/Q+A Brittany Davis-Green on the FedEx Logistics program at Mississippi Valley State

Q+A Brittany Davis-Green on the FedEx Logistics program at Mississippi Valley State

Nonprofit Mississippi News FedEx Logistics (FXL), launched a unique program at Mississippi Valley State on Sept. 4. This program aims to build a diverse talent pool from the Delta. FXL created a satellite office at MVSU for students to work part time, gain experience, and possibly gain full-time employment with FXL. Brittany Davis Green, spokesperson for Mississippi Today, spoke to Mississippi Today about the program’s operation and the opportunities it offers students. This interview was edited to be concise and clear. It first appeared in The Delta Beat newsletter. The Delta Beat newsletter is Mississippi Today’s monthly digest news, culture, and education analysis. Register for The Delta Beat now. MT: Could you please explain how this program came about? FedEx Logistics is a subsidiary FedEx Corporation. They approached some members of our administration to discuss the possibility of opening a satellite campus office for their HBCU program. We jumped at the chance. To bring this idea to life, our team worked closely alongside FedEx’s team. It’s the FedEx Logistics program for HBCUs. This was created out of FedEx’s commitment to developing diverse talent in the communities. So we all got together and worked together to make this happen. MVSU was the first HBCU to join the program. The satellite came to campus because of that partnership. Students are employed there, earning competitive wages and gaining work experience. Q: Could you please tell me more about the program? What do students do when they come in each day? Q: Most people think of FedEx when they think of packages. You’d be surprised at the number of computers in the office. The students basically support other locations in the country. We don’t deal with packages. They do, however, perform a sort of customs clearance operation. FedEx has a number of transportation hubs where they can clear packages for entry into the U.S. Q: What are their jobs? There are many part-time jobs available. All of them are required to support FedEx International Import Clearance Department. FedEx logistics is responsible for FedEx logistics. Q: What skills do the students learn? The skills range from data entry, documentation, classification, customer service, and basically any office-related task. They get paid and can work [about] 25 hours a week. After 90 days, FedEx will provide tuition assistance and access to vision, health, and dental benefits. They can also come in without any experience, and are trained on the job. Q: Can students stay on the program for as long as they are at MSVU after they get hired? A: No. They are FedEx employees. We call it a program. If they are enrolled at MVSU and in good academic standing, once they have been hired, they can start working there. It’s not as if they do it for a semester. Q: Is it necessary to be enrolled in specific majors to qualify? A: No. All MVSU students are eligible to apply. You must be in good standing. Q: Is there a similar program at MVSU? Or is this the first one of its kind. A: It is the first program of its kind, not only for FedEx but for all universities. There are many career pathways, but this one is different because they don’t have to leave campus to go to work. For some of our students, the need for work is a barrier because they want to earn a degree but also have to take care of their families. This is what makes this program unique. Q: What does this opportunity mean for Delta students? It’s transformative, I believe. For me, it was the first generation college student. I was unable to afford many of the college supplies I needed so my parents had to pay me. It worked out that I had an employer who was flexible with me and understood my needs. It can be difficult for students to find a job that is full-time, or even a flexible part-time job. It’s amazing that we can offer this opportunity to students. They don’t have as much to worry about money. They can concentrate on their studies, and are more likely to complete their degree without being distracted by the need to work or go to school.