After spending 13 months on placement with Enterprise, I can positively say I enjoyed my experience with the company. The placement experience is very similar to the Graduate scheme they have on offer, and they work you very hard from day one. Though some days were long, tiring and repetitive with lots of driving and early starts/late finishes, it was important to remember that this is the start of a career. Within 2 years of working for the company you can be a Branch Manager, and Enterprise take a lot of pride in their rapid progression opportunities. Everyone is different, and not all employees can see the bigger picture, but I did enjoy my placement and would recommend the experience to anyone.
The colleagues I worked with were probably the best part about my placement, I have made friends for life through working at Enterprise! I was in a branch with 2 girls and about 7 boys, and the girls became my best friends and the boys felt like brothers to me. You work closely with your branch every day, and there was always someone to talk to if you wanted help or just to have a chat. Everyone at Head Office were so approachable, and everyone I’ve met at Enterprise have been lovely.
Although I had a great manager and two assistant managers who managed the branch fantastically (we were always out on time, had full lunch breaks etc.), I did feel this was an area that could have been better for me. In terms of training, this is mainly done by those at head office, or by more experienced trainees in the branch. We had a training folder to complete and I felt as though the responsibility was on me to complete that, which is completely understandable, but some more guidance and support from managers regarding this would have been good. However, there are some other fantastic managers out there that were always pushing folder targets and development.
At my branch/from my experience with Enterprise, some days would be crazy busy picking up customers, serving them, delivering cars, and other days would be very quiet. However, with Enterprise it is difficult to have a perfect balanced day all of the time, you cannot predict how the day is going to go even if it seems like it may be a quiet day. But this was nice, as it meant that not every day was always the same. It was important to try and use the quieter days to do your training folder.
Again, this does depend on the branch you are in. All placement staff have very similar roles to that of someone on the graduate scheme. Not once were you there to make tea/coffee for everyone, get the lunch order, that does not happen at Enterprise. You are straight away part of the team, serving customers, answering the phone, delivering cars, writing rental contracts, managing accounts, making sales, generating new business and much more. By the end of your placement you should be given the responsibility to run the day as though you were an assistant manager, however, unfortunately at my branch I never experienced this, but I know other placement students that have, so again it does depending on the branch/branch manager.
The skills I have developed, and the experience I’ve gained, I feel are already benefiting my now that I am back at University. I feel more organised, I want to achieve things with my day, I am more confident, I have knowledge in new areas, all the transferable skills with stay with me for life. I hope that when applying for jobs in the future my experience and skills will show through.
There was a very positive atmosphere in my office. We would be able to work hard and together as a team to complete the day, as well as being able to have a laugh and joke with each other when appropriate. Everyone was so likeminded, it was a lovely atmosphere on a daily basis. When we achieved targets/goals the managers would buy breakfast/lunch as a thank you, small things that kept us positive.
Enterprise put a lot of effort into their internship, placement and graduate schemes. We had training regularly at head office, a training folder to complete, as well as intern/placement celebration days throughout the year. The placement program is very well set up, and one I would encourage students to consider. There are also opportunities to become a campus brand manager once you are back at university, work part time, and even have the chance to come back after you graduate.
As mentioned already, the company itself invest a lot of time in training events that are compulsory to attend at head office. These were really good because it kept you on track with how you were progressing, and where you should be at with your training folder. I personally felt as though my branch could have done more to train staff at the branch and push for folder completion, at times I felt this was all on me to do.
The progression opportunities, and the potential to be a branch manager within 2 years of graduating are appealing to me. However, the training and support I received at my branch has left me unsure on potentially returning. Not only that, I am not sure this is the line of work or type of career I want to go into. However, most placement students are offered a job when they graduate, and many go on to become assistant managers within a year of graduation.
There was a really good social scene amongst placement students, and colleagues in general. I worked with 3 other placement students at my branch which was good, and there were 2 placement events at head office which meant we got to socialise with other placement students then too. Overall, because a lot of staff in the branches are young, there was a great social scene amongst all colleagues.
I lived at home, and worked at a branch 11 miles away, so living costs were low for me. Socialising was never that expensive either. If we travelled to head office for an event we would lift share and split costs between us. We worked long hours so didn't do loads of socialising, but whenever we did it was always great fun.
Again, I lived at home and worked in a town near to me. The nightlife isn’t great there. However, we did all go to head office a few times and the night life there was always fantastic.
There were charity and fundraising events several times a year. Every few months you would go for a meal and a night out with your local branches. Possibly more could be done to create activities outside of work.