How To Quit Your Internship The Right Way

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Summer is heating up and internship season is in full swing. Are you truly happy with the way your intern experience is going? A few of you out there may have realized by now that the internship you accepted is not living up to your expectations.

Maybe your boss neglects you or maybe you aren’t learning anything. Once you’ve exhausted all other options, quitting might be the best solution.

It is important to know how to quit your internship the right way:

Be upfront. 

Just like every other job you will have in your life, it’s essential to give plenty of notice (preferably, two weeks) when quitting an internship. Be respectful of your coworkers and supervisor by letting them know your decision in person, and then write a formal letter of resignation. These people have put a lot of effort into hiring and training you, so it’s important to be upfront with them when you quit. (Even if the former statement wasn’t the case, it’s always best to be the bigger person.)

Be gracious.

Your supervisors and coworkers have spent a few weeks getting to know you and working with you. Some of them have taken the time to teach and mentor you. When you speak to these people about quitting, be sure to thank them for their time and support throughout your internship. They may or may not be the reason you’re quitting, but in either case it’s important to be gracious.

Be honest.

Quitting your internship might mean you have to participate in an exit interview. This is your opportunity for some honesty. Without being too harsh or accusatory, explain why you made the decision to quit and what would have made you stay. Remember you’re “just” an intern, so keep it simple and straightforward. Pick one or two things that made your experience negative and explain why. Your honesty might improve the experiences of future interns.

Be positive.

Once you’ve made the decision to quit, it’s over. You don’t need to let the rest of your experience stress you out. Be positive and professional until the very end. It is essential to avoid burning bridges. These things are important to maintaining your reputation. If you end on a bad note, it may come back to bite you later in your career.

Be preventative.

Learn from this negative experience. Do better research next time and pay special attention to the parts you disliked about this one. Don’t get stuck in another bad internship in the future.

If you’ve made the decision to quit your internship this summer, just make sure you do it the right way. These experiences will play into your future when you least expect it, so learn how to do it right now.

What other advice do you have for those who are ready to quit their internship?

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