Decision Making

Receiving a job or internship offer is both exciting and stressful, since this stage involves narrowing choices and making decisions. The decision to accept a job or internship is a very personal one, and often involves both listening to your gut and taking a leap of faith. While you are making this immediate career decision, you may want to consider the role, compensation, the skills you will learn and use, and how the position will impact your future goals and next steps. OCS advisers are happy to help you think through various options and assess an offer in light of your broader future goals.

  • Read the OCS Job Offer publication (pdf).
  • Campus Interview Program Offer Policies & FAQs
    Come to drop-in advising Monday–Friday, 1:00–4:00pm, to talk to an adviser.
  • Make an appointment with an adviser.
  • Attend OCS workshops on offers and decision-making.

Here are some examples of resources offering salary data and calculators:

When students begin their job search, evaluating job offers or negotiating compensation packages are often the last things on their minds. But it is important to know that this process begins not when a job offer is received, but at the beginning of the search when you are performing research on different organizations. Some key questions to ask yourself early on:

  1. What are the criteria you will use to determine whether or not to accept a position? What are your top priorities?
  2. Do you have a sense of what the going pay rate is for the types of positions you are seeking?
  3. How much money will you need simply to survive in the geographic area in which you plan to live?
  4. Compensation aside, what are the rewards that a job in a given organization may give you? Access to a professional network, the chance to learn something new, an opportunity to add value to your resume or CV?

To learn more about this process, see our calendar for workshops that cover this topic.

Most importantly, do not feel that you need to engage in this process alone. We recommend that students, upon receiving a job offer, immediately make an appointment with an adviser to discuss the details of the position and, if applicable, how to negotiate the compensation package. Such packages can be extremely complex, whether inside or outside of academe, and few graduate students have had the experience necessary to understand fully what it is they are being offered and to navigate a salary negotiation. We are here to help.