Placement Stories: Ben Morris at Enterprise Rent-A-Car
27th October 2020
We’re delighted to have Business Management student Ben Morris here to talk to you about his placement year with Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
“I met Enterprise RAC at the graduate careers fair and found out how to apply for the role.”
Before applying for the internship role at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, I had already applied for a 3-month summer internship with the company in my first year at university. I went through two interviews but unfortunately, I wasn’t picked for the job. Because of this, I knew I wanted to try again a year later and work for Enterprise on my placement year. After 4 interviews, I was successful and started with the company a few months later.
The Your Future Plan Team were extremely helpful in my placement search, by pointing me in the right direction and giving me the contacts I needed to apply for internship roles. The graduate career fair was also a very useful experience as it gave me the chance to meet with a large number of employers in various sectors. Enterprise Rent-A-Car were also at the careers fair, and I was able to speak to them about internship opportunities and how best to apply for the role.
“One personal skill I wanted to develop on my placement were my customer service skills.”
I had previously worked in hospitality for a number of years, however I wanted to develop these skills in a different business environment where customer service is at the forefront of the business.
Another skill I wanted to develop was interacting with other businesses. Whilst I was already good at speaking to customers, I knew that later on in my career I will be interacting with important clients, and this internship will give me so much practice in this that it will put me in good stead for my future career.
“I was proud of the number of positive customer comments I received.”
The first 3 months of my internship focused primarily on customer service skills and sales. Enterprise focuses heavily on customer service, so I needed to learn their way of doing things and how to interact with customers to make them satisfied. I also got a lot of experience in selling products to customers to make their experience stress free. I was taught the best ways to sell products and how to adapt my sales pitch to different individuals. We also took part in sales competitions each month to see who could sell the most products to customers which would result in prizes at the end of each month. These two skills I developed will be crucial in my future career.
Enterprise also has an excellent reputation with other local businesses including bodyshops and car dealerships. As part of my internship, I was responsible for marketing these accounts and making sure they were satisfied with everything we were doing. This was an interesting part of the placement as it gave me the chance to test my knowledge of business so far and apply it to a real scenario.
At Enterprise we were encouraged to interact with customers and build relationships with them. One achievement I was proud of was the amount of positive feedback I received from the customers I looked after. We encouraged customers to email us about anything they had to say and I got a lot of comments saying how they were very happy with what I did for them.
I was also given the opportunity to look at the financial side of the business, by looking at the financial statement for the year and give my ideas as to how we, as a branch could improve the figures. These ideas were sometimes implemented into the daily operation of the business and this is another thing I can be proud of.
As there were about ten members of staff in the branch, one skill I learnt to develop was team work and communication skills, as we were running a large operation and we all needed to work together efficiently to do the job to the best of our abilities.
The best bit of the placement year for me was the relationships and networks I made. I worked with a great group of people, who made my internship fun, rewarding and challenging. Also, I generated a good relationship with the businesses I spoke to, giving me the confidence to speak to clients in the future.
“My placement year was cut short by COVID-19.”
Because Enterprise provides a lot of travel for other businesses, Covid-19 eliminated the possibility of business travel as most people worked from home, meaning our capacity was greatly reduced, impacting the need for so many employees at work at one time. As a result, my placement was unfortunately cut short by a month and a half. I was supposed to see my placement through to 20th May 2020, however it ended on April 1st 2020.
However, as a result of placement it is safe to say that I feel much more confident working in a professional work environment. Even though I had gained a lot of experience by previously working in the hospitality industry, I wasn’t able to fully apply my business skills. Now that I have applied my skills to one business, I am confident that I will be able to do the same with a different company, whatever it may be.
Furthermore, going through a rigorous interview process was very challenging, but I have a much better understanding as to how interviews take place and what I need to do in the future to prepare for them.
Whilst in my final year of study, I plan to look for graduate jobs for when I finish my degree. I am particularly interested in business analysis so I will be looking for roles in that field. However, depending on the availability of jobs due to the covid-19 situation, another possibility is for me to complete a masters after my degree to further enhance my skills.
“Completing a placement year is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding exercises you can possibly do whilst at university.”
You will learn so much from the placement and it will fully prepare you to step out into the real world of business after graduating. For anyone who is thinking about completing a placement year; start applying early, and apply for as many jobs as possible. This will give you the best chance to get the job you really want and gain the vital experience you really need.
The most valuable thing I did whilst going through the job search and interview process was research. Going online and learning as much as possible about the company you are interested in will make you stand out from the crowd, and it certainly impresses employers when they can tell that you are already invested in the business before you have started.
Thank you to Ben for telling us about his placement year. If you’d like to talk about your placement options with a Placement Coordinator, log into the Your Future Plan portal and book a virtual appointment.