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Choosing between Fed internship offers
Iím an undergrad currently recruiting for summer research internships within the Federal Reserve System. My ultimate goal is to work at a Fed full-time for 2-3years before applying to a PhD in economics.
I recently verbally accepted an offer (without yet signing a written offer) from a bottom-5 Fed. The next day, I received an offer from a top-5 Fed. I have some questions about this: 1. Could reneging on Fed A lead Fed B to pull their offer? 2. If both Feds pull their offers, does this lock me out of full-time RA hiring next year? 3. I also have an offer from a top-tier economic consulting firm. Is interning there an option even worth considering?
In general, whatís the best move here? I donít want to underplace myself, but I also donít want to ruin my chances at the Fed full-time. Any insights from current/former Fed RAs/interns on this topic would be much appreciated.
In general in economics, verbally accepting an offer is considered ethically binding. Reneging could well get you locked out of the Fed permanently. Further, the quality of a summer internship position may not be all that correlated with how good the Fed is.
Having said that, it is perfectly acceptable to politely ask Fed A if they would release you from the offer. Especially if you can give a good and polite reason. And especially especially if you do it very promptly and make clear that you'll come if it causes them a problem.
I'll add a point similar to something startz touched on, which is that Fed full-time hiring next year will likely view Fed A or Fed B on your CV as equivalent. Perhaps Fed B specifically would be more likely to hire you full-time with experience there, but some other Fed C will probably give you the same credit regardless of which Fed you intern at this summer. So if you end up at Fed A this summer, you're really not "underplacing" in any way.