How 3 Months At Enterprise Kick-Started My Professional Life In London.
(by Jennifer Mbunga)
Three months go by quickly, especially when you are having fun. It’s bittersweet, just when I started getting into my job and making new friends, my Blind Applying internship is over. The good news is I am off to start a new adventure!
In this final blog entry I would like to share my takeaways and advice for fellow career starters, jobseekers and students. Reflecting on the past three months, I see a major change in my attitude towards life, work and myself. I have a new found can-do mentality, something I can credit Enterprise for.
I joined the European human resources (HR) team as an intern in HR brand development for Germany, France and Spain. I had never done anything in that field before (aside from taking HR classes). So it is needless to say that I initially felt challenged as I was getting thrown in at the deep end. But the experience resulted in a steep learning curve. The new environment pushed me to grow and my team was there to assist me when I needed them.
What I loved the most about my internship at Enterprise Rent-A-Car was that I was not being micromanaged. At the same time, taking full ownership of my projects meant that I was solely responsible for the results. Right off the bat, I was considered an equal team member. My ideas were heard and most of them were even implemented. I had never had this kind of professional freedom as an intern before. Looking at the outcomes of my work here, I must say I am very proud of the end result and my contributions that will still show on the company’s German website long after my internship ends.
This internship presented me with so many opportunities to explore, find myself and ultimately start my career in a field I had not even considered before – HR marketing and employer branding. I have honed my existing skills – especially soft skills like leadership and self-confidence and have gained many new skills like project management. I got a chance to act as a consultant and obtained vast knowledge of social media and its importance in recruiting.
In conclusion I can say that internships are a nice transition into work life from university. Interning in the company or sector you potentially want to enter can help you find out if your expectations and hopes reflect the reality of the profession. It also gives you great exposure to the business and it can show you paths you did not consider going before.
I was very fortunate to join Enterprise at such an exciting time. As the business is expanding all over Europe tons of new exciting opportunities are created for students and graduates across the continent. If you are interested in driving your career and going places, have a look at Enterprise’s career opportunities.
Advice #1: Believe in yourself!
Before I started my internship the prospects of securing a job after graduation in such a competitive and saturated global market were making me anxious. I saw friends take on entry level roles they did not particularly like simply to get by, while others were doing internship after internship in hopes of eventually being offered a permanent job.
When I was chosen to be the Blind Applying Champion for Enterprise Rent-A-Car it put things into a new perspective for me. Being selected out of such a vast pool of talent helped me realize the potential I have. As a result I have become more confident and learned to truly believe in myself and my abilities.
What were the odds that I would be selected out of over 10,000 applicants? Regardless of what people say or your circumstances, your actions ultimately shape your life and career.
Don’t be discouraged before you even try. Even when the odds seem to be against you, if you see an opportunity you like and you are passionate about it, go for it! Have a strategy and take action steps. If you are hungry for a new adventure and want to gain international work experience, I strongly encourage you to participate when the next round of Blind Applying opens later this year. You might become a champion by just uploading your resume!
And please note that any company worth working for will hire you for what you can bring to the table and not where you are from or which school you attended. Luckily, Enterprise is one of those companies that believe in providing candidates with equal opportunities regardless of their background. If you are still looking for an interesting role, have a look at their amazing opportunities here.
Advice #2: Work on your personal brand
The good news is that you don’t have to be privileged in life; meaning coming from a wealthy family and having attended an elite university, to have a successful career or stand a chance on the “competitive” job market. I personally don’t meet any of the aforementioned criteria. You too can break what they call the "glass ceiling".
What matters a lot more is how you carry yourself -your attitude, your personality and your brand. Ask yourself this: What do people associate with your name? Your reputation is like your shadow, it follows you everywhere. You want to be someone people think highly of. So use your internship/social interactions/life to show that you are helpful, resourceful, creative, reliable, honest, enthusiastic, passionate, etc.
I cannot stress the importance of networking enough. Talk to people within the business you want to work for. Get to know your coworkers and what they do. Ask lots of questions and listen. I guarantee you they may know a thing or two you are interested in. But also make a good impression on people outside of the company.
Advice #3: Dare TO TRY new things
Only a select few of us are born ready. The rest of us are on this earth to figure things out as we go. Getting out of your comfort zone and being open minded will help you find opportunities that might propel your career to new heights. Employers appreciate flexibility and mobility.
When you look for a new job, don’t solely look at the salary. Think about the company you want to work for and consider its size, the corporate culture, its people – this is probably one of the most important factors: people work with people in organizations, so make sure they inspire you to be great and that the working environment allows you to thrive as you spend the majority of your time at work. Make sure it’s a happy place for you.