This post is one in a five part series on securing a summer internship in college housing and residence life through the ACUHO-I’s Housing Internship Program. It is written from the perspective of a former ACUHO-I Intern. The series will walk you through the process from beginning to end providing tips and tricks along the way.
Preparing to Apply | Targeting and Applying To Schools | Accepting and Preparing for Interviews | Interviewing | Navigating Offers
Out of all of the phases of the ACUHO-I internship process this is by far the most stressful, yet fulfilling. After dealing with the prep work, interviews, and waiting, it’s a major relief when the process is over. Depending on how your offers look on offer day, this phase can be an exciting ending or a slightly stressful addition. No matter if you receive and accept an offer on the first day or last, you will find home! This article will help provide guidance and considerations when navigating offers and accepting your internship.
1. Offer Day
AUCHO-I will have a day and time at which schools and hosts can begin making offers to their top candidates. “Offer day” can be stressful but don’t allow it to work you up! Offers can come in the form of a phone call, an email, or a message through the ACUHO-I internship portal. (Make sure your phone’s voicemail is set up!)
I remember most of my colleagues and I sat in a meeting just staring at our phones waiting in hopes that they would light up. In order to make sure you have the most successful offer day possible, I recommend that you wait at least a few hours to respond after the offer time passes and not immediately jump on every offer. Have all potential internship offers go to your email, messages, or voicemail. This will allow you some time and breathing room to think–especially if you get multiple offers. Do not get ahead of yourself and accept any offer in the moment without thinking about it, unless you know the internship is your top choice.
2. Navigating Offers
When a candidate receives an internship offer they are typically given up to 24 to 48 hours to decide. If you have the luxury of receiving multiple offers and are struggling to decide, think of how you would fit within each internship’s team, culture, and environment. Think back on your experience interviewing and applying with the school. Was it a positive experience? Did you feel like you could relate to those that interviewed you? Do you think you would be happy and fulfilled in this role? In the ACUHO-I internship process It’s not about where you get in, it’s about where you fit in. Ultimately any offer you receive comes with the full confidence that the hiring host believes that you are a good fit for the job. The real question is, where do you believe you fit?
Check out our curated resources to help you in your ACUHO-I Summer Internship search!
Some candidates are faced with extremely difficult choices when waiting on offers to potentially come in. One major thing to note about accepting an offer is that it can not be undone. You should never accept an internship offer and then two days later accept a different offer. With that being said, I strongly advise every candidate to take their acceptance seriously and take time within the allocated decision time to reflect and decide. Some candidates may choose to gamble and decline initial offers in hope of being offered a different internship. Doing so is completely your choice but can be risky.
4. The Internship Process Goes On
If you get to the end of offer day and you still don’t have an internship, do not worry! Your dream school may not have received an acceptance from their first offer and may reach out to you later. Furthermore, interviews are ongoing with many schools even after this day. Do not be afraid to open your mind to new possibilities for positions that are still vacant (or perhaps even posted late).
5. Selecting The One
You’ve made it, you got the offer and accepted! Congratulations on your achievement. I hope you’re excited for your destination and experience this summer! To accept the offer, first notify the school via phone and email. The offering school will also make a formal offer in the ACUHO-I internship portal site. Log into the portal and select that you are accepting the offer. This is important to the process because other hiring schools and hosts will be able to see that you have accepted an internship and it will remove you from consideration for other internships. It also helps other internship candidates by removing the position from the listings, indicating it is now full. Now that your internship host and ACUHO-I are both aware of your acceptance, you can now begin to reach out and decline any other active offers you may currently have.
I want to close this series by wishing you the very best of luck and/or congratulations on your inevitable landing of your dream internship. I hope that by the end of this process you have truly found “your fit” for the summer. Please know that no matter the outcome, this is meant to be a learning experience. The ability to make mistakes and learn will only benefit your ability to secure a job after graduating!