Jet Journal

Scholarship Winner | Brendan Cairney

Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes


The Jet Future Business Leaders Scholarship launched last year which is offered to students entering into the business world upon college graduation. Five finalists were chosen this semester by the Jet team, but the public got to vote on their favorite essay to select the winner.


The finalist chosen to win the $750 award was Brendan Cairney, a graduating high school senior who will attend Ferris State University. The prompt Brendan addressed was "The gig economy is growing in the United States with more and more people relying on independent work for income. What role do you see the gig economy playing in the future of the American economy?"

Brendan's experience with gigs for lawn care and snow removal, as well as working for Door Dash, helped him write an enticing essay explaining the benefits to the gig economy and its role in the American economy.

Brendan will run collegially for Ferris State University's cross country and track teams and plans to continue work gigs throughout his college career.

Brendan says, "One piece of advice I would give young people entering a gig career is to always put the time and effort in to do a quality job.  For example, when I first started in the lawn care business, I had one job. But as neighbors saw the quality work I did, I was able to acquire new customers."


If you know of a future businessperson entering or currently attending college/university, encourage them to apply to our current Jet Future Business Leaders Scholarship at


Read Brendan's essay below:

The gig economy has emerged as an increasingly important source of income for people looking to make money. Whether it is a stay at home mom looking to contribute to her household’s income or the typical 9-5 worker wanting to make some extra cash, the gig economy is suitable for a variety of people with different circumstances. While the gig economy is large now, it will become even bigger in the future through an increased number of deliveries, better incentives, and more stable employment options being offered to workers. In the future, the gig economy will grow as more companies begin offering delivery options for their customers. One specific area that this will effect is the food industry. While many popular restaurants already offer delivery options to customers, more local restaurants will offer this service in the coming years. Another sector in which deliveries will increase is in the package delivery industry. As web based retailers continue to grow, these companies will begin to rely on the gig economy to deliver packages as a supplement, or outright alternative, to traditional delivery methods such as UPS and FedEx. The gig economy will also grow in the future as incentives are added to attract and retain workers. There are currently many companies that offer gig economy jobs and this number will increase steadily over time. As a way to separate themselves from their competitors, these companies will offer perks, benefits, and increased pay as incentives to attract the employee base necessary to succeed. Benefits may even grow to include health care or retirement account options over time. This in turn will draw more employees into this industry, and the gig economy will continue to expand in size and importance. Currently, gig economy jobs are primarily filled by individuals looking for flexible part time employment. This includes people such as myself, as I work for a food delivery company part time due to my busy schedule. In the future, as the gig economy becomes larger, it will become a more stable full time employment option. The lucrative possibility of being your own boss, as well as the incentives that will come to the industry in the future, will entice many people to join the gig economy. Overall, I believe that the gig economy has a large role in the future of the American economy. Whether it is through the use of incentives and more package deliveries, or through more stable employment options, the gig economy has potential to grow exponentially. It is not often that an entire industry can be started from nothing and grow into a large part of the economic system, but the gig economy has found a way.

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