Internship Opportunities

2016-17 Office of Physical Plant Internship Opportunities

Penn State’s Office of the Physical Plant is seeking student interns for the Fall of 2016 and the Spring/Summer of 2017. OPP stewards Penn State`s physical plant and provides quality facility services and safety programs in support of the University`s mission. If interested you must post a cover letter and resume at the OPP Internship posting on Job Posting#66694. In your cover letter we ask that you indicate the specific area of interest to ensure your resume is considered. During the Fall/Spring semesters, interns may work up to 20 hours a week. Your work schedule and hours per week will be discussed with you by your supervisor. During the summer, interns are expected to work 40 hours a week. If areas of interest are not stated in your cover letter, you may not be considered for an internship position. Thank you for your consideration.

Questions: Contact John Bechtel.

Project Management

These divisions oversee and coordinate 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 related field. First, second, and third year engineering students are encouraged to apply.

Contract Administration

The Contract Administration (CA) intern position will provide assistance with activities such as contractor prequalification, contract documentation, certified payroll, and Job Order Contracting. Although candidates pursuing a degree in an architecture/engineering related field may apply, it is preferred that applicants for the CA intern position are pursuing a degree in a business or legal/paralegal related field.

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 into bid document stage as well as construction support. Services that are provided to Project Leaders and customers include Architectural Design, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Building Information Modeling / Virtual Design support, Code Compliance support and Building Envelope Systems support. Typical activities for an intern include data collection, design support, AutoCAD or Revit production and construction support. Candidate must be pursuing a degree in Architecture, Engineering, Construction Management or a discipline related to CAD. Skills and experience in AutoCAD or Revit strongly preferred. First, second, and third year engineering/architecture students are encouraged to apply.

Renovation Services

Interns for the Renovation Services Groups will be exposed to the basics of the construction/renovation process. Candidates will be involved with all aspects of construction project management from estimating through project close-out. Duties may include meeting with the design team, assisting with estimating, submittal preparation and processing, schedule development, financial tracking, punchlist development and tracking, and project turnover at completion. Skills gained will be beneficial to all Architectural Engineering and Civil Engineering student regardless of option or discipline.

Facility Automation Services

This division provides engineering and commissioning services that optimize the University’s building automation systems in order to increase occupant satisfaction and decrease energy use. Some of the specific tasks for which FAS is responsible include Building Automation Application Engineering; Installation, maintenance and repair of the Utility and Security fiber network; Monitoring connected buildings from the central station; Building Automation server and software maintenance; New product investigation and recommendations; and Building Automation Commissioning Services. Interns in this department will have a variety of tasks that may include assisting with the design, engineering, documentation, maintenance and commissioning of Building Automation systems.

Engineering Services

The Office of Physical Plant Energy and Engineering Division is seeking interns interested in energy management activities. 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 with core courses such as Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, HVAC and Lighting a plus. Must have excellent computer skills. Familiarity with renewable technologies like solar and geothermal are preferred. Candidate should also have the ability to communicate clearly, the ability to translate complex information for a variety of audiences, and ability to perform various tasks independently. To apply please complete the online application and upload a cover letter and resume. Hours, wages, and anticipated period of employment will vary up to 20 hours during the Fall and Spring Terms. During the Summer 2017this position could be up to 40 hours.

Engineering Services is accepting applications for Student Interns for the Summer of 2017 (May-August). These interns will be focused on support for the Continuous Commissioning Program (which commissions HVAC systems typically). Work duties will include, but are not limited to: preparing documents for the building commissioning team, updates and revisions to the commissioning website, drafting using AutoCAD software, calculations, and on-site building evaluations. These interns will be directed by a Continuous Commissioning Engineer. 35-40 hrs./week (flexible), Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. schedule range (flexible starting time). Full-time 3rd, 4th or 5th year students from the College of Engineering, majoring in Architectural Engineering (Mechanical Option preferred), and who are motivated to gain a further understanding of building HVAC systems through work experience are encouraged to apply. If interested, please complete the online application and submit a cover letter and resume.

Buildings and Grounds

Recycling and Composting Education Intern

OPP and Penn State’s Sustainability Institute are looking to hire a Penn State student who will work from May 2017 to May 2018 creating educational materials and programs to encourage Penn State students, faculty and staff to sort their waste into recycling and composting bins. Over the twelve-month period, the intern will assist with preparing educational tools, planning events and presenting on waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting.

Specific deliverables include:

  • Learn about the Penn State’s and Centre County’s waste management processes
  • Create recycling and composting tools
  • Plan and coordinate events
  • Present to a variety of audiences on composting and recycling

The successful candidate will be a team player, with a GPA above 3.0, and superb written, interpersonal and oral communication skills. Must be a quick learner, able to manage and organize multiple sources of information, meet deadlines and enjoy a fast-paced work environment. The applicant should have an ability to translate complex information into understandable forms for a variety of audiences. An interest in and knowledge about sustainability issues and concepts, especially recycling and composting, is preferred.

This paid internship will be for 20 hours per week in the summer and 10 to 15 hours a week during the school year. Please apply online by submitting a cover letter, resume, two writing samples (such as class assignments) and the names and contact information for two references. Questions may be sent to Lydia Vandenbergh at

Custodial Services

Custodial Services is a Division of Buildings & Grounds in the Office of Physical Plant. We are responsible for providing custodial services to Academic, Athletic and Administrative Facilities. We have continued to improve services based on a Team Cleaning approach in order to enhance building cleanliness and maintain costs. Currently at approximately 35% Team Cleaning, we are seeking an intern to assist with our conversion to a full Team Cleaning campus. Intern tasks will include data analysis, monitoring program efficiencies, tracking conversion progress and results, developing and delivering training, measuring cost-savings, and analyzing results. Interns in this department should be seeking to obtain a degree in the field of Industrial Engineering.

Campus Planning and Design

The Division of Campus Planning + Design may be seeking a landscape architecture intern for the Summer 2016 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 solutions in support of the University’s mission. More information can be found at The successful candidate will assist staff with project site reconnaissance, graphic design and production using the Adobe Creative Suite, AutoCAD, SketchUp, and Microsoft Office, as well as be introduced to campus planning and site design through project-based work. Candidates must be pursuing a degree in Landscape Architecture and typically should be at the upper level of the curriculum.

Project Planning and Estimating

Project Planning and Estimating is a Division of Work Control that is responsible for providing the planning and estimating for new construction, renovation, and 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 Construction Management. First, second, and third year Engineering (Architectural, Electrical, Mechanical, and Civil) students are encouraged to apply.

Physical Security Office

This office directs and manages Physical Security for the University including all of its commonwealth locations. Responsibilities of this office include, but are not limited to, surveillance, access control, security alarm, and life safety systems. Intern tasks will include Security System programming, scanning and organizing electronic security documents into manageable spreadsheets, key inventory updates and other administrative and security system programming tasks as directed. Interns in this department should be seeking to obtain degree in any of the following; Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, Criminal Justice or other electronic technology/law enforcement degree. Work hours will be restricted to weekdays between 7am and 4pm.

Facility Asset Management (FAM)

Facility Asset Management (FAM) is a Division of Work Control that balances software, information and knowledge to support the operation and maintenance of the University's physical assets to maximize value. Specifically, FAM resources are responsible for the Work Reception Center, Geographical Information System (ArcGIS), Document Management (DocFinity), and the functionality of an Enterprise Asset Management System (Maximo). . Typical activities for an intern include data collection, developing training documents, reviewing/revising operational policies, coordinating with IT on various upgrade projects, and providing high level training courses. Due to the diverse range of work, FAM hires from a broad range of majors for each group:

  • Work Reception Center: Communications
  • Geographical Information System (ArcGIS): Goegraphy
  • Document Management (DocFinity): IST, Communications, Construction Management
  • Enterprise Asset Management System (Maximo): IST, Communications, Engineering

Facilities Resources and Planning

Job description will be forthcoming.

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 faculty, staff, students and parents. Opportunities include contributing content to the internal employee newsletter, writing news stories that will appear in Penn State News, assisting with the creation and editing of website content, and contributing creative content for us on Twitter.

OPP Special Events

The Office of Physical Plant is seeking a Penn State student who will work part-time Spring Semester 2017 into full-time Summer 2017 assisting with the coordination and execution of Special Events on campus including THON, Special Olympics of Pennsylvania Summer Games, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Ag Progress Days, Central Pennsylvania 4th Fest, Happy Volley, Homecoming and others.

Possible Applicants: Ideal majors include Hospitality Management; Recreation, Park and Tourism Management; Community, Environment and Development; and Business Management or other type major where work coordinating public events with multiple municipal, university, and nonprofit entities would be advantageous experience. Self-starter with excellent communication skills a must.

Over the course of the spring and summer, the intern will serve as a liaison between event hosts/sponsors and OPP. The intern will assist in coordinating with the event sponsor and their committees to determine the scope of OPP’s support including but not limited to labor, equipment, materials, access, parking, temporary utility service, signage, security, transportation, etc. as necessary to ensure a safe and enjoyable event. The intern will also help procure goods and services from outside vendors at the request of the sponsor. The intern will then be responsible for the preparation and communication of work plans, coordinating with OPP Supervisors and the Work Control Center to ensure appropriate resource allocation. The OPP will also coordinate internally amongst Design and Construction to identify and mitigate any conflicts with construction schedules and building/roadway closures. Specific to Special Olympics, the intern will also be responsible for soliciting, scheduling and task delegation of staff volunteers for the event.

The intern may also be asked to lead, and is encouraged to propose, special initiatives aimed at improving Special Events such as sustainability, volunteer recruitment, event procedures and layout documentation.

While the level of physical presence varies greatly depending on the event, it is the expectation that the intern will be available during the event, including set-up and tear-down days for most all events.

The role will also include post-event coordination including scheduling and attendance of debrief meetings with the event sponsors and internal staff, review and analysis of charges and close-out of work orders.

The expectation is that the internship would require part time during the Spring Semester and full time or part time in the summer. After-hours and weekend work is required. Some duties will require physical effort consisting of lifting or moving items weighting 20 and 60 pounds and occasionally moving materials that weigh over 60 pounds.

Ideal candidates will possess strong leadership, customer service, organizational and communication skills. Must be a quick learner and able to manage and organize multiple events concurrently and meet time-sensitive deadlines. Candidates that possess an interest in event coordination, recreation and management are especially encouraged to apply.