I had heard about the Management Undergraduate of the Year Competition prior to starting university through my brother that’s also goes to Loughborough University. The University has a great relationship with Enterprise so when the Business School emailed it through, I knew it was a great opportunity to add to my experience, and I had nothing to lose.
My initial impression of Enterprise prior to participating in the competition was that it was a global company that seemed accessible to customers throughout the UK. I knew it was a huge car rental brand, but I got to know the company so much more. The careers website was brilliant in informing me of the company values and these were reinforced by every Enterprise employee I spoke to.
Throughout the application period, you get the chance to speak to interns, graduates, area managers and recruiters. The consistency in how friendly and approachable all of Enterprise’s people were allowed me to find out so much more.
The application process
The first stage of the application process was a simple application form accompanied by a written question which asked about a time when I had demonstrated management and leadership skills. I wouldn’t worry about the example you have; just be sure you were able to demonstrate key characteristics of a leader and explain the effect of these. Don’t be afraid to use the S.T.A.R method to have a more uniform approach.
Following this stage were three psychometric tests carried out by competition partners SHL. I’m not a huge fan of employer tests and didn’t feel confident taking them. However, there is plenty of practice tests and YouTube tutorials available on the internet which will give you confidence in the methodology behind a lot of comparable questions. The main piece of advice is to do your best, when I received the email a couple of months later congratulating me on making it to the final 60 I knew it was well worth the effort.
Next was a video interview with a member of the Enterprise Talent Acquisition team. I felt it was important to keep advancing my research on the company. The website was a great source of information however gaining first-hand viewpoints from Enterprise workers gave me a real sense of what the brand is all about. Connecting with graduates on LinkedIn was really insightful, I also visited my local branch in Loughborough to speak to the Branch Manager who reinforced the importance of customer service and sales as part of the Graduate Scheme. Another tip is to have a list of all your previous experiences written down next to you, they can then be applied to the specific questions (again, look at the values!).
I was delighted to get to the final stage and wanted to make the most of the opportunity! The structure of the day included a group task, a role-play, and another interview. The biggest piece of advice is to be yourself, Enterprise want to see real people with genuine enthusiasm. Preparation always helps but being approachable and willing to chat will take you a long way
Looking back, the competition has been an invaluable experience that has given me so much confidence. To have at the top of my CV ‘Top 10 Management Undergraduate of the Year’ and experiencing a full application process has given me a boost that any industry or company is achievable in applying for a placement this year.
My advice going forward is take every opportunity that comes your way! This has been a game changer for me and the fact so many people miss out on chances like this has even led me to set up a business based on early careers pathways and opportunities which I have begun to build with two fellow Loughborough students. This links to my other point, applications aren’t made by a single person. The people who are at your fingertips online can be a huge help to building experiences and insights into what might be your dream job. Take the chance and step out of your comfort zone!