LAMP Student Zuri Cassell - FedEx Worker
Thursday, February 4, 2021
LAMP students are creative, resilient, and hard-working – and this year is no different.
In our new student feature series, we explore how students have been affected by COVID-19, the related economic crisis, and national political upheaval. Whatever else you can say about 2020+, it certainly hasn’t been “Business as Usual.”
This week, we get to know Zuri Cassell, a sophomore LAMP honors certificate student from Indianapolis who is majoring in International Studies. Cassell began working at FedEx this winter, typically covering the 4:00-8:00 am shift. He likes the hours because he can “work early in the morning, and still have much of the day left for school and other responsibilities.”
Cassell is working as a “Material Handler” out of the Indianapolis FedEx hub, the company’s second largest operation in the U.S. FedEx recently announced minimum wage increases for their Memphis and Indianapolis hub hourly employees, and added additional healthcare benefits including more paid sick days. Cassell notes that FedEx had adjusted to the COVID-19 health crisis prior to his arrival on the job by “providing employees with additional personal protective equipment (PPE), increasing the frequency of sanitation, and doubling the number of buses that carry employees to and from the parking lot.” The company’s COVID-measures, wage increase, and early morning hours all contributed to Cassell’s interest in the position.
Cassell keeps an eye on shifting business practices, as many keen LAMPers do. He notes that “because of COVID-19 related spikes in e-commerce purchases and package delivery, FedEx is currently expanding their operations by building more airstrips and warehouses, as well as adding new shifts.” He continues, “I think that in the short-term FedEx is simply aiming to increase their capacity to meet the growth in demand. However, in the long term they appear to be working to integrate technology into more elements of their operations and services. This would include simple things such as fully digital ways to clock in and out to more complex uses like updating to driverless trucks.”
While Cassell is still exploring career options, he is interested in management consulting, as well law school. His role at FedEx has helped him develop skills that he thinks will be relevant to any career. “FedEx Express places a great emphasis on teamwork, and…in my role there I have really seen the impact that effective teamwork can have on any organization. In my post-grad career, I know that effectively leading or being on a team will continue to be valuable, and I anticipate drawing on the skills that I developed at FedEx in future jobs.”
Thanks to Zuri Cassell for talking to us about his experience! If you are a current LAMP student with an interesting experience to share, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.