Well, I plan on leaving my current job as an electromechanical engineer on a venture capital project and starting grad school this fall to eventually get my PhD. However, I'm having a lot of trouble leaving on good terms. I'm giving them written notice in person with my last date of employment two weeks in advance as any professional should do. Some history: So, Friday of last weak I talked with the company VP(its a small business), as my boss was out of town, and told him that I was leaving the company to pursue my graduate degree. After a long game of 50 questions, he said that he was upset with my decision and thought I should talk it over with my boss and that he would say nothing about it to him. So today I go and tell my boss, I'm putting in my two weeks notice and told him of my plans. And.....well he wasn't happy. Long story short we had about an hour and half conversation about my goals and the project I have been involved in. He told me that me leaving would be a "major blow" to the project, as Im just about the only one working on it at this time. I offered that I would be willing to put in some time, probably around 10 hours a week, on the project as a couple experts have done that have worked on the project before. He told me that it wasn't good enough and said that I should continue working another year and delay my plans for graduate school. That by doing so it would be in my best interest and would be better in the long run for my career. He also basically stated that he would not accept my letter of resignation until I thought about it for at least a couple days. Some details: I work for a company that works for another company on a wind related venture capital project. In a nut shell, the project doesn't seem to really be going anywhere and of course funding is extremely difficult to get. While the job looks fantastic on a resume, especially for a ME strait out of school with a BSME, the project is just not what it was when I started and isn't really going anywhere. If I had confidence in the project it would be a different story but I just don't see a future in this. I would love to stay on the project and work part time but that just doesn't seem to be an option so I am forced to leave it in order further my education. So, how do I go about leaving with out burning any bridges, or do you think thats even possible? Chances are a few years down the road while looking to do some research I am going to need this as a reference. While keeping in mind that I want to be as professional as possible, what would you suggest as a good solution to this dilemma?