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Internships

Penn State
Department of Ecosystem Science and Management Internship Program
Employer Fact Sheet

What is an internship?
An internship is an off-campus work experience related to a student's professional interests. The Department of Ecosystem Science and Management does not require an internship for graduation, but we strongly encourage students to get some "real-world" experience before they complete their degree programs. Summer internships are the most common and most desirable to students.

Why hire student interns?
Current enrollments in Forest Science, Wood Products, and Wildlife and Fisheries Science at Penn State total about 500 undergraduate students, most of whom are eager for work experience related to their major. Student interns are capable and highly motivated workers. Internships give employers the opportunity to "train" a future resources professional, and to provide the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management with feedback on how we might better prepare students in the future. Internships give employers the opportunity to obtain a technical report or other product completed by an intern as well as the opportunity for an on-the-job evaluation of potential future employees.

Paid or unpaid?
Employers may choose to hire students on hourly wages, stipends, or with no salary. Paid internships are the most desirable since students often need additional income to help pay school expenses. Furthermore, students who choose to earn academic credit for an internship must pay for those credits. Employers may also find it beneficial to provide a student intern with wages for liability purposes. Penn State does not cover workmen's compensation or liability for student interns. Students hired on internships are not eligible to file unemployment claims upon completion of their internships.

Do students earn credit?
Students who wish to earn academic credit for an internship have the opportunity to do so. Requirements for earning credit include establishing learning objectives (in consultation with a faculty member and the employer), keeping a daily log, maintaining contact with a faculty member, and preparing mid-term and final reports. These requirements are laid out in the student's Internship Handbook. Employers are asked to provide a written evaluation of student performance.

How do employers find student interns?
The Department of Ecosystem Science and Management can quickly inform students about any opportunity that may be available. All internship notices are posted on hallway bulletin boards as well as on our internet job site. We can collect resumes from applicants and arrange on-campus interviews for selected candidates, or employers may opt to handle the application process themselves.

Additional questions? Please contact:

Department of Ecosystem Science and Management
The Pennsylvania State University
114 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-863-0362
Fax: 814-865-3725