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Larissa is an intern at the Shoal Creek Ranger District of the Talladega National Forest in a partnership between the USDA Forest Service, Greening Youth Foundation (, a non-profit based in Atlanta, GA), and the Career Services Department at JSU. Her activities include leading youth group tour programming, assisting the Wildlife Biologist on banding red cockaded woodpeckers, surveying decommissioned roads using GIS mapping, and helping with timber sell unit assessment.

She is thoroughly enjoying herself and getting valuable class-related work experience!


 As adapted from the National Association of Colleges and Employers website:

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; they also give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.

Check out our internship courses!

The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment.
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
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