How to Ask for Time Off During Your Summer Internship

You’ve landed an internship for the summer and you are super excited. There’s just one problem: your sister is getting married in some obscure location on a Thursday night. Or your family has a pre-planned vacation to Mexico sometime in July. How do you go about getting time off?

Whatever the reason, most employers understand that life doesn’t stop when you get a summer internship. Don’t stress too much about asking for time off, but there are a few things you can do to make the process easier.

1. Check yourself. Make sure that you’re asking for time off for a reasonable request. If it seems silly to you, it’ll seem silly to your boss, and chances are your manager will say no.

2. Who should you ask? Find out the official policy on time off, and make sure you know who you should ask for the vacation.

3. Actually ask. This is simple enough, but always ask for leave, don’t just assume you have it.

4. The earlier, the better. Give your boss as much notice possible. Obviously, this won’t work if you come down with the flu, but for events planned six months ago, it’s best to be upfront with your boss as soon as possible. Have the exact dates you want off ready to present.

5. Plan for your workload. If your vacation time is going to conflict with a major project or coincide with a particularly busy time of year, ask your boss who should cover your work or assignments while you’re gone.

Bonus: DON’T ask for time off too many times, your internship is only so long. DON’T lie about the reason you need time off. DON’T be demanding about your request, it’s just that: a request.

An internship is meant to be a learning experience, and one of those experiences might be dealing with asking for time off. It only becomes a big deal if you let it. Don’t sweat it and follow these tips, you’ll be relaxing on your time off in no time at all.

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Liz LeCrone

  • loune

    hello, do you think it is acceptable to ask for 4 days off because of graduation exams ?

    • Cristina Hernandez Brown

      Hi Loune,

      As an HR Analyst & Internship Coordinator, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to ask for time off due to exams. As a supervisor, we realize your internship should contribute positively to your academic experience, not hinder it. Congrats on your upcoming graduation!