Work Experience

Students majoring in Forest Engineering, Forest/Civil Engineering, Forestry, Renewable Materials and Wood Innovation for Sustainability are required to complete six-months of work experience related to their degree as part of their degree requirements.   

  • Natural Resources and Tourism, Recreation & Adventure Leadership majors do not have a six month work experience requirement but are encouraged to seek out internship and work experiences.


The following principles provide guidance and outline the goals for required work experience:


  1. Promote learning and development.
  2. Connect in-class education with on-the-job training through paid (or unpaid) employment.
  3. Provide the opportunity to “test-run” a type of job, an agency or business prior to entering the work-force in that specific area.
  4. Engage students in active practice of their chosen field of work with the benefit of a seasoned professional’s guidance.


  1. Please review the Work Experience Practicum Overview & Guidelines
  2. You must complete work equal to six months of full-time employment.
    1. Work does not need to be a consecutive six months and can be completed in shorter periods (i.e. two 3-month summer periods, etc.) as long as the duration totals six months.
    2. Work experience can be paid or unpaid; full-time, part-time, seasonal, internship, and volunteer positions all count towards this requirement.
    3. One month of work equals approximately 150 hours, six months equals approximately 900 hours of certified work experience. It is the student’s responsibility to track dates and hours worked. You may wish to confirm this information with your supervisor prior to submitting the work experience form in order to ensure consistency and accuracy.
    4. Work should be related to your area of study. If you have questions about the type of work that is acceptable, please make an appointment to speak with your Advisor.
  3. The work experience form should be submitted NO LATER THAN ONE TERM BEFORE YOUR ANTICIPATED GRADUATION TERM. This allows supervisors, Department Designees and Advisors sufficient time to evaluate and certify your work.
  1. Login to the system using your ONID credentials by clicking "Log in" below.
  2. Complete and submit the Practicum Summary form with the following information:
    1. Employer Name
    2. Employer Address
    3. Supervisor Name and Title
    4. Supervisor Email Address (this is the email address that the employer evaluation will be sent to)
    5. Your position title
    6. Dates of Employment
    7. Hours worked during employment period
    8. Type of work you performed
  3. Assess your work experience by addressing each of the six learning outcomes. Completion of the student work experience summary form is expected to take approximately 20 minutes. An appropriate word length for each answer is around 150 words. You cannot save your progress as you work through the form (it must be completed in one sitting), therefore you may wish to draft your answers in a separate document and copy and paste them into the form.
    1. When writing about your work experience and learning outcomes please write professionally, and with clarity and coherence.
  4. Your direct supervisor will be asked to complete an evaluation of your performance and assign the degree of competency reached for each of the learning outcomes. Supervisors will also be asked to confirm the dates and number of hours you worked. It is suggested that you discuss your required work experience and the evaluation request prior to submitting it so supervisors will be expecting it. If your supervisor does not receive the evaluation request, they may need to check their spam/junk folder.
    1. If your immediate supervisor is a current OSU undergraduate student, please have an employee who is not a current OSU undergraduate and is in a supervisory role complete the employee evaluation. You will need to provide a name and email address for the evaluation to be sent. 
    2. If you are self-employed and do not have a direct supervisor, your work experience will be evaluated by a member of the College of Forestry who will determine if your work meets program guidelines and should be forwarded to the Department Designee for certification.  
  5. You have the option of uploading supporting documentation to the form for the Department Designee and Academic Advisor to evaluate, along with your learning outcome answers. This is not required, just an option if you feel it will help clarify the position and why it should be counted toward the work experience requirement.
  6. Please work with your advisor to determine the appropriate type of work experiences.
  7. Click submit.
    1. You only need to click submit once. You will receive a confirmation email that your submission has been received. 
  8. To check the status of your work experience simply log in to the system again.
  9. Contact Student Services or your Academic Advisor if you have questions!

The Learning Outcomes section of the work experience form gives you a chance to explain how you met the required learning outcomes and why this experience fits your career goals and/or program of study. Below are examples of approved answers.


Critical Thinking - Address the level of critical thinking you have obtained that has allowed you to comprehend, retain, and apply newly learned principles, procedures, tasks, etc. at an appropriate level for the position.

Example Answer:

"Prior to working this job, I really did not understand how the wildland firefighting suppression tactics and prevention worked. I was able to learn how crews, like the one I was apart of, use resources from indirect and direct attack to put out fires. I learned how to run pumps, speak with other crew members, and other tactics to fight fire like a progressive hose lay. By critically thinking about my position with relation to the natural resources, I was able to better understand the effect of wildfire on forested land. Many times, throughout the summer, the crew was able to meet with the stewardship forester to discuss hazards through construction and active logging units that might increase fire danger in that area."


Obligations - Assess how you have accepted and fulfilled obligations with initiative, reliability and consistency (in quality, timeliness, accuracy, skill-level, attendance, etc.).

Example Answer:

"The obligations I have as a sales assistant for the panel department include fulfilling all Dunn Lumber location panel and OSB orders, as well as keeping track of inventory out of Coastal and Arlington locations for these sites. I support sales assistants in charge of Menard Home Store orders, and am a supporting assistant to Texas, Low-Grade, and domestic orders for lumber. I provide phone relief for the switchboard on the sales floor, as well as ensuring sales support when an employee is out of office. With panel operating out of a small department, I am responsible for setting trucks to outbound status on orders, and editing tallies of shipments when inventory arrives at its designated location. If there are any issues on an order, such as an order being shipped to the wrong location, a customer not being billed correctly, or an item being wrong on a shipment, it is my responsibility to coordinate with the appropriate department, such as traffic, invoicing, and within my own panel department sales team."


Methods - Evaluate the methods by which you provided feedback and practiced judgements, when requested, in a communicative and constructive manner that engages critical thinking skills.

Example Answer:

"Most of the feedback I provided was inquiries on what I did wrong and how I can do better when projects were completed. I am someone who is eager to learn and understand why certain things are done the way that they are. For this reason, I was always curious how to do things better. With this feedback, I was able to make positive strides in my work. I also provided feedback to my supervisor on how jobs were progressing when I went out on my own. I had to use critical thinking when using proper vocabulary and terminology. Additionally, there were many times when I had to produce feedback to my supervisor on how surveys went. I had to explain to him what went well and what didn't so that we could collaborate to come up with the best way to proceed on a given project."


Engagement - Demonstrate how you engaged in a safe practice and performance of duties.

Example Answer:

"Over the course of the summer, we had a lot of duties that involved being in the middle of the road. There was a lot of traffic, pedestrians, bicyclists, and overall a lot of angry citizens that didn’t want us to be in the road. With this, we all had to wear the proper personal protective equipment every day. This involved, high visibility clothing, six steel toe boots, sunglasses that were safety rated, your protection, ventilators, hats, and gloves every day. All of our duties were around heavy equipment, hot equipment, and overall just dangerous stuff to be around, so our crew took safety very seriously."


Communication - Describe how you effectively used verbal and written communication skills to demonstrate clarity of expression, clear organization of ideas, and understanding of appropriated/specialized vocabulary, and express interpersonal communication competence.

Example Answer:

"Verbal communication was conducted in person in order to communicate ideas clearly and unambiguously. Questions were asked when there was not complete understanding and to glean secondary information important to making decisions. Competence was expressed through the depth of questions and demonstrated understanding of the concept at hand. Written communication was used when permanence was required; i.e. in the form of documenting fieldwork or other official information. Communication was evaluated by managers to ensure adequate quality. Feedback was welcomed and encouraged, as well."


Leadership - Describe how you took on leadership roles or displayed leadership with the goal of professionally organizing and directing plans, procedures, teammates, etc..

Example Answer:

"With the team I made sure that if anyone had any questions that I was available to answer them. I also made sure that everyone's input was listened to in all the tasks before going forward with a plan. I made it a key part of my work that all the team members felt valued, that their ideas mattered, and that their success was important. Without everyone doing their job to the best of their abilities the job would not have been completed at a level of excellence."


Fit - How do you see this work experience fitting into your career goals and/or your program of study (major)?

Example Answer:

"This work experience is going to fit my employment aspirations and my program of study extremely well. My goal is to one day own and operate a timber company that is similar in size or bigger with the goal of being extremely efficient. This has helped me understand more concepts that are being taught in my program of study can relate them back to real world experiences that I have now had."