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Summer Internship Program in University Development

Internship Timeline

Event Date
Application Closes January 3
First Round of Interviews Late January
Second Round of Interviews Mid February
Notification of Final Decisions Early March
Start of Internship May 16
Celebration/Program Close July 30

Download 2016 Program Information

Penn State’s Office of University Development is offering full-time paid internships this summer to students or recent graduates interested in learning more about a career in fundraising and nonprofit work. This uniquely structured experience provides selected individuals with the opportunity to be immersed in a development office at Penn State’s University Park campus.

It enables students to both learn about the fundraising profession and gain firsthand experience assisting the operations of a development office. By coupling hands-on work with traditional classroom learning, the internship is designed to prepare students with both the knowledge and the skills to embark on a career in higher education development or nonprofit work.

This experience is the result of a three-pronged program combining real world experienceFriday educational sessions, and professional development.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2016 DDAR Summer Internship Program are now available! Please visit the Penn State jobs website for the application. You'll be prompted to log-in with your PSU Access ID to fill out the application.

Apply for the Summer Internship

Questions? Please contact Cheryl Kaplan, Director of Talent Management.

Real world experience

Participants will spend thirty-two hours per week in a development office working on meaningful projects that introduce them to new skills and career opportunities. These challenges could include anything from meeting with donors to coordinating a recognition event to assisting with the development of a major gift proposal. Along the way, interns will receive valuable feedback and mentoring from experienced professionals.

Friday educational sessions

Participants will spend eight hours per week (on Fridays) in a classroom-type environment learning about the role of philanthropy within institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations. In addition to reading relevant materials, contributing to classroom discussions, and completing assignments, interns will have the opportunity to listen to guest speakers and partake in relevant, organized tours. Some of these tours and presentations involve University donors who give firsthand accounts of their gifts and their motivations for giving. Interns will also keep a reflective journal detailing their own philanthropic interests and motivations.

Professional development

The internship includes a variety of events designed to expose students to industry professionals and develop skill sets related to these situations.

Programming includes:

  • an etiquette workshop;
  • a networking and résumé writing workshop;
  • social and educational events with donors;
  • field trips.


Please contact Cheryl Kaplan, Director of Talent Management ( or Anthony Mitchell, Talent Management Intern ( with any questions.

More information

View our summer intern videos!

Class of 2014 video: