A job or internship acceptance is a major commitment to your new employer, and backing out of that commitment (“reneging”) can have negative effects for you, the employer, and for other Oberlin students. Therefore, it is important that you gather relevant information and thoroughly evaluate offers before accepting a job or internship.

The Career Development Center strongly advises students to consider the negative effects of reneging offers. Reneging can damage your professional reputation, not just in the short term but for the duration of your career. For employers, recruiting any new employee is an expensive and time-consuming process, and if a student reneges on an accepted offer, it can damage Oberlin’s relationship with an employer, and have a negative impact on opportunities for future Oberlin students.

Consider the following factors before you decide to accept a job or internship:

  • Travel/Transportation: How will you get to the job/internship?
  • Housing: Where will you live? How much will it cost?
  • Proximity to other commitments: What are the start and end dates for the job or internship? Do they conflict with other commitments?
  • Pay: What is the salary? How does the pay compare to projected expenses?
  • Will you receive benefits or a bonus? If the position is an unpaid internship, is there a stipend or other support to offset expenses?
  • Hiring timeline: When will the employer notify you about your application, invite you to interview, extend an offer?  How much time do you have to respond to an offer? How does the timeline relate to other job or internship offers?

After you have given your decision careful consideration and accepted an offer, you are expected to honor your commitment. This means you should:

  • stop your job or internship search
  • inform other employers who have extended offers that you have accepted another position
  • cancel all other interviews that you have scheduled and don’t accept further interview invitations

It is unethical to continue discussions with other potential employers once you have accepted an offer.

Reneging an offer should only occur in rare instances when all options have been explored and a realistic alternative is impossible. If you encounter an unforeseen circumstance and are considering reneging on a job or internship commitment, please make an appointment with the Career Development Center. We’ll be happy to offer support and help you figure out options. If reneging is unavoidable, we can provide guidance on notifying the employer and mitigating the situation.