Internship Opportunities

2019-20 Office of Physical Plant Internship Opportunities

Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant is seeking student interns for the Fall of 2019 and the Spring/Summer of 2020. OPP provides excellent facilities services for Penn State. If interested you must post a cover letter and resume on the OPP Internship posting: 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. The salary is $10.50/hr. Resumes and cover letters will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2020. Thank you for your consideration.

Questions? Contact Jessica Dubler or Terry Hansel

Design & 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 Contract Administration intern will support staff in a variety of activities, including contractor prequalification, bidding, certified payroll, DGS reimbursement, change order review and processing, Job Order Contracting, and Construction Manager qualification and selection.  The CA intern may assist with activities related to Project Management Information System (PMIS) implementation and with office work such as filing, copying, and scanning.  Experience with MS Office is needed, especially with Excel.  Accuracy and attention to detail are essential.

Preference will be given to applicants in the following majors:  Business Administration, Business Law, Procurement, Risk Management, Legal/Paralegal and any Architecture/Engineering-related major.

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. 

Renovation Services

Renovation Services is looking for one motivated individual with skills in Excel looking to gain experience in project coordination. This individual is expected to ask questions and accept opportunities to learn new skills throughout their time with Renovation Services. The responsibilities of the selected individual will include, but will not be limited to: providing budget updates on a weekly basis, attending job conferences and providing logs with relevant information pertaining to the jobs, going on site visits to take progress photos, filling out purchase orders and change orders, and helping with various tasks in the office. An intern with Renovation Services will also be required to present what they have learned at the end of the summer in a brief PowerPoint presentation.

OPP Special Events

The Office of Physical Plant is seeking a Penn State student who will work part-time Spring Semester 2020 into full-time Summer 2020 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.

Energy & Engineering

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.

Energy and Engineering

The Office of Physical Plant Energy and Engineering Division is seeking interns interested in energy management activities for the Summer of 2020. 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, 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 40 hrs/week.

Engineering Services – Electrical Engineering

The Office of Physical Plant, Engineering Services – Electrical Engineering Group is accepting applications for Student Interns. Interns will be focused on support for 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.

Utility Services

Information coming soon!

Physical Security

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.

Buildings & Grounds

Recycling and Composting Education Intern

Information coming soon!

Custodial Services

Information coming soon!


The Office of Physical Plant and The Arboretum at Penn State are offering paid ($10.50/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 4 – August 7, 2020. All internships include an educational component featuring both on-campus sessions and off-site field trips. Resumes will be accepted until January 31, 2020.

Horticulture: This internship provides a hands-on introduction to 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.  (Positions available - 3)

Arboriculture: This internship provides a hands-on introduction to tree care practices in a public landscape 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. (Positions available - 1)

Nursery Production: This internship provides a hands-on introduction to 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. (Positions available - 1)


  • 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 in-person interviews during early March.

Planning, Design, & Properties

Planning, Design, and Properties (PDP: Campus Planning) may be seeking a landscape architecture and/or architecture intern for the Summer 2020 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 by clicking here. 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 or Architecture.

Planning, Design, and Properties (PDP) may be seeking sophomore student (rising junior) majoring in architecture or engineering for Summer 2020 with experience in AutoCAD to support OPP PDP – Space Management. Duties will include:

  • Update of architectural block plans and CAD plans to document renovations to campus buildings.
  • Documentation and general plan updates for general purpose classrooms, including room layouts, measurement, furniture and technology placement.
  • Documentation and general plan updates for schedulable locations within CollegeNET.
  • Assist staff with space audits of existing spaces; verifying departmental assignments & uses, occupants, and layouts.
  • Data checking / data input into Facilities Information database.

Work location will be University Park Campus, with the opportunity to visit various Commonwealth Campus locations while assisting PDP: Space Management staff.

Work Control

Project Planning & Estimating

  1. 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.
  2. Technical Writer: This position is responsible for writing detailed Work Management Processes, Practices, and Guidelines (PPGs) that will be used as training aides for current and future staff. The selected candidate will be required to gather process and methods information, use current CMMS programs, and structure PPGs in a consistent, and easily understood communication and training format that promotes correct, consistent, and sustainable methods. The individual will also be required to assemble data into a operationally current structure that allows for immediate access to the latest version/revision of PPGs.

Facility Asset Management (FAM)

Information coming soon!

Office of the Associate Vice President


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 and other publications, assisting with the creation and editing of website content, and contributing creative content for use on Twitter.

Commonwealth Services

Commonwealth Services (CS) supports the facility needs of the University’s 28 campuses and research centers across the Commonwealth. Each facility has its own physical plant staff and operating budget.  Commonwealth Services staff is responsible for:  supplementing staff at each location by providing advice on all facility needs, establishing, monitoring, and enforcing policies, practices and procedures to ensure consistency in quality, managing all construction, assisting in defining, prioritizing and managing major maintenance projects.  The CS intern position will provide assistance with activities such as project close-out, document management and archiving.  The CS intern may also assist with activities related to e-Builder (Project Management Information System’s application).  Candidates pursuing a degree in business, or the legal/paralegal related field are encouraged to apply.

Information Technology Services

Project Management

The Physical Plant Information Technology Services (ITS) is dedicated to promoting, advocating, and ensuring an inclusive and diverse work environment. The person chosen must have attention to detail and work equally well autonomously and as a team player. The intern will assist specialized IT project teams in developing documentation, procedures, solutions and tools (internship can count for credit in the College of IST). The selected candidate will work in a fast paced, project-oriented environment and will be involved in many facets of a project life cycle. Qualified candidates must possess the following: Currently enrolled in a four-year accredited undergraduate program, minimum of a 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 Scale, and enrolled in a Computer Science or Information Technology education program. Must possess: Organizational effectiveness, superb analytical writing ability to convey complex concepts, superb speaking ability to convey complex concepts, and general understanding of Information Technology in the workplace.

Service Desk

The IT Service Desk assists with basic troubleshooting and operational support for IT issues for all Physical Plant employees. Interns will be responsible for assisting users with their technical needs as quickly and efficiently as possible. Responsibilities of the intern entail: helping with password changes, troubleshooting computer problems, and escalating issues not immediately resolved; setup and configure new computers and laptops using IBM BigFix build process; install and configure specialized software; and setup and troubleshoot peripherals; troubleshoot and resolve PSU wireless issues on iOS devices and laptops; troubleshoot and resolve connectivity issues; assist in supporting over 900 computers and over 500 mobile devices.  This position will help with any large-scale projects such as replacing desktops throughout OPP units and shops. Knowledge of Windows 8.1 and 10; Mobile Devices (iPad, iPhone, Android); and Office365 necessary.  Problem solving and troubleshooting skills preferred. This position will work alongside the Finance & Business IT Service Desk team. Candidates should also be currently enrolled in a four-year accredited undergraduate program, minimum of a 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 Scale, and enrolled in a Computer Science or Information Sciences and Technology education program.

Environmental Health & Safety

Information coming soon!