Simply mention the Management Training program to Céline R., and she has trouble containing her enthusiasm. “Oh my gosh, it changed my life,” she says.
It’s not really an exaggeration, notes the Assistant Manager of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car branch at Gare de Lyon in Paris, France. When Céline first learned about the MT program at a college job fair a couple of years ago, she’d never even heard of Enterprise before.
Today, she’s building a career and gaining experience in a business she loves—even though the rental car industry didn’t register a blip on her radar screen during her undergrad years.
Abdoulaye K. knew a bit more about Enterprise before becoming an MT in 2014: He’d actually rented from the company during his university days in Montreal. Still, he didn’t give much thought to joining Enterprise until a post-college job search introduced him to the program in Paris, the city where he was born.
Like Céline, Abdoulaye was intrigued by what he heard: “Enterprise offered a chance for young people to create their own future,” he says. “In France today, it’s very hard to find companies that will give you such an opportunity.” And having recently earned a promotion to Branch Manager at Gare du Nord / Gare de l’Est, Abdoulaye knows that the promises are real.
All of which may help to explain the program’s popularity. Originally expecting to attract about 100 participants in 2014, the company actually hired 150 during the program’s first full year of activity in France, according to Group HR Manager Veronique L. Plans call for another 100 to be added in 2015.
“We’ve had the chance to hire some very good candidates—and that fits with our global strategy to do something whenever possible to strengthen the team,” Veronique says. “We know we’ll need talent for the future, so we don’t want to limit the opportunity.”
Building skills and careers while building a brand
The MT program itself mirrors the process used in the US, UK and Canada. All participants receive training on a broad range of topics, including customer service, quality, Enterprise products, and management and leadership skills.
The impact of all this training was obvious to Céline the moment she arrived for her first assignment at the Orly airport branch. A shortage of cars had created a prickly situation that day, but to Céline’s amazement, her new colleagues still managed to defuse the tension with their customer service skills.
“I thought, ‘Wow! This is so cool!’ It’s exactly what I want to do,” Céline recalls. “I just loved how they worked—it was fantastic!” Within a few months, she was putting the same skills to work herself.
Beyond polishing their customer service skills, both Céline and Abdoulaye appreciate having the chance to learn a business from the ground up.
“They explained that things would be tough for me at the beginning, and that I’d have to work hard to achieve my ambitions,” Abdoulaye says. “But I like how I’ve already had the opportunity to work at airport, railway and home city offices. They’re very different businesses, dealing with different types of customers—so it’s providing great experience as I create my future.”
Each personal success also contributes to the company’s continued growth in France, Abdoulaye believes. “Enterprise has kept its promises to me, so I can be an example for my co-workers,” he says. “As we hire new people, I can tell them about my experience—and help them grow—so that we can all progress together in our careers.”