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RHS Internship 101

This is a guide to help you during your internship process.

RHS Internships 101


What this guide is:

  • Information to help assist in brainstorming and identifying internships
  • Tips on preparing you to talk to employers
  • Resources to prepare you for the internship search 

What this guide isn't:

  • Replacement for RHS internship manual
  • Replacement for meeting with your assigned RHS faculty advisor
  • The only resource you need to find an internship

Common FAQ's:

  • Why do I have two advisors and how do I know who to go to?
    • RHS students have 2 advisors
      • 1= Academic Advisor (located in 228 Chambers Building) who you work with to discuss your academic program to identify courses required for the major and possible minor, petition classes, etc. They help you with selecting classes and figuring out if they count towards RHS degree, transfer credits, etc.
  • 2= RHS Faculty Advisor (located in CEDAR Building) is assigned to you in start of your junior year (5th semester). You will receive an email letting you know who your faculty advisor is.  You should then set up an appointment with your RHS faculty advisor as soon as possible. RHS faculty advisors will work with you to:
    • Identify career choices (What are you going to do once you graduate?)
    • Prepare you for the world of work (What experiences do you have/should you have by the time you graduate?)
    • Assist in internship process by discussing your interests/goals, identifying internship options, working with you through the internship process to ensure all paperwork is completed properly and completed by the required deadline
  • NOTE: it is not your faculty supervisor’s "job" to find you an internship nor make sure your paperwork is completed and turned in on time- this is the responsibility of the student

  • How should I prepare before meeting with my faculty advisor?
    • Make sure you have read the RHS internship manual (link at end of this document) and come with a list of questions
    • Know what semester you plan on doing your internship (Note: you should have all courses completed prior to internship)- Plan ahead!!
    • Have some ideas of where you may be interested in finding an internship (general ideas of population, setting, etc.). You may want to review the list of internships contact sites on the RHS webpage (link at end of this document)
  • When should I start looking for my internship?
    • You should be thinking about your internship throughout your program. This is your time to explore different ideas and learn more about different settings, etc. The earlier you start thinking about the internship the better. You should start planning at least one year in advance!
  • How do I know what I want to do for my internship?
    • Think about:
      • "What population do you want to work with?"
      • "What setting do you want to work in (hospital, school, community)?"
      • "What have you learned in your RHS courses that sparked an interest?" (guest speakers, site visits, etc.)
  • Also:
    • Talk with you RHS faculty advisor!!
    • Talk with other students in the program.
    • Join the "I'm In Rehab Why Aren't You" Facebook group to connect with other RHS students.
    • Attend the RHS Student Organization and/or Occupational Therapy Club meetings
  • What else should I be thinking about when I start the internship process?
    • Where will you live?
      • Will you remain in State College, go back home or somewhere else completely?
  • Does your internship need to be paid?
  • What kind of experience do you want to have (where do you lack experience and/or what do you want to learn from your internship)?
  • Once I have some ideas what next?
    • Research employers who work in that area and may have internships available (make a list to keep track of who you have contacted and when- SEE INTERNSHIP TRACKER SPREADSHEET BELOW)
    • Research employer websites to learn more about what they do, where and how
    • Identify the contact person in organization (either through employer website or RHS internship database). If you can't identify the contact person, for example the OT manager if interested in an OT internship, call the human resource department and ask if there is a person who handles internships for the organization.
  • I've narrowed down some internship sites, now what?
    • Contact the employer and see if you can talk more with someone about potential internships?
    • Can you do a site visit to learn more about the employer (this is recommended)
    • To prepare for an interview and have your resume reviewed, students should schedule an appointment with the career counselor assigned to work with RHS students, Cassie Rosas (; 814-865-2377).
  • Should I call or email the employer?
    • After you've identified the contact person give them a call. It's more personal and gives you the opportunity to speak directly with someone right from the beginning, instead of waiting for an email response (and many employers may not respond to email without talking with you first). If you don't reach someone by phone and you leave a message, then follow up with an email.
  • How do I talk with an employer about internships?
    • Here is what you should do before picking up the phone:
      • Do research on the employer so you know who they are and what they do
      • Be able to answer the following questions (use RHS Internship Manual for guide):
        • Why do you want to intern here (what do you want to learn)?
        • When would the internship start?
        • How many hours is the internship?
        • What are the requirements of the internship? Do you need to be supervised?
        • What paperwork is required?
        • When do you need to know by?
        • What extra work is required on our end?
  • When is all the required paperwork due:
    • Fall Semester internship: Due July 1
    • Spring Semester internship: Due November 1
    • Summer Semester internship: Due April 1

Other Resources:

  • RHS Internship webpage:
  • RHS Manual:
  • Other FAQ's:
  • RHS Internship Database: (Note: you are not limited to just these internships listed)

  • Penn State Career Resources: help with resumes and review



  1.  Working in a diverse environment
  2.  Managing time and priorities 

  3.  Contributing to a team 

  4.  Navigating across boundaries 

  5.  Acquiring knowledge 

  6. Thinking critically
  7. Performing with integrity
  8. Developing professional competencies
  9. Communicating effectively
  10. Solving problems
  11. Balancing work and life
  12. Embracing change

Learn more about the 12 Essential Skills by visiting:


Internship Tracker

Employer Name


Contact Person

Contact Email

Contact Phone

Date Contacted

Results (ex: left message, discussed internship opportunities, etc.)

Follow up needed (ex: date to follow up, check in on internship decision, etc.)

Other Comments: