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Reflect and Research

Take time to discover who you are as an individual and what is important to you as a professional. Reflecting on your experiences and skills will help shape what your internship or job search will look like.

Think about how you can relate to employers and the skills and experiences that you have to offer. Take time to think about your interests, skills, knowledge, experience, and career values.

Consider your personal preferences when it comes to a work environment. Is there a specific geographic location? Would you be happiest in a larger organization or a smaller one? What work environment factors are most important to you?

Career Counselors assist students with reflecting upon current and past experiences, identifying and organizing career themes that likely relate to a wide array of career opportunities.

Start by researching career fields and industries using the online resource in the Career Resource Center (link). Explore industries and occupations within each to find an area of focus for your job search.

Once you identify a few companies of interest use their websites, LinkedIn, and online resources like GlassDoor to get an idea of what the company culture is like. Review job descriptions for entry-level positions within their organization and check to see if they are hosting an information session on campus.

Consider government opportunities (federal, state, and local levels) as well as working for a non-profit organization. Use the job search resources on this page to identify these opportunities and determine if they are interest to you.

Once you identify the positions you wish to apply to, start gathering your materials and preparing for the application process. Create a document to help you track needed application materials, submission timelines, and any contact information or notes that you may need.


Develop your resume and have it reviewed by a career counselor. Include your experiences and list them in order of relevancy to make them stand out to an employer.

Cover Letter

Create a cover letter for each opportunity you apply for. This can take time, but a personal and customized cover letter is your chance to show your interest in the position and to communicate how your experiences and education prepare you to be successful in the opportunity you are seeking.

Utilize Materials and Search Strategies

An effective job or internship search often requires interacting with employer and organizations in multiple ways.

Start connecting and networking with organizations and professionals in industries of interest to you.

The primary resource for job postings at Penn State, Nittany Lion Careers provides all Penn State students with access to hundreds of opportunities.

  • Log-in to view all current job and internship postings.

Upload your resume and apply for positions directly through the system. Some employers participate in On-Campus Interviewing (OCI) which allows you to apply and interview for positions right on campus. All OCI postings can also be accessed through Nittany Lion Careers.

Have questions about finding an internship or co-op opportunity?

  • Connect with your college career office  to discuss opportunities and report an accepted internship or co-op offer.

Network face-to-face with potential employers on campus. This is a great way to personalize your resume and give details about your experience.

  • Attend career fairs across campus to meet with recruiters and discuss opportunities.

  • Organizations often schedule information sessions on campus throughout the year. These open meetings allow you to learn about the company, internship and full-time employment opportunities, and ask questions about their culture. Use this as a chance to put a face with a name and show recruiters your personality. Information sessions are listed in Nittany Lion Careers and are updated frequently.

Most fields have at least one or more professional associations that represent their career area. These often have information for current students interested in that discipline. Use these as a way to network with other professionals or find out about industry news or job opportunities.

The internet is a very powerful tool to help you located organizations, opportunities, and endless amounts of information about a career path. 

Industry and Company Guides

Job Boards

Non-Profit Opportunities

Academic Job Search

Each state have a government-sponsored employment agency to help residents find opportunities. There are also privately owned companies designed to help find employment. Be sure to research each agency to understand potential fees and policies for involvement.

State and Local Employment Agencies

Apply and Interview

Follow the application steps closely and secure interviews. Review the Interviewing page for help preparing for your interview. Utilize resources like the Mock Interview program or InterviewPrep to help you practice before the real thing.


Financial and phishing scams are happening more frequently on job posting sites. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Do not respond to messages asking for personal information or money, click on any phishing or scam links, open any attachments from unexpected sources, or provide account information or passwords to senders.

If you are suspicious of an email, forward it to for validation. For more information on how to recognize scams, visit

Nittany Lion Careers

Utilize Nittany Lion Careers to apply for positions and potentially interview on campus. Available to all Penn State students, find positions and opportunities exclusive to our students.
Access Nittany Lion Careers now.

Evaluate Offers

Take your time and make sure to have all of your questions answered before making a decision. Review the Job Offers and Negotiating page for strategies and tips to help you navigate this portion of the job search process.

Yay! Once you've accepted, contact your college career office to report your internship and make sure you receive credit for any program requirements.

Job Posting and Company Verification Disclaimer

Read the full disclaimer about the share responsibility between Penn State Career Services (including University Park and all campus locations) and internship and job seekers in researching and identifying potential concerns about the legitimacy of employers and their respective postings.
Read the Job Posting and Company Verification Disclaimer


101 Bank of America Career Services Center
University Park, PA 16802


Career Guide Online

Schedule a virtual career counseling appointment

Search opportunities on Nittany Lion Careers

Use career resources online

Find drop-in career counseling hours

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