Enterprise Rent-a-car

Flexibility at the core of my internship

Blind_Applying_Jakob_ERAC_blog_post_banner.jpg

(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.

Getting started with a variety of tasks and opportunities

(by Jakob)

At Enterprise I am doing a rotational internship that focuses on operations and process optimisation. This means that I have the opportunity to visit a different Enterprise department every week and to learn about its role within the company as well as about how it operates. At the end of the internship, I will present my thoughts and ideas on how Enterprise can improve and satisfy even more customers in Germany and Europe. I will present to Jim Strack and to the members of his team who are in charge of the German market.

The new hire orientation day. Every new intern and management trainee goes through it before starting at Enterprise.

Team in the city branch

I am amazed about the extent of the access to data and information that Enterprise has provided me with. At Enterprise interns are treated in exactly the same way that employees are too. The data will help me to understand the operation even better and to succeed in my project. I was positively surprised when I heard about my task and learned that Enterprise is interested in a critical outsider perspective of their business.

I was met by a motivated team that showed me every aspect of the car rental business.

With this challenging task in mind, I have completed the new hire orientation program that every new German employee is required to attend before starting in a branch as an Intern or Graduate Management Trainee. It was great to meet new people from different walks of life who will start their Enterprise career at one of the many German branches.

After the three-day orientation I was at the Frankfurt city branch for a week, which gave me the opportunity to really understand the core business of Enterprise and to interact with customers on a daily basis. There, I was met by a motivated team that showed me every aspect of the car rental business.

In my third week I moved to Germany’s biggest branch, which is the one at the Frankfurt airport. It has been exciting to compare the relatively small branch I worked in last week with the large one I am at now, particularly as it relates to their customer bases. The airport department serves more international and business clients and fast processes are even more important than in a city branch. Teamwork is absolutely crucial, since more employees are working together to rent a car to a customer.

Even though it has been challenging to start every Monday at a different location with new people and new tasks, it is also very exciting to get such a thorough understanding of the company, and I very much look forward to the weeks to come. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms and with a genuine interest in showing me every aspect of the business. At Enterprise everybody started as a Management Trainee, even the very senior people, so they all know what being a Trainee is like.

Teamwork is absolutely crucial, since more employees are working together to rent a car to a customer.

Frankfurt on the weekend (boat trip)

Enterprise aside, working in Frankfurt has also meant getting to know a different city. Last weekend, I had a friend visiting me and we explored my new home for the next few months with great weather and a boat trip on the Main River. Frankfurt presented itself from its best side.

Until next time,
Jakob

Meet Jakob, the Blind Applying Champion of Enterprise Rent-a-Car!

blindapplying_jakob_enterpriseinterview.jpg

Jakob is getting prepared for a rotational internship at Enterprise. With a variety of tasks comes a variety of learning experiences. He will be sharing his stories on his blog.

What are you looking forward to while working at Enterprise?
I am excited to get a thorough understanding of Enterprise's core business while rotating through the different departments in Frankfurt and to learn about the European strategy at the European Headquarter in London. I also look forward to pursuing my own independent project and presenting it to Enterprise administrators.

You have spent a year in Korea studying Business. Most interesting learning from your experience?
We had more group assignments than I was used to in Germany, and in the context of those projects it was interesting to learn about the differences in group dynamics and work culture between German and Korean students.

A book you will take with you during your internship?
It would be great if I find the time to read "In the World Interior of Capital: Towards a Philosophical Theory of Globalization” by Peter Sloterdijk

Get behind the wheel and drive your career!

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.

To stay in touch with me follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @femaleJenY


Advice #1: Believe in yourself!

enterprise_blindapplying_jenquote1.jpg

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!

enterprise_blindapplying_jenquote3.jpg

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

enterprise_blindapplying_jenquote4.jpg

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.

The ABC of HR marketing

enterprise_blindapplying_humanresourcesABC.jpg

(by Jennifer Mbunga)

I decided I wanted to major in International Management because I always saw myself working in (people) management: leading a team, motivating staff, training and the likes. Really I should have studied Human Resources Management (HRM) instead.

During my academic year in in the U.S. I finally took an HRM class. The intro class to the subject was rooted in labor law (Equal Employment Opportunity which is antidiscrimination laws, etc.). I soon realized that HR is more than just people management. It includes various functional areas such as planning, staffing, developing, compensating and appraising. Human Resources (HR) practitioners are becoming business partners in organizations and the role of personnel as source of competitive advantage is increasing.

My internship at Enterprise has shown me the strategic elements of HR in an organization that considers its people to be the most valuable resource. Implementing some elements of the HR strategy myself, I have learned the following HR ABC, amongst other things.

enterprise_blindapplying_humanresourcesA.jpg

A for Analytics

HR is quantitative. Numbers seem to follow me everywhere. And though they seemed very complex at first when you export them into an Excel workbook, once I got the hang of them, it was clear why tracking candidate engagement online is so important. Analytics is crucial for e-recruiting as it helps take on a more targeted approach for recruiting online. Using free tools like Google Analytics helps identify which job boards, career networks, etc. bring in the most traffic and applications. In order to track how many people come to your website and where they came from, cookies are added to a URL link.

Analytics is also very useful for SEO (search engine optimization) as it allows you to identify the main keywords candidates search for and employers can then purposely place them on their websites to come up when you search for the keywords in Google. Other hieroglyphs that I have encountered related to analytics are CTR (click through rate), CPC (cost per click) and C/H (cost per hire).

enterprise_blindapplying_humanresourcesB.jpg

B for Branding

HR is marketing. Just like companies market their products to appeal to consumers, companies market themselves to be considered an employer of choice (EOC). An employer brand is basically a company’s reputation and what candidates associate with a corporate name. Candidates commonly want to work for companies whose products and services they like and know of.

Blogging can be used as a tool of employer branding. Through storytelling candidates can get a better idea of what the company is all about and hear firsthand from people that already work there.

enterprise_blindapplying_humanresourcesC.jpg

C for community management

One of my tasks during my internship at Enterprise is to blog for the new social hub on the German website. As a social media community manager, my task is to find relevant content and put it in a format that is engaging and fun to read.

Social media has become so important and many new jobs are emerging because of this trend. There are many new career opportunities in this field. You should look into it if you love using Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and Vine at work.

Corporate culture. People work with people and not organizations, so corporate culture is the most important thing within an organization. Some even say it’s a company’s DNA. One thing I love about Enterprise is how laid back everybody is. Upper management is very down to earth and approachable. To me those are the key qualities I look for in a leader. The company believes in employees being peers regardless of rank or time with the company. As an intern I have been treated as a regular team member. During my week at the German corporate office I even got a chance to have breakfast with the new VP of German Operations. We ran into each other at the breakfast buffet and he took some time to chat with me about Blind Applying.

A week at an employer branding agency

(by Jennifer Mbunga)

Earlier this month I went on another exciting adventure. I had the opportunity to get insights into agency work in regards to employer branding. This is an area of HR that I am really interested in since it plays a significant role in talent management (the field I believe I want to work in after graduation).

For a week, I travelled into the heart of London, which was a little adventure in itself as I was commuting to and from Bank station in the center of London. Similar to New York’s Wall Street, there are loads of banks as the name indicates and was originally named after the Bank of England. The station itself has been voted “London’s least favorite station” by BBC.co.uk due to the fact it gets extremely crowded.

Despite this, I loved traveling into the city every day as the station is only a few minutes away from a nice new shopping mall with lots of restaurants and sights like St. Paul’s Cathedral – which I discovered on my first day when I got lost on the way to work.

  London travel card - St. Paul’s on my way to work - Hodes logo

London travel card - St. Paul’s on my way to work - Hodes logo

During my stay at the media agency Hodes I learned:

  • What it is like to work at a startup company. Event management skills always come in handy. I was charged with getting in touch with top universities to organize an event for a law firm client.
  • Media agencies do way more than just nice/weird looking ads. I learned about the strategic side of employer branding. An employer brand boils down to a company’s reputation that reflects in every single interaction with external and internal stakeholders (business word for employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, etc.). Blogging is one way for companies to improve and/or enhance their brand’s reach. It also drives social engagement and is an excellent recruitment tool. Furthermore, sometimes doctors write content.
  • Media agencies do make interesting creative stuff. You can make a paper wallet out of a Starbucks bag. #lifehack

I was also introduced to a social tradition called “Jolly Trolley”. Every week one employee gets 25 pounds to buy snacks and food to share. Of course, I had the honor to do so when I was there. As you can see from these pictures, Jolly Trolley is best enjoyed on the rooftop on a sunny day!

  Shopping for Jolly Trolley at M&S  - Enjoying jolly trolley on the rooftop

Shopping for Jolly Trolley at M&S  - Enjoying jolly trolley on the rooftop

About the UK/London in general:

  • Law firms really do have pretty amazing office spaces. We went on a client meeting at Taylor Wessing (Enterprise’s law firm) and I felt like I was in the TV series “Suits”. High-rises enjoy a great view over the city.
  • I find British people to be very polite and proper. (Not to stereotype anyone, it has just been my personal experience.) They remind me of southern Americans. (Again, my personal experience) Here’s why: Some might say “God bless you” when you do something nice for them and, similarly to the U.S., small talk is very much welcome and expected.
  • Quirky language differences: Other things I have come to found out are that “flapjacks” in the UK are not pancakes but yummy oat bars. “Pudding” can be cheesecake as it is used synonymously with dessert and a “wet blanket” is a hater.

Challenges overcome – lessons learned

Half way through my internship, I have become more confident in my abilities to deliver quality work and no longer suffer from “Imposter Syndrome” as I did in the beginning. (It’s when you feel like you didn’t earn your place and are constantly afraid of being exposed when in reality you are rightfully where you are and can totally do the job).

Also being in a different cultural environment and working with a team that did not exist until recently has taught me to embrace change and see things from a different (positive) perspective. Working at Enterprise has helped me be less afraid of taking risks by taking ownership of things and I appreciate being able to realize my projects as I envision them. I like being more entrepreneurial and learning new things through trial and error.

From College to corporate Life

Trading in my college backpack for a business briefcase... or a fancy leather tote, in my case.

(by Jennifer Mbunga)

Gone are the days when I could just contemplate sleeping in instead of going to class (not that I ever actually skipped class ;) ) or just throw on leggings and sweats. In the corporate world people wear slacks and suits. The only challenge here is finding the right clothing for the weather, which can be rather flaky. It can go from bright sunshine to thunderstorm in a matter of hours.

The dress code here at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car is similar to one you would find at a German DAX 30 company. It is western business attire, so it is very professional. That works well for me because my wardrobe is something like 50 shades of black and I went to business school, so I did not have to buy a whole new wardrobe.

enterprise_blindapplying_allblack
rbf

My first days at the corporate headquarters were also similar to my first day at university. I barely knew anyone and I wasn’t quite sure how to behave. I learned that smiling at people and greeting them when you cross paths works better than #restingface.

enterprise_blindapplying_kitchen

Even though the corporate environment can be quite intimidating, it is imperative to network and talk to people. At Enterprise, the hierarchies are pretty flat and you can just chat with the VP when you see him in the kitchen.I have learned that just being nice and saying hello is a good way to network which then leads to great business conversations.

After a busy first week in and out of the office, I decided to venture into the big canteen downstairs. The first time around I took my iPad as I was nervous to interact with anyone. However, I was quickly introduced to another intern, and asked her if she wanted to go out for lunch sometime. We did and she then introduced me to other interns, which led to all of us going out to eat and have drinks on a Friday afternoon.

enterprise_blindapplying_food

So far during my time at Enterprise I have had a variety of exposure to the social side of working at a large global company: eating lunch with my boss (which wasn’t as scary as one would think), having mocktails (virgin cocktails) with my coworkers at a diversity event or doing a meet and greet with managers. The latter was a really fun experience and taught me that even managers get intimidated by new environments.

enterprise_blindapplying_whomovedmycheese

One of my supervisors gave me a fun task this week. He made me read the book “Who Moved my Cheese”, which is about coping with change. The key lesson is that life’s adventures begin outside of your comfort zone.

Another difference is that new things may come up during the day that force you to prioritize in order to meet the new deadline. This is why I find it so useful to always carry a notebook with me or write things down digitally, because I always have my cell phone or tablet with me anyway. One of my other supervisors was kind enough to give me this beautiful Leuchtturm notebook (it’s made in Germany <3) so I can write down all the important things I come across every day.

I am currently working on a variety of projects I am really excited about all the travel I get to do as a part of my internship. The next week I will be working at our media agency downtown London, right next to St. Paul’s Cathedral and then a few weeks later I will be flying to Frankfurt to spend a week at our German headquarters.

enterprise_blindapplying_traveling

First week at Enterprise Rent-A-Car

(by Jennifer Mbunga)

One day at the end of 2013, I was on Facebook looking at different multinational companies to apply to, as I was thinking about doing an internship back in Germany. This is when I first came across Blind Applying. I started filling out the application, but never completed it. At that time I was in the U.S. doing a year abroad and was thinking about leaving after a term, but I ended up staying the whole academic year (really great decision by the way!). In November 2014 I fully filled out the application for Blind Applying. There was no dreadful cover letter – I hate them-, all I had to do was give in my contact information and upload my CV.

Interviews

Months went by and I completely forgot I had applied. In January, I got an email from Alex who works at Blind Applying. I was in the TOP 40 and got invited to a phone interview. This was conducted by Jessica who works at Enterprise’s headquarters in Eschborn, Germany (near Frankfurt). I was then invited to the assessment center in Eschborn as a part of the TOP 15, which was crazy in itself when you think that there were over 10k applicants in the beginning.

Long story short, at the day-long assessment I got to meet 5 other candidates, the Human Resources (HR) Team from Frankfurt as well as Matt, the European Talent Acquisition Manager from the headquarters (HQ) in Egham, England, who I am now reporting to.

A week or so later we all got feedback and I got a call from Matt. He delivered the news to me like this: “As you may know I have a bit of bad news for you.” (He paused and my heart sank!), “You are going to have to tell your friends and family that you will be spending three months in the UK!”

Fast forward to now – My Internship in May 2015

My first day at Enterprise Rent-A-Car was a Tuesday, May 5 – internally called the Enterprise anniversary, which is a tradition celebrating every employee’s anniversaries with the firm by giving them a card and having a “cake day”.

The office space here at the corporate HQ is new and really modern. Enterprise moved in here in March 2014, so the atmosphere is warm and welcoming at least for someone like me who likes interior design. Working at HQ can get quite hectic as everybody here is really busy. Luckily, Matt introduced me to my coworkers and showed me around. What I liked is that I can bring my own devices so I can use my iPad and apps at work. I was also given a quick tour of the city and Matt took me out to one of my favorite restaurants for lunch, which was very kind.

What I do during my internship

On my second day, I attended a Media Day taking place at our media agency Bernard HODES. As my internship revolves around HR Brand Development for Enterprise’s “new” markets in Germany, France and Spain a lot of my tasks have to do with employer branding – which is similar to consumer branding but aims at getting people to want to work for you as opposed to buying your products.

On Media Day, different companies came to pitch their ideas on how they would be able to help Enterprise reach its recruiting goals. The office’s balcony had the best view on landmarks like St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and the Shard. Another bonus was the different gifts and goodies the companies brought, like macaroons, chocolate and stationery stuff. Lunch was also on the house.

The following day, we attended a panel discussion about “The Evolution of Candidate Attraction”. In case you are wondering, breakfast was served there too and it was pretty good (big foodie here ;) ).

After heading to the media agency once again, I got an idea of what type of work they do for Enterprise and how companies develop Employer Branding strategies. I am going to be spending a week with them in June and I’m looking forward to that.

It’s not all work though

Even if it was my first week, a lot of emails were waiting for me already. One of them was for the company party at Thorpe Park – an amusement park- next month. I am really excited to go!

So far I truly enjoy the prospects of moving around a lot and learning different aspects of HR brand development. Working in such a big company can be quite intimidating. I tend to be shy when I am placed in a new setting so I am still trying to find my place and look forward to connecting with my coworkers even more as time goes by. Come back to read more about my adventures in the beginning of June.

Meet Jennifer, the Blind Applying champion of Enterprise

Jennifer has studied and worked in Washington, D.C. and is now getting ready for her internship on HR Brand Development in London.

How excited are you to be starting an internship at Enterprise?

I’m beyond excited. It still hasn’t really sunk in that I am this year’s “Blind Applying Champion” for Enterprise. On a scale from 1 - 10, I would pick an 11 if it was possible. I love the company’s values and culture and can’t wait for this new adventure, challenge and growth experience. Really looking forward to meeting the team in London.

What’s the first thing you wanna try in London?

Foodwise, I have never had fish and chips, so that is on my list. Along with my all time favorite chicken restaurant Nando’s. And I would like to go on the London Eye.

Most inspiring British artist?

I don’t usually categorize people by nationalities, so the only British artist I could think of off the top of my head is the make up artist Jennie Jenkins (beautybyjj). I can be a bit of a girly girl, so she has definitely taught me a thing or two about make up on Youtube.