“Whatever you do in the professional world, it is important to have a strong work ethic and have strong mentality. I learned that taking advantage of every opportunity and networking is so, so important.”
This is what Katie Macaulay, a senior economics major, came to realize during her internship with Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Bellevue, Washington in the summer of 2018.
Having heard great things about the Enterprise internship program, Macaulay pro-actively connected to a recruiter in addition to applying online. In preparation for the extensive interview process and knowing that they were looking for hardworking people who were excited about Enterprise, she learned all she could about the company.
“It is so important to know why you want to work at a company before an interview. I organized reasons beforehand on why I wanted to work there specifically and spent time in the preparation.” Macaulay noted that her interviewer was impressed by how much prior research she had obviously done. “He could tell I cared about wanting it and knowing it.”
Enterprise Rent-A-Car has a structured internship program that includes shadowing, a week of training in daily operations, networking, and talks. “It was a very structured and well-organized program, because they were really supportive and provided great mentors.”
Macaulay and her fellow interns were also responsible for a very hands-on project over the summer. She worked in inside sales, looking at how to boost sales on damage waivers. She set clear goals for herself and, at the end of the summer, presented to Enterprise area managers and Regional VPs for western Washington on her project.
“Higher-ups want to see how you interact with others and how you incorporate things within the job. If you take the tasks they give you seriously, they will notice and admire you. The more comfortable I got in my position, the more managers pushed me.” Over the summer, Macaulay earned managerial trust and was given more complex tasks, such as going to outside sales or marketing.
One aspect Macaulay had not expected was how much she appreciated the people and the structure of Enterprise: “I didn’t know internal structure would be so important and apparent in everyday operations. The company really takes care of their employees and develops amazing customer loyalty. It made a huge impression on me that they would do anything for their customers, instead of just chasing profits.”
An internship can change your professional aspects or aspirations. At the end of the internship, Enterprise extended a post-graduation job offer to Macaulay, which she accepted.
Macaulay expressed how much she had been able to take in from this experience. “You learn a lot from a very successful company. It was very much an entrepreneurial experience, because I was able to witness their exponential growth, long term decisions, and a successful business model.”
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