Student applicant receiving asynchronous co-op employment position offers

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InvisibleAerobar
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Student applicant receiving asynchronous co-op employment position offers

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:11 pm

Quick question (which is bolded and underlined below) about receiving asynchronous job offers and factors to consider. Purposely making this a bit obtuse.

Say one applies to two co-op type positions (viz. internship-like position to run during the school year). Company A is a Fortune-500 sized company with a lot of market share in this particular field of commerce (one may even say it and its major competitors form an oligopoly), Company B is a regional company that holds its own ground but is no match for the former in terms of market share.

Applicant applied to co-op positions respectively offered by Companies A & B. Company A is a lot quicker in the interview process, taking two weeks to make an offer to the Applicant. Company B, in the mean time, took 3-4 weeks just to respond.

As of one week ago, Applicant has accepted the co-op position at Company A, showed up for some training, but really hasn't started working. Company B finally got around to interviewing the Applicant in the past week, but may take even longer before making a concrete offer.

Question then, what does Applicant owe to Company A, if Company B also offers Applicant a co-op position? And what drawbacks are there for Applicant, should Applicant renege on commitment to Company A?


Other relevant issues include: a) Company B requires fewer hours of commitment, which makes it slightly easier to juggle; b) Company B has better hours; and c) Company B is a lot closer to Applicant's home and school.

The main concern, of course, is that Company A would keep some sort of record, which may dent Applicant's future career opportunities (although Applicant does not presently intend to work for Company A or its main competitors after graduation).

Many thanks in advance
Last edited by InvisibleAerobar on Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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8foot7
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Re: Receiving asynchronous job offers

Post by 8foot7 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:17 pm

I suppose technically you owe Company A nothing assuming you didn’t sign an agreement otherwise. But not at all sure it is a good idea to play co-ops off of one another after you have already started training. It would leave a bitter taste in my mouth as a manager at Company A if you accepted my offer, I trained you, and then you went elsewhere — a coop intern doesn’t have the professional standing, hasn’t earned that ability to play me like that and I’d be sure to note in a file about the experience.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Student applicant receiving asynchronous co-op employment position offers

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:39 pm

At least part of the idea of co-ops is as a trial that may lead to a regular job offer.

Abruptly leaving one co-op burns at least one bridge. Maybe two, if for some reason the second employer learns about it.

I value those who do what they agreed to do, that is, are men or women of their word.

tashnewbie
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Re: Student applicant receiving asynchronous co-op employment position offers

Post by tashnewbie » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:44 pm

Maybe I’m uninformed generally (and I am about co-op internships), but why did you even interview for the second option after you accepted the first offer? I’d turn the second one down and stay with the first. I think you’d burn future potential bridges with first and I’d want to maintain that as an option for future employment.

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InvisibleAerobar
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Re: Student applicant receiving asynchronous co-op employment position offers

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:49 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:17 pm
I suppose technically you owe Company A nothing assuming you didn’t sign an agreement otherwise. But not at all sure it is a good idea to play co-ops off of one another after you have already started training. It would leave a bitter taste in my mouth as a manager at Company A if you accepted my offer, I trained you, and then you went elsewhere — a coop intern doesn’t have the professional standing, hasn’t earned that ability to play me like that and I’d be sure to note in a file about the experience.

adamthesmythe wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:39 pm
At least part of the idea of co-ops is as a trial that may lead to a regular job offer.

Abruptly leaving one co-op burns at least one bridge. Maybe two, if for some reason the second employer learns about it.

I value those who do what they agreed to do, that is, are men or women of their word.
both valid points

Following up on this, assume that the co-op runs for two years, and that one generally stays at the same company throughout, would the same issue identified above (viz. commitment) apply, were one to leave after having completed the first year?
tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:44 pm
Maybe I’m uninformed generally (and I am about co-op internships), but why did you even interview for the second option after you accepted the first offer? I’d turn the second one down and stay with the first. I think you’d burn future potential bridges with first and I’d want to maintain that as an option for future employment.
two rounds of interviews for Company B, whereas there was only one round of interview for Company A. At time of the initial interview with Company B, Company A had yet to make an offer.

Also, technically, it's not a co-op, but in the interest of keeping things vague (and I understand that the quality of response may suffer due to vagueness), it's the best stand-in term.

Normchad
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Re: Student applicant receiving asynchronous co-op employment position offers

Post by Normchad » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:00 pm

It's a grey area. Either choice can be/is fine and depends on your perspectives and values.

If it was my kid, I'd tell them (as I do with everything) "you made a commitment, you keep it").

But if you don't keep that comitment to company A; honestly, they won't care. It won't break their heart. I love having interns; but the reason I do it is so that I can hire them after graduation. When they are actual interns, they do good work and we like them, but just having them around creates an extra burden.

The only other thing I would think about is, how is the college involved in this? In some cases, these are run through a co-op office. And if you back out of Offer A, it might get back to the school and have some sort of reprecussion.

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InvisibleAerobar
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Re: Student applicant receiving asynchronous co-op employment position offers

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:48 pm

Normchad wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:00 pm
It's a grey area. Either choice can be/is fine and depends on your perspectives and values.

If it was my kid, I'd tell them (as I do with everything) "you made a commitment, you keep it").

But if you don't keep that comitment to company A; honestly, they won't care. It won't break their heart. I love having interns; but the reason I do it is so that I can hire them after graduation. When they are actual interns, they do good work and we like them, but just having them around creates an extra burden.

The only other thing I would think about is, how is the college involved in this? In some cases, these are run through a co-op office. And if you back out of Offer A, it might get back to the school and have some sort of reprecussion.
It's not through the school. Perhaps extern-ship may be a more apt description.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More details and a follow-up question.

So far, the Applicant has spent a single day at Company A and won't be going into work again (should Applicant decides to stay put) for another week. The time spent on that day was fewer than 8 hours, with a significant amount of the time spent orientation. Don't know if that matters, given that the Applicant did in fact start working.

As for the follow-up question, if the Applicant were to turn down Company A, how much should be divulged? The main reason for opting for Company B is basically for greater convenience (location and better working hours).

Normchad
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Re: Student applicant receiving asynchronous co-op employment position offers

Post by Normchad » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:56 pm

I think they’ve already started at Company A.

If they an option they’d rather pursue, that is perfectly fine. It doesn’t matter why they don’t want to be at A. They can just call them up and say “I’m sorry. For personal reasons I will not be returning to work. How would you like to handle out-processing?”

That’s all there is to it. The reasons don’t matter. The reasons don’t have to be shared. Keep everything pleasant and positive. Do what they can to make it as easy as possible on A.

Personally, I think it’s a crummy thing to do, but it’s all technically okay.

Good luck!

NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: Student applicant receiving asynchronous co-op employment position offers

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:01 pm

Disclaimer - I run technical recruiting for a mid-large sized software company.

We compete with all of the “players” and frequently win based on speed of process, personalization of process, building strong relationships, etc on top of the standard value prop of impact, autonomy, growth, culture, location, etc.

We move faster through the interviewing/hiring process than anyone in tech. This is a blessing but also a curse when we’re battling with FAANGs that take their sweet time and just have so much interest in their brand that you can take 2-3 months to make a decision and it doesn’t matter... we can’t let offers float in space for weeks on end while you’re “wrapping up” interviews elsewhere. So, we don’t offer very generous extensions on decision deadlines.

As such, we probably signed some people that might not have otherwise with more generous timeframes - we had about ~10% of our accepted offers from last year (in engineering specifically) back out before joining full time. Every single one of them is a learning experience for our team (And as such this has dropped as we’ve gotten better at identifying these risks earlier on in the process). Every single one of them sucks.

We almost try to talk people out of accepting offers in the sense of if you’re not totally bought in, you’re planning on continuing to interview elsewhere, or similar - please do not sign. We get about 250 eng applicants per day and there are people that would die to be here and would sign today... so please don’t sign if there is any semblance of doubt in your mind.

My recommendation is that it’s a short term commitment - honor it. Is it the end of the world to the company if you back out and go elsewhere, almost certainly not... especially for a coop, but it creates bad habits and sets bad precedence for your career moving forward, and who knows when it could come back to bite you.

But if you really want to back out, do it before you start. The pain caused will be infinitely less than after a company has invested in you and relationships built. When we have a new hire back out we don’t sweat it too much as it’s better than them leaving after 6 or 12 months. (Turnover in eng/prod is <5% annually)

One of our bigger coop partners is Northeastern - they’ve actually got their program set up now where they do not allow kids to back out after they sign their coop letters. I’ve heard similar from UCSD recently as well. Of course it means less w/ interns/coops, but this feels like a trend in the right direction.

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