Managing Tech Offers

Congratulations! You have received an offer—now what? Whether it be an offer for a summer internship, or a new grad full time offer, there are opportunities to negotiate. For a general overview and helpful negotiation strategies, consult the OCS Evaluating and Negotiating Job & Internship Offers guide.

Evaluating and negotiating job and internship offers can feel foreign to many students, especially if you have never participated in the industry recruitment process. One of the biggest concerns we hear from students is whether they will be able to line up all their offers at the same time, and while there is no guarantee this can happen, tech recruiting timelines usually happen in the fall, so there can be some strategies one can use to align your offers. This brings me to one of the most common asks in an offer negotiation, more time to decide on an offer.

Asking for More Time:

First, you will receive an initial offer either verbally or in written form, and then you will likely be given some time to make a decision, the standard would be ~2 weeks. If you would like to request an offer deadline extension, then you need to maintain open lines of communication between yourself and the recruiter/hiring manager. It is reasonable for an employer to want to communicate often once they’ve extended an offer, especially if you have a long decision timeline. Before you ask for more time, consider how much time you will need and if it is a reasonable time frame. This can be especially challenging for return offers from current internships made in August. OCS does have some Offer Policy and Guidelines for employers recommending an early October offer deadline, but employers have the right to choose their own deadlines. It may be helpful to share the Harvard OCS guideline with your recruiter when negotiating for more time.

Tech Specific Considerations:

We usually recommend you do your research before entering into a salary negotiation. This may mean researching public salary data on and evaluating the cost of living on and comparing other similar roles at While these tools are helpful, for tech organizations, it is especially important to keep in mind that your total compensation package includes many things beyond your base salary including a sign on bonus, stock options, equity (for startups), and benefits. To dive deeper into this, I would recommend reviewing Candor’s salary negotiation guide, which breaks down each of these aspects. Equity, or ownership stake in a company, is particularly relevant for startups, and can be complex to navigate. They recommend consulting the Holloway Guide for a more comprehensive review of equity compensation. Other recommended sites for offer evaluation guidance specific for tech companies, include:

If you want to discuss more about how to manage offers, please reach out to OCS for help!

By Meaghan Shea
Meaghan Shea Assistant Director, Technology, Data Analytics, Life & Physical Sciences & Entrepreneurship