How To Quit An Internship

If an internship is not going your way, it is important not to worry. There may be numerous reasons why you want to terminate your internship.

For example, you may not be enjoying the internship or finding it useful. If not, you may have found a better opportunity, such as a well-paid job. 

It is perfectly reasonable to quit an internship and you should not feel bad about doing so. However, it is in your best interests to depart from the internship on good terms. If you are unsure of how to do this, we are here to help. Our useful tips will guide you through the process. 

What Are Internships?

Internships are a type of work experience. They are particularly popular with students and graduates. In the US, interns will earn approximately $15 per hour.

This is a great opportunity for people with minimal working experience. They enable you to develop certain skills in employment settings. Internships tend to be available for a short amount of time, thus distinguishing them from standard jobs. 

Top Tips

If you are going to quit your internship, you can either have a conversation with the boss or host (this can either be done in person or via a phone call) or through a letter.

Though you can use either of these methods, a conversation will feel more personal and will let you get your point across more clearly. Whether you are quitting in person or through a letter, here are our top tips:

Be Thankful

Even if you did not like the internship or find it right for you, internships are nonetheless valuable opportunities.

You were lucky to be given this opportunity and, as a result, you should be thankful to the boss for giving you this opportunity. As a result, you should let them know that you appreciate it. 

Instead of merely saying “thank you”, express gratitude for the chance to develop certain skills. To fully show this, you should mention the responsibilities you had and how these allowed you to acquire different skills. 

Saying thank you may also lessen the blow of your departure. Plus, this gratitude can help to cultivate a positive relationship with the company. 

Tell Your Boss Why You Are Leaving

There is no reason to lie about this. Honesty is the best policy. Inform your boss of why you have decided to quit the internship. Of course, if you are leaving for personal reasons you may not want to go into detail about this. 

This feedback can also be beneficial to the company. Providing specific feedback about the internship is a great idea.

For instance, if you are quitting because you did not enjoy the experience, you should politely explain this to the manager. This can help them to improve the internship, allowing future interns to have a better experience. 

Hand In An Official Document Of Resignation

Though it is a great idea to talk to a manager about quitting the internship, you may also be expected to hand over a formal letter of resignation. It is important to give them an official record of the termination of the internship, as it makes the cat more professional. 

These documents can be hard to write. Fortunately, you do not need to stress about this. In this letter, you should include the following information:

  • The date
  • Your name
  • Your role
  • Your intent to quit
  • The date you are leaving
  • The reason you are leaving

You can also use this letter as an opportunity to express gratitude. 

Ask For A Letter Of Recommendation 

Letters of recommendation can be super valuable. These documents will allow you to apply for jobs.

A positive written recommendation from a manager will prove that you have worked hard during your internship. The letter may detail your skills and responsibilities. Therefore, you are more likely to be employed. 

It is best to do this in internships that you have been at for a while and have grown a close working relationship with your manager.

Asking for a letter of recommendation from a manager that you hardly know or have worked with may seem somewhat cheeky. Plus, a boss that you hardly know may not have a very detailed knowledge of your internship. 

Establish Your Finishing Date

You may be expected to continue working at an internship until a certain time. For example, you might be required to give your employer a two-week notice of your internship’s termination.

To determine whether this is the case, you should discuss this with your boss. Establish a date that your internship is finishing. Work up until this date, as it will help your employer. Thus, it will give them an amazing impression of you and will end things on a positive note.

Give Your Boss Enough Time To Find A Replacement Intern

As mentioned above, it is essential that you give your manager a notice period. The main reason for this is that it gives them enough time to find a replacement.

If you have quite an important role, the company may be unable to cope without someone performing your responsibilities. Therefore, you should give them enough time to find a replacement. 

This can be tricky, as you may be leaving for a specific reason that will limit the amount of time you can stay. For instance, if you are starting a new job, you may have a start date that will clash with the end of your internship.

As a general rule, the more notice you can give, the better. Ideally, you should give a minimum of a week’s notice. It can take a few weeks for an employer to find a suitable intern. 

Continue Working To The Best Of Your Ability

Just because you have handed in your resignation, it does not mean that the quality of your work should decline. Instead, you should continue to work your hardest in this internship.

Not only will your manager appreciate you, but they will also likely give you an outstanding letter of recommendation. Overall, perform the best you can until you officially leave. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Considered Unprofessional To Quit An Internship? 

No, you will not be considered unprofessional if you quit your internship. If it is not going well for you or you do not believe that it is a fruitful experience, you are within your right to quit.

However, you may be considered unprofessional if you do not quit in the appropriate way. To avoid this, follow the steps above. Plus, avoid quitting in an informal way, such as via text. 

Final Thoughts

While it may seem stressful to quit an internship, the process can actually be extremely easy. By following our tips above, you will be able to professionally leave this role. At the end of the day, it is best to get this potentially unpleasant experience over with.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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