As a Management Trainee, you are empowered to make business decisions that greatly affect your career as well as the bottom line. You'll gain responsibility for developing new business and maintaining current relationships. You'll be responsible for understanding cost control, reading your branch's P&L statement and understanding what it takes to run a profitable business. You will also learn how to deliver exceptional customer service.
We will teach you how to effectively communicate, influence, and interact with all types of customers, vendors, and colleagues. You'll learn proper sales techniques, problem solving strategies and conflict management. Those skills will provide you with the opportunity to market to local business partners and build solid, long lasting relationships with key business decision makers. In your development to become a successful manager at Enterprise, you'll learn how to mentor, train, develop, manage and promote staff of your own.
I really enjoyed my placement until the end. The majority of the placement was great, I learned lots, felt appreciated, and took on lots of extra responsibility. These extra responsibilities could include running the branch for a day/a few days, taking on the lead of corporate marketing in your branch, or managing fleet maintenance.
Unfortunately coming into my 9th month with ERAC they made the decision to axe placement years due to the Covid-19 situation and toom no consideration over furloughing staff rather than terminating contracts with 1 week's notice. This, unfortunately, brought a great and very insightful year to a very disappointing end and made me feel less valued than the other Management Trainees who were furloughed or moved to where there was more work to be done during the crisis.
Throughout my placement, the team's I worked in were great, a good mix of people who got on very well and were always willing to help you develop. I found the fact that as everyone started on the same program as you and has experienced the same situations, everyone was always very fast to jump up and go the extra mile to help you develop.
Unfortunately towards the end, I felt less valued than other employees due to being laid off suddenly with 1 week's notice due to the Covid-19 situation, when other Management Trainees (graduates not Placements) were either furloughed or moved to where there was more work. Not only did this leave me in a sticky situation financially, it really made me think twice about whether the company value their future managers. (Obviously not placement students)
The support system was great with Enterprise, as mention in previous comments, everyone was always very fast to support you and help you develop. You always had a manager around or just a phone call away who you could go for advice or support and you also had a personal mentor within the company who'd take you out for lunches to discuss any issues and help guide you to further development. (Shout out to Andrew in U8E, he was a great mentor and easy to go to with any problems)
As mentioned previously mentioned about being laid off, once I was told I was being laid off (a quick phone call with 1-week notice) the support was ended very quickly. I found it hard to get advice from HR regarding why they didn't choose to furlough interns and when I eventually did get a reply I was met with an answer which ignores my question.
On a daily basis, I worked from 7:30/45 till 18:30 on average. Some days varied as you would leave when everything is done.
Working at Enterprise you will realise how fast time flies by, there is no waiting around, always something to do or happening which needs dealing with. I can't remember a day I was sat around watching the clock.
The worst shift I ever did was 09:00 am until 04:30 am. I was on the Backshift which was unexpectedly busy due to a surge in demand. The manager dealt with this very well by staying to help as late as he could and by allowing us to have the time back during the week.
I felt like I was very lucky with being handed responsibility as the year progressed. Within 3 months I was trusted with "Running the day" which was essentially running the branch and making all the key decisions in terms of logistics, managing staff, and dealing with customer complaints. I was also given 2 different roles to add on top of my day to day duties. These were:
BCAM - looking after and managing the corporate business within our branch, this could be attending local business meetings, networking events, seeking new business from existing customers, etc. I was also responsible for making sure we as a branch hit all our growth targets for corporate business. So this included holding morning meetings, and setting goals for each member of the team.
Maintenance Captain - My role for this was to actively manage our fleet health and make sure any maintenance that needs doing is done very quickly and doesn't affect our daily operation. (Ie. Servicing, tires, etc). I would have to update management daily with what cars need to be grounded and keep an active eye on all cars which were due servicing which were on the road (in most cases, contacting customer and bringing those vehicles back in and swapping). I found this role very good for my development because it included a lot of planning, investigation, and management of people to ensure cars that were safe only ended up on the road.
Overall Enterprise was a great experience and it helped develop me as a manager and my confidence in managing a team. I feel like a lot of the skills I developed over my 9 months with ERAC are very transferable and will help me in my future career as management. I also found that I gathered lots of good situations and experience which will be useful for my final year university assignments/essays.
The atmosphere was a warm and welcoming one in my branch. Everyone was always nice and helping each other. I found that sometimes the stress that the management was under could get the better of themselves sometimes but overall it was a good environment to work in and very relaxed but fast-paced at the same time.
The placement was very well organised and started with a trip to Leeds (Head office for my group) were you would be trained for 2 days and be given a training folder which you had to complete in stages throughout the year to qualify as a Management Assitant (which opens you up to apply for further roles like assistant and manager). They aimed for you to complete this folder of work within 10 months but some people did it in 6 and got promotions straight away. Every few months you would be invited back to Leeds to help develop you even more.
Unfortunately, due to being laid off I didn't manage to complete the folder but was only 1 month off.
As I touched on in the previous comment, the training was extensive and regular. Training days would be held in Leeds every few months and you'd be expected to work through a very comprehensive management training folder. (You'd have to gather evidence of managerial tasks you have completed). These training days always included paid travel, paid meals, and accommodation at a nearby hotel.
Throughout my placement, they made it very clear that Enterprise is a great company to be with for fast progression and high salaries. But as time went on you'd realise some people who were claiming to be on large salaries are exaggerating to make the company sound more appealing. The management was paid a commission on net profit on top of a basic salary of 21k. Sometimes during busy periods, they'd make a good income, sometimes they wouldn't. Very dependant on the economic climate and how good they could perform.
There were a few months were me as an Intern would pull in more money than my manager (We had car club at our branch and they had a referral scheme which could land you 25 pounds per sign up).
Overall, I think a lot of people within the organisation are distracted by there nice big payday after a good month so much that they forget they have worked 80/90 hours a week. (This is the managers, not interns - we would always work around 50-60).
We worked very long hours, so most of the time, once we had finished work we would just want to get home and see our family/friends. Although occasionally we'd visit the pub after work and they would organise area nights out around Christmas (which had a free bar and food!!) These staff nights out were always fun and it was good to socialise outside of work settings.
I chose to complete my placement year at a branch near where my parents lived so I managed to live fairly cheaply. Although I had about a 45 min commute and spent around 200 pounds a month on fuel.
Socialising is very fairly priced in the lake district but requires travel, so I'd recommend having a car.
The nightlife wasn't anything special. Just your standard town with bars and a basement club. Getting home from nights out could end up being fairly costly due to me living a fair distance to the town. Taxis are expensive in the Lake District! So if you are planning to do a placement in the Lakes I'd recommend living in the town your placement is based.
As mentioned before, there wasn't very many opportunities as most people spent a lot of time at work and outside work hours they wanted to spend that time with friends and family. Although they tried to organise something every few months to keep everyone happy. (ie Xmas night out, Meals out, Pride Events, Welcome events with free bar etc)