Flexibility at the core of my internship


(by Jakob)

A lot has changed since my last post. I have moved from the branches and the work in the field to the administrative side of the business. I started working on the group level in one of the 5 German groups for a week, where I was able to spend a day with every department in that level. Then I moved to the corporate level and had the chance to participate with branch managers in a meeting where they got training about a new program and discussed some challenges and best practices in their branches.

On the corporate level, I started with business management. This means I mainly did accounting, but I also had the chance to see how we handle traffic tickets. Then, I joined the vehicle acquisition team and experienced how it is to buy a couple hundred cars at once. The process behind getting the car from the manufacturer or dealer to the branches is more complicated than expected. There is detailed logistic involved in transporting the cars to the right terminals where they get the license plates and Enterprise specifications, as well as getting the license plates in time.

I got the opportunity to join the Vehicle Acquisition team on their Team Day. We went to an escape room and had dinner together afterwards. If you don’t know, an escape room is a game in which players are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit. It was great learning more about my colleagues in a private setting and strategizing together how to solve all the riddles to get out of the room.

Solving puzzles and riddles can really make you hungry!

The most challenging thing is to always adapt to new situations, people and process

After the time with Vehicle Acquisition, I joined the Service Center for a week. The Service Center is mainly responsible as a contact point for the insurance customers and corporate clients, and is in touch with all the branches in Germany. It was exciting to learn about a second customer touch point after seeing the branches and different business segments.

I spent last week with the National Sales Team and the account managers, and visited existing and new customers. I learned about the tender process as well as about our core selling points and how we assess the market. I had the chance to visit a big logistic customer who rents our vans for the Christmas season, when their business increases significantly. After the meeting they showed us their logistic center and explained their processes and what part that we, as a renting company, play in their success.

Senior management takes the time to discuss my questions and concerns, and shows genuine interest in my experience

As it maybe becomes clear in the description of my experience, so far the most challenging thing is to always adapt to new situations, people and processes. Every week is completely different and even within a week I spend a lot of time with different people. This includes getting a lot of information and data and I always have to analyze how they fit in the bigger picture and how to use them for my overall project. It also involves learning about what process is done on which level and what role the European headquarter plays in London and the global headquarter in St. Louis. It is really exciting that senior management takes the time to constructively discuss my questions and concerns and shows genuine interest in my experience and analysis of their work. I am continuously surprised by their openness towards me.

I’ve learned a lot about the car renting industry as a whole, and about Enterprise and the people who work here. I’ve also learned about how a global-acting, American family business works, and how different departments interact across borders. But most of all, this experience has really taught me to be flexible, to process information fast, and to fit it into a more complex picture.