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Four Delta State students secure summer internship in the fast-growing logistics career field

Pictured, front row, from left, are Delta State Aviation Management/Logistics majors Jordan Taylor of Southaven, Miss.; John Sharp of Sturgis, Miss.; Ashlynn Jennings of Bay St. Louis, Miss.; Matthew Synder of Hattiesburg, Miss. (back row) Interim Chair of Commercial Aviation Joseph Saia; Director of Flight Operations Bradly MacNealy; and Instructor of Aviation Carl Brinkley.

CLEVELAND, Miss.— As one of the fastest-growing career fields in the world, logistics presents professionals with a myriad of career opportunities. Four students at Delta State University are already tapping into the thriving industry through paid internships.

Delta State Aviation Management/Logistics majors Jordan Taylor of Southaven, Miss.; Ashlynn Jennings; John Sharp of Sturgis, Miss.; and Matthew Synder of Hattiesburg, Miss. will all be spending their summer taking advantage of internship opportunities.

Taylor, a junior at DSU, secured a fully-funded internship with Erie International Airport in Pennsylvania. During the internship, Taylor will receive hands-on experience in airfield operations and maintenance.

“I was happy, shocked and nervous when I learned that I’d received the opportunity,” said Taylor, who aspires to become a pilot in the Air Force post-graduation.

“I feel like all of the courses and information I’ve learned during my time so far at Delta State has prepared me for this opportunity and will make me more experienced and prepared for my future career.”

Sharp and Synder are excited to advance their knowledge of logistics at the Dollar General Distribution Center in Indianola, Miss. The rigorous selection process included two rounds of interviews with more than a dozen applicants.

“I’m most excited to learn about the nuts and bolts of working in a logistics center,” said Sharp. “Dollar General manages to supply an insane number of stores in Mississippi from just one distribution center. I’d love to learn how that functions behind the scenes.”

“I’m excited about it all,” added Synder. “This internship would not have been possible without the help of Mr. (Carl) Brinkley, who brought it to my attention. Throughout all of my classes, I have learned bits and pieces on management and supply chains, and in this internship, I will get to see all of it come together.”

Jennings is equally as excited about her opportunity with the Gulfport-Biloxi Airport. While the airport did not formally advertise any internship opportunities, Jennings reached out to management and was offered a position.

“DSU has helped to craft me into a leader and a person who doesn’t back down,” she said. “At DSU, I am a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and a member of Women in Aviation. Holding leadership positions in both societies has helped me to feel more confident in my ability to be a future management professional.”

Jennings said she’s looking forward to learning more about the day-to-day duties of an airport operations manager during her internship.

“I hope to learn from the professionals at Gulfport-Biloxi and use my experience there to find out what role I want to fulfill with my degree after graduation,” she said.

DSU Instructor of Aviation Carl Brinkley, who teaches courses for the Logistics concentration in the Department of Aviation, said the goal is to prepare students who are industry-ready.

“Because logistics is so fast-moving, there’s little time for re-teaching—you have to come in familiar with the foundations of logistics,” he said.

According to Brinkley, the opportunities in logistics are unlimited because of e-commerce and has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today, there are an estimated 6-10 jobs for each logistics student in this country,” he said. “Memphis is the logistics capital of the world, and the demand for the logistic workers has exceeded supply.”

Brinkley said for a student interested in the industry, this means they have the chance to write their own future.

“When I was in school at DSU in the early ‘90s, we were told that management was the hot career path.  Now, some 31 years later, it is logistics that’s the hottest industry to enter.  Hands down, these positions are the toughest jobs to fill since students haven’t picked up on how lucrative of a career they can have if they select it,” he said.

It’s a trend that Brinkley said will be around for the foreseeable future.

“Consumers are shopping more and more online, and this is the new normal; we will not go back to shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Now is the time to enter the logistics industry while it’s a growing trend.”

Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation offers a Bachelor of Commercial Aviation (BCA) in Flight Operations and Aviation Management with a concentration in Logistics, and a Master of Commercial Aviation (MCA).

To learn more about Commercial Aviation programs at Delta State, visit

For questions, e-mail, or call (662) 846-4205.