When student-athletes graduate from their days of cheering fans and championships, many find themselves in pursuit of that same competitive thrill.
That’s why at Enterprise, employees are empowered to get competitive, build supportive relationships with their co-workers, and take on major challenges that contribute to the success of their team.
We spoke with three former student-athletes turned all-star Enterprise employees to learn about the awesome ways their company puts their valuable skills to work.
A Place Where the Competitive Thrive
Craig Snelgrove, General Manager and Vice President for Enterprise in Toronto, started his career as a Management Trainee almost 24 years ago. Craig’s success at Enterprise is truly proof of Enterprise’s commitment to a promote-from-within culture. Before his Enterprise days, however, Craig played offensive line for Wilfrid Laurier University’s football team.
Quickly, Craig found the dynamic of his team at Enterprise was much like that of the great football teams he played on while studying at Laurier. Through hard work and success, Management Trainees and interns work their way up within the company. “This ‘pay your dues, learn the system, compete, and win a starting job’ [mentality] is exactly how a competitive [sports] team determines its starters,” he says.
While Enterprise employees thrive on competition, it doesn’t take away from their commitment to helping their team members succeed. “It’s unique having a competitive environment where you’re trying to compete and be better than other people, but at the same time working in a team environment,” he says. “We know that we’re better as a team than we are individually.”
Craig says there’s a reason that student-athletes succeed within the company. “I think there’s a connection between not just people that play sports, but the type of people that play sports,” he told us. “Anybody that has that mindset, that competitiveness, that teamwork – it’s what makes people successful in life and at Enterprise specifically.”
Where Business 101 Meets Teamwork
When Jam He was looking for an opportunity to start his career, there was something about the job description for a Management Trainee position at Enterprise that made him stop in his tracks. “Business 101,” Jam says are the keywords he still remembers as what sold him on Enterprise immediately. As an Economics graduate, Jam was looking for a business-related opportunity where he could apply the skills and knowledge he learned in school.
Jam moved to Canada from China in 2009 with a passion for track and field, which he participated in competitively during high school and university. It was this time in his life that equipped him with the valuable skills that would later help him excel in his career at Enterprise.
“I had to train 5 days a week. I did that for 8 years – every day,” Jam recalls of his competitive sports days, which he notes really aren’t that different from his life now. He remembers the close-knit dynamic of his track team, and how he and his teammates would make sacrifices for each other’s well-being. If someone was sick, had a scheduling issue, or was injured, the team would rally together to sub in or take care of them. That’s a lot like how his team works at his Enterprise branch. “I’m a team-oriented guy,” Jam says. “I’d do anything for my team.”
Being a student-athlete also helped Jam develop another key workplace skill: resiliency. Like competitive training, Jam tells us, advancing in the workplace can sometimes be challenging or overwhelming. The resiliency that Jam developed during his track days reminds him that you just have to keep on moving – your hard work will pay off.
“I’ve been a student-athlete, and I know how tough it is,” Jam says, so it’s important to him to work for an employer that supports the same values. He’s found that because of this, there are a lot of employees not only at his branch, but across the Enterprise that were once student-athletes. Sharing similar interests with his colleagues has only brought them closer together, and he always has someone to talk with about the latest sports news.
All-Stars Excel at Enterprise
Aline Mariano was initially attracted to her job at Enterprise because of the great things she’d heard about the company. Shortly after moving to Toronto from Columbus, Ohio where she attended school, she applied to join the Enterprise team.
She was intrigued by the idea that almost everyone at Enterprise starts off as a Management Trainee and is promoted based on performance, which creates a healthy, competitive environment for all employees. “That’s exactly how I am,” she says. “I’m truly competitive – I’ve been playing sports my whole life.”
Aline was born and raised in Brazil, but was granted a scholarship to attend Ohio Dominican University in the United States. While she had played tennis competitively her whole life, the team dynamic at her school in the U.S. was a big change for her. “Coming from Brazil where I always played singles, I was never in a team environment in tennis,” she says. Aline liked this because she still got to spend some individual time on the court, but at the end of the day, it was all about the team.
In the three short years she’s worked at Enterprise, Aline has already been a Branch Manager of two Enterprise Rent-A-Car locations in the GTA. She says she has her student-athlete days to thank for the work ethic she has today. “You can’t expect results without putting hard work into it,” she told us. “It doesn’t matter if it’s for work or for sports, you know that you need to get it done.”
Are you a former student-athlete like Aline? These are the skills she says you’ll use and develop at Enterprise:
Leadership: “As a manager, you’ve got to be there for your team and push your team to the next level, and be able to motivate them.”
Customer Service: “You don’t have the exposure [to customers] as a student-athlete, but Enterprise gives you a broad experience dealing with all sorts of people.”
Determination: “I put the hours and hard work into sports, and that’s why I got the scholarship in the U.S. and [my team] did well. It’s the same thing for work.”
Aline loves the fact that her success at Enterprise depends on her performance and how much effort she’s putting into her job. She compares this feeling to training as an athlete: “The more you practice, the more you’re committed…I guarantee you, you’re going to have better results.”
If you’re a sports-minded graduate in pursuit of a career that will allow you to apply your unique skillset, these former student-athletes guarantee that Enterprise is the place to be. All you have to do now is apply!