the only metric that you use to make your decision. For example, if a company offers free housing for interns or housing stipends with lower hourly pay, it may equal out or even beat an internship that pays more per hour. Also, look at costs. Commuting from home can save so much money while renting out an apartment or house (even with several roommates) can put a huge dent in your monthly savings. Vice-versa, if you prioritize living with friends in the summer, that can also make your decision easier.
- Culture and People You Meet
- Sometimes, a really good indicator of which internship you should choose begins in the interview stage. Pay attention to the people that you meet and talk to. Can you see yourself working with them? What’s the environment and atmosphere look like at that particular company? Even if you’re not looking at or considering full-time employment options at either company post-graduation, culture is still of utmost importance. You’ll be spending a lot of time with whatever company you choose, so make sure that their values align with your own to make it a pleasant experience for both you and the employer.
- Company Size and Reputation
- Again, this personal decision requires knowing what you would like to try out and where you would like to work for the summer. If you want to try working at a big company, which one has more offices or employees? If you are looking for prestige, which company is more well-known or respected? These are all questions that you can answer with a little bit of self-reflection and quick company research. It’s important to note though, that company size and reputation, just like university size and reputation when you were making your college decision, are very important components of your decision.
- Length of Program and Hours
- The length of the internship programs is very crucial to note, depending on your summer availability and desire to work. A 10-week program versus a 12-week program can make a big difference in how much time you will get to spend time hanging out with family and friends and should be thought about. It also factors into how often you get paid and sometimes how much you will make over the course of your internship, so make sure to calculate expected earnings. Also, don’t just skim your offer letter! Your official offer letter often contains important information regarding what time your days will start and end and also the intern policy on overtime pay, which can vary considerably from company to company.
Remember that although this can be a difficult decision, by weighing your options and carefully considering what you want out of your summer work experience, you should be able to give both companies an answer in a reasonable amount of time. The company whose offer you decline will likely have to find another candidate, so make sure to be courteous and timely. Treat employers as you would like to be treated during your candidacy.