Internship Opportunities

2021-2022 Office of Physical Plant Internship Opportunities 

The Penn State Office of Physical Plant (OPP) provides excellent facilities services for Penn State and is seeking student interns for the Fall of 2021 and the Spring/Summer of 2022. If interested, you must post a cover letter and resume on the OPP Internship posting found at

In order to ensure your resume and cover letter are considered, we ask that you indicate the specific area(s) of interest from the areas listed below (e.g. project management, contract administration, etc) in your cover letter. If areas of interest are not stated in your cover letter, you may not be considered for an internship position. During the Fall/Spring semesters, interns may work up to 20 hours per week. Work schedules and hours per week will be discussed with your supervisor. During the summer, interns are expected to work 40 hours a week. The salary is $12.00 per hour. Resumes and cover letters will be accepted through January 31, 2022. 

Questions: Contact Terry Hansel ([email protected]) or Morgan VanOuse ([email protected])  


Design and Construction 

Project Management 

The Project Management department oversees and coordinates the design and construction of all new construction, renovation, and major maintenance projects for the University Park campus. They also serve as the primary interface between customers, architects, engineers, and contractors. The Project Management intern position will be responsible for field and office work such as coordinating project resources and contractors, assisting with project documentation, and organization and assisting with project controls and budget management. It is preferred the candidate is pursuing a degree in an engineering or architecture related field. First, second, and third year architecture or engineering students are encouraged to apply. 


Contract Administration  

The Design & Construction division of OPP is seeking a Penn State law student for a non-credit intern opportunity with the Contract Administration (CA) unit. 

CA is responsible for construction contract procurement, contractor prequalification, change-order review and processing, as well as the processing of professional agreements. The unit also handles contractor payment applications, the Diverse Business Enterprise (DBE) Management Program, and specification and drawing distribution for a variety of projects. Contract Administration serves as liaison with the PA Department of General Services (DGS) on delegated projects. 

The applicant should be interested in learning about the construction industry, construction contracts and design/professional agreements, lien waivers, change orders, prevailing wage issues, claims, and other activities that impact the success of a construction project, from a legal perspective. 

The intern will assist staff by researching various topics, summarizing, and sharing findings. Contract Administration is reviewing and revising myriad contract documents/forms-of-agreement. It is anticipated that the intern will have a substantial part in this initiative. The selected candidate should have excellent research, writing, and communication skills. Experience with Office 365 and Adobe PDF is expected. 

The selected candidate should be available for work at least 10, and not more than 20, hours per week, beginning in January 2022. To be considered for this opportunity, complete the Penn State online application and upload your cover letter and resume. Review of applications will begin immediately.   


Contract Administration – Contractor Liaison  

The Contract Administration (CA) unit is also seeking a Contractor Liaison intern who will support staff in a variety of activities, including contractor prequalification, data verification, bidding, certified payroll, Job Order Contracting, and Construction Manager qualification and selection. The CA Contractor Liaison intern may assist with routine office work. Experience with Microsoft Office is needed, especially with Excel. Accuracy and attention to detail are essential. Preference will be given to applicants from Architecture/Engineering-related majors. 


Design Services 

Design Services provides professional architecture and engineering services in support of the development of Penn State’s building, site and infrastructure projects. These services are provided during all stages of design from initial feasibility studies through concept development and bid document stages as well as construction support. Services that are provided to Project Leaders and customers include Architectural Design, Civil Engineering, Mechanical /Plumbing Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Structural Engineering, Roof and Elevator design, Building Information Modeling (BIM) / Virtual Design support and Code Compliance support. Typical activities for an intern include field data collection, design support, AutoCAD/Revit production and construction administration support.  

Specifically, we are seeking interns to support our civil engineering group and our structural engineering group. Civil engineering projects primarily consist of campus beautification, roadway, parking, sidewalk, landscape/hardscape, stormwater management and utility projects at the University Park and Commonwealth Campuses. Structural engineering projects that an intern would be involved with include assistance with inspections of various structural elements at Penn State’s University Park campus. Candidates must be pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering, Architectural Engineering with a structural concentration, Structural Engineering, Construction Management or a similarly relevant discipline. Skills and experience in the Microsoft Office suite of products and AutoCAD or Civil 3D is preferred. First, second, and third year students in various programs as well as fourth year Architectural Engineering students are encouraged to apply.   


Energy and Engineering 

Energy and Engineering  

The Office of Physical Plant's Energy and Engineering Division is seeking interns interested in energy management activities for the Spring 2022 and Summer 2022. Projects will include reviewing utility bills and meter readings, preparing and submitting benchmarking data for various reporting efforts, retrieving energy and utility information from databases, writing reports, and identifying energy savings opportunities. Candidates must be willing to do field work that includes, but is not limited to, visiting buildings to obtain physical data and performing or assisting with building energy audits that may require entrance to mechanical spaces. Candidates must have a background in Engineering or Science. Preference with core courses such as Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, HVAC, and Lighting a plus. Must have excellent computer skills. Candidate should also have the ability to communicate clearly, translate complex information for a variety of audiences, and perform various tasks independently. To apply, please complete the online application and upload a cover letter and resume. This position is 20 hours per week during Spring Semester and 40 hour per week during the Summer. 


Engineering Services – Electrical Engineering 

The Office of Physical Plant's Engineering Services – Electrical Engineering group is accepting applications for student interns. Interns will focus on supporting the existing campus electrical utility networks, along with building electrical systems. Work duties will include but are not limited to: preparing documents for the electrical engineering team, updates and revisions to the University Design and Construction Standards, assisting/troubleshooting of electrical systems, reviewing NEC/IEEE codes, drafting in AutoCAD, performing calculations, and assisting on-site building evaluations. Interns will work closely with the electrical engineering department and gain experience in the following subdisciplines: building power and lighting, power transmission and distribution, utility underground distribution, micro-grids, combined heat and power plants, natural gas/diesel power generation and emergency backup power systems. Student interns are recommended to be in an engineering field, preferably electrical, electro-mechanical, architectural engineering or similar. If interested, please complete the online application and submit a cover letter and resume. 


Buildings and Grounds 


The Office of Physical Plant and The Arboretum at Penn State are offering paid ($12.00/hour) internships for Penn State students interested in career paths in horticulture, arboriculture, and nursery production. These are full-time (40 hour/week) positions with a 14-week term from May 9–August 12, 2022. All internships include an educational component featuring both on-campus sessions and off-site field trips. 

Horticulture: Learn horticultural and grounds management practices in a public garden setting. Interns work side-by-side with Arboretum staff to manage day-to-day garden operations throughout the growing season. Highlights include installation of the Arboretum’s summer floral display, supervision of volunteer groups, and skills training in the use of tools and equipment. (4 positions available) 

Arboriculture: Learn tree care practices in a public landscape/campus setting. Interns work side-by-side with Penn State staff arborists to manage day-to-day tree care operations on the University Park campus. Highlights include skills training in tree climbing and rigging, as well as training in the use of tools and equipment. (1 position available) 

Nursery Production: Learn greenhouse and nursery operations in a public landscape setting. Interns work side-by-side with Penn State staff horticulturists to manage day-to-day operations at Penn State’s Tower Road Greenhouse complex, which produces ornamental plants for use in landscapes across the University Park campus, including The Arboretum at Penn State. Highlights include hands-on training in annual, perennial, and woody crop production, irrigation systems, and crop planning, as well as training in the use of tools and equipment. (1 position available) 

Applicants must specify in their cover letter which position/s (Horticulture, Arboriculture, Nursery Production) they are interested in. Applicants may indicate more than one area of interest. Qualified applicants will be contacted for Zoom interviews during February/March 2022. 


Planning, Design, and Properties  

Architecture or Landscape Architecture

OPP’s division of Planning, Design, and Properties (PDP) may be seeking an architecture and/or landscape architecture intern for the Summer 2022 semester. The primary mission of this group is to promote wise stewardship of the University’s physical assets and provide responsive, high-quality, and creative design solutions in support of the University’s mission. More information can be found here. The successful candidate will assist staff with any/all facility projects on campus (major projects, renovations, historic restoration, etc.). Efforts may include attending meetings, site reconnaissance, firm and project-type research, and/or design support efforts using the Adobe Creative Suite, AutoCAD, SketchUp or similar programs. The candidate will be introduced to campus planning and site design through project-based work. Candidates must be pursuing a degree in Architecture or Landscape Architecture.  

Work location will be University Park campus, with the opportunity to visit various Commonwealth Campus locations while assisting PDP: University Architect, University Planner, and/or Landscape Architecture staff.  


Space Planning and Management – Enterprise Programs

The Enterprise Programs unit of Space Planning and Management administrates multiple enterprise software systems to support the needs of facilities management and inform space management decisions. The Enterprise Programs unit is seeking an intern to assist with the administration of enterprise SaaS systems. Candidates must be enrolled in a four-year accredited undergraduate program. Computer Science and Engineering, Information Science and Technology, Business, Architectural Engineering, or Geography programs are preferred but not required.

Job duties to include:

  • System configuration and administration
  • Content updates and CMS administration
  • Data discovery and entry - including site visits for measurements, features, layouts, and photographs


Work Control 

Project Planning and Estimating 

Project Planning and Estimating is a Division of Work Control that is responsible for providing the planning and estimating for Corrective, Service, Landscape, Utility, Electrical and/or Major Maintenance projects for the University Park campus. We are also responsible for the planning of all preventive maintenance and the identification and asset management of all assets on campus. The intern position will be responsible for field and office work such as identifying and collecting asset information, construction plan takeoffs, energy-saving analysis, general information gathering and data entry. Candidate must be pursuing a degree in Engineering or Building Operations Management. 


Operational Technology

Operational Technology - Project Management 

Physical Plant Operational Technology (OT) is dedicated to promoting, advocating, and ensuring an inclusive and diverse work environment. The Project Management Office (PMO) currently has an internship position available (both school year and summer work desired) and is looking for students completing their first or second year. The person chosen must have attention to detail, work equally well autonomously or as a team player. The area of focus for this internship (which can count for credit in the College of IST) is project management. 

Project Management Internship Summary: The intern will aid in the management of business and technical projects in the PMO including projects involving databases, core University Enterprise systems, software development projects, and integrations between OPP and University systems. Job duties will include: 

  • Assist in the set up and facilitation of project and team meetings 
  • Collaborate with stakeholders across OPP 
  • Data analysis 
  • Create and execute test plans for quality assurance, user acceptance, performance, security, and usability 
  • Assist in the preparation of presentations 
  • Assist in creating project marketing or training materials 
  • Write and update SOPs 
  • Job shadowing of the PMs 

The selected candidate will work in a fast paced, project-oriented environment and will be involved in many facets of a project management, execution and implementation.  

In order to be qualified for this role, you must possess the following: 

  • Currently enrolled in a four-year accredited undergraduate program 
  • Minimum of a 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 Scale 
  • Enrolled in a Computer Science or Information Technology education program 

Project Management Intern needed skills: 

  • Organizational effectiveness 
  • Superb analytical writing ability to convey complex concepts 
  • Superb speaking ability to convey complex concepts 
  • General understanding of Information Technology in the workplace 


OPP Communications

OPP is looking for an intern to assist in creating and developing compelling content to reach both its internal audience, as well as its various external audiences, including University employees, contractors, and more. Opportunities include contributing content to the internal employee newsletter; writing news stories that will appear in Penn State News and other publications; photographing events, campus facilities and construction-related projects; assisting with the creation and editing of website content; and contributing creative content for use on Twitter.