Mississippi Valley State University can now boast that it is the only university in the nation with a FedEx Logistics office on campus.
MVSU faculty and students, members of the corporate staff of FedEx and elected officials gathered Tuesday on campus to celebrate the grand opening of the office.
“What Mississippi Valley has done today — now you’ll be connecting 90% of the world’s GDP with your students having clearance of our packages that are flying all over the world,” said Shannon Brown, a senior vice president and chief human resources and diversity officer at FedEx Express.
In May, MVSU announced that it would partner with FedEx Logistics to open a satellite office on campus that would be staffed by MVSU students. FedEx Logistics is the customs brokerage firm of FedEx Corp., a global courier service company with headquarters in Memphis.
So far, student workers have filled 36 of 48 available positions. They have been working since last month to “prepare and process import documentation for items that are entering the U.S. from other countries,” said Bethany Rocheleau, vice president for U.S. brokerage operations for FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage Inc.
The logistics office is across from the student union in a center outfitted with rows of computers.
The students work about four hours a day for a total of 20 hours a week, said one of the workers, Elena Bolanos, a sophomore.
One of her colleagues, Ashley Thompson, a junior, said the chance to work at the logistics office “was a big opportunity.”
This includes access to health, dental and vision benefits after 90 days of continuous employment, tuition reimbursement from FedEx and a “competitive wage.”
FedEx officials declined to state how much the student workers are paid. Rocheleau said the students receive hourly pay that’s “competitive” within the industry. Student workers also declined to say how much they’re paid, but Bolanos said it is more than $10 an hour.
FedEx officials hope that once the student workers graduate, they’ll continue with FedEx Logistics full time at its headquarters in Memphis, which is being built.
To increase diversity within the workforce, FedEx launched a program in which it partners with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the country to open satellite offices, Rocheleau said.
She said MVSU was chosen first because it has the same values as FedEx and she saw that Dr. Jerryl Briggs, the university’s president, and other administration officials were committed to the program.
“Let’s move, let’s go,” Briggs said, recalling his first reaction to the initiative from FedEx.
Since news broke of the MVSU and FedEx partnership, Briggs said, he’s received numerous calls from presidents at other HBCUs congratulating him and asking how they can get the FedEx program to their campuses.
“We’re going to be the prototype. We’re going to lead the way,” Briggs said.
FedEx officials have been pleased with the work done by the MVSU students so far and are looking forward to the continued partnership.
“Who would’ve ever thought that you could pull off something this big in Itta Bena, Mississippi?” Brown said.
The jobs at MVSU’s FedEx Logistics office are available only to undergraduate or graduate students who are in good standing and enrolled for the fall 2019 semester.
Interested candidates can get more information by visiting MVSU’s Career Services Center, located in the H.G. Carpenter Building, or e-mailing email@example.com.
•Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.