Above And Beyond: How Three Management Trainees Launched Their Careers With Enterprise

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At Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the company is creating leaders.

Christopher Pellegrino, a General Arts graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University, became a Management Trainee with the company. He says it struck him as a great place to start and grow his career on several levels – customer service, management, sales, and running a business.

Stefania Poretta and Christina De Souza had similar motivations for joining the company – the widely successful program has launched careers for many hardworking, business-minded entrepreneurs across the country.

Ace the interview – Christopher’s advice

Be yourself – Enterprise isn’t looking for one specific type of person. They have lots of positions and can incorporate lots of different skill sets. Depending on your background, they can place you in a different location or a different line of work!

“I actually knew a couple of people who had really good experiences and had progressed throughout the company to different levels of employment,” says Stefania. “I thought it’d be cool to experience something like that.

Today, all three Management Trainees have progressed rapidly throughout the company to different roles. TalentEgg had the pleasure of chatting with these three employees to tell us about their career-launching experiences with Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

On the job

Enterprise is a fast-paced environment that challenges its employees from the get-go. A combination of routine and variety, every day has a similar structure – but it never gets boring.

Christopher says that his Management Trainee days were filled with customer and client interactions – picking up and dropping off customers, ensuring they were satisfied with their service, and working with body shops, dealerships and corporate accounts.

Christopher Pellegrino
Branch Manager
General Arts, Wilfrid Laurier University 2012

But Christopher said the company had him well prepared to handle the work from the start.

“They do pretty extensive training,” he says. “You get a mentor right from the start to make sure that you’re successful… they make sure you’re saying the right things and doing the right things.”

All Management Trainees are matched with a mentor to help guide them through their experience. Christina says she was matched with her mentor shortly after she joined the team. They would often sit down together and go over their plans for her future at Enterprise.

She says her experience was special for her because her mentor had her take on additional responsibilities that were more typical of a Management Assistant.

“People with the ability to move to the top have the ability to connect with others,” she says, referring to her mentor and the other Enterprise employees who have moved up the ranks. “Anyone with knowledge to impart, they’re willing to give it to you… if there was any way to help me, they’d do it.”

Management Trainee: In the role – Stefania’s advice

Take it slow – There’s a lot of information to absorb. Take every experience as a learning opportunity and make the most of it.
Make connections – Build relationships with everyone in the company. They’ll always give you the best advice if you need it!

Stefania loves working for a company as large as Enterprise. She describes her co-workers as a big family. She says as a Management Trainee, every day was a different learning experience – her Branch Manager is one of the best teachers she’s had to date.

“They also taught me things for future roles,” says Stefania. “When you get to a higher position, that’s when you refine those new skills.”

Sharpening skills

The Management Trainee’s goal is to eventually become a manager and run a part of the Enterprise business. While many graduates are eager to put in the hard work, many discover skills that they never thought would be essential in a management role.

For Stefania, she admitted she thought her customer interaction skills were pretty great before coming to Enterprise. But now she says thanks to her training, her ability has improved tenfold.

Christopher says he’s become an expert at multitasking. Management at Enterprise isn’t about sitting behind a desk – it’s about being involved and sometimes juggling several tasks. He’s also developed great sales skills – selling Enterprise’s service to body shops and dealerships is a big part of the job.

Christina says that she’s learned the value of patience and perseverance in this role. When she started at Enterprise, everything was new – from the computer system to her day to day tasks. But she says it was all worth it, and it’s made her much more effective in her role today.

“It taught me how to build relationships with branches outside the city… and even within our own areas,” she says.

From Trainees to Managers

It’s only been a year and a half since Christopher joined the Enterprise team, and he’s already been promoted to the Branch Manager position at his location in Toronto, ON.

He’s responsible for running the business as a whole – he manages the fleet, markets the accounts and business, and controls branch costs. However, his favourite part of the job is training his team.

By her seventh month with the company, Stefania was promoted to a managerial position. She is now an Assistant Truck Manager at the Enterprise truck branch in Woodbridge, ON. Her role consists of managing the daily operations, marketing to grow the business, and taking care of their fleet of trucks.

Stefania Poretta
Assistant Truck Manager
Political Science, University of Toronto 2012

She’s become passionate about her role, and has learned not to be afraid to start a conversation with someone, especially when it might lead to new business.

“Last year at this time, I’d have been way too shy to do that,” she says. Now, she gets a huge sense of satisfaction from prospecting new accounts and closing deals.

Christina has become the Assistant Manager at an Enterprise location in Scarborough, ON. She says her role consists of supporting and maximizing branch performance.

She mentors and coaches employees – she is responsible for building morale and making sure the team has the proper support.

But for Christina, the most rewarding part of her job is building client relationships.

“I’ve built my book of business,” she says. “Now I have people calling the branch asking to speak to Christina… It’s a nice feeling to have.”

Room to grow

There are a lot of career options for Enterprise employees – which is why Christopher, Stefania, and Christina don’t plan on leaving the company anytime soon.

“All my managers have been super supportive in helping me move my career along,” says Christopher. “It looks really good when an employee gets promoted and everyone moves along.”

Christopher has his sights set on eventually moving into a bigger store and becoming an Area Manager.

For Stefania, she doesn’t have a clear position in mind. But she knows that she has options – she says there are many different directions an employee can take with the company.

“I hope to do other things with Enterprise… I don’t want to limit myself,” she says.

Planning ahead – Christina’s advice

Be open to new information – Don’t assume you know everything.
Be forward-thinking – Don’t think about today. Think about where you want to be tomorrow

Christina also has her sights set high. She says that during her second interview for the Management Trainee role, she recalls saying that she wanted to be a future president of Enterprise.

“They’ll give you all the resources you need to get there,” she says. “So I don’t want to put a cap on it… I want to strive for the top.”

Christina de Souza
Assistant Manager
Anthropology/English, University of Toronto 2013

There’s no doubt that the success of these employees are deeply rooted in their Management Trainee experiences.

“What I learned as a trainee is directly related to what I do now, but on a different level,” says Christopher. “I just do it on a larger scale”

In her new management role, Christina remembers all the great support she’s received, and continues to pay it back to her team.

“There are 6 employees that I’ve personally helped get promoted to the same position as me,” she says. “It’s nice when you have something to impart to someone, and now they’re self-sufficient”

Stefania, who took career advice to apply for the Management Trainee role, now says she would wholeheartedly recommend it to any student or graduate.

“At the end of the day, no matter what kind of career path you’re looking for in the business world, Enterprise will have a path for you.”

Do you want to start your career with Enterprise? Check out their opportunities here!

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