Don’t judge a book by its cover. A timeless saying that resonates with me now more than ever.
At the end of 2015, I made the decision to step outside of my comfort zone and apply for the Management Undergraduate of the Year Awards, run by Target Jobs. Though I initially applied in order to practise for future placements, I was delighted to be shortlisted for the assessment centre.
My excitement however was short lived, as I discovered the company who sponsored this award was Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I was far from disappointed in the company itself; Enterprise is the largest car rental company in the world, with a leasing fleet of over one million vehicles. Rather, I was disappointed that my perceived abilities would not align with that of the company’s requirements. Why on earth would they want me? Do I know anything about cars? A succession of questions raced through my head.
Even so, I arrived at the assessment centre with a big smile and positive attitude, determined to try my hardest. I was greeted by employees from the company, all of whom were extremely warm and friendly, making me feel much more at ease. As I networked with various managers, I scanned the room and was surprised to discover a huge amount of female employees.
Straight away, my assumptions were being challenged. I was meeting employees working in a variety of sectors, many of who had jobs unrelated to the fundamentals of road vehicles.
Adding fuel to my growing realisation that my initial thoughts were completely unreasonable, I happened to be visiting on International Women’s Day. The theme was Pledge for Parity and I had the opportunity to watch a question and answer session, led company representatives, aimed at the diverse employee cohort. It was clear that the managers were hugely aware of the importance of equality in the workplace, and even delved into ideas such as the proximity of women to their bosses.
By sitting further from authoritative individuals during meetings, there is an implicit suggestion that women are confident and comfortable working for themselves, as opposed to working in their manager’s shadow. A very interesting concept.
My assessment centre was a success and I was fortunate enough to reach the Top 10 celebration lunch and award ceremony, where I once again experienced the collaborative yet diverse nature of the team. I felt comfortable and welcome throughout, never once feeling intimidated by employees in a position of authority.
The whole experience was brilliant from start to finish and one that truly made me realise how Enterprise Rent-A-Car caters to all individuals, whether you know all about cars or not! I would be delighted to work for Enterprise Rent-A-Car in the future, as they truly understand the balance of both the unique individual and being a member of a united team.
I think a key takeaway from my experience is that we should always research individual jobs, rather than being put off by the product a company is providing. As long as you have a “yes” mentality and are driven by the desire to achieve results, there is nothing to say that Enterprise Rent-A-Car will not provide the perfect career trajectory for you.