Qasim Rehman, University of Bradford graduate shares his thoughts, tips and advice for students transitioning into the working world. Qasim spoke with us about his career journey as a Graduate Management Trainee at Enterprise Rent A Car, let’s see what he had to say…
Could you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
Of course, my name is Qasim Rehman and I studied accounting and finance at the University of Bradford. I started my studies in 2014 and I graduated in 2017. I currently work for Enterprise Rent a Car as an Accounts Coordinator.
Can you tell us about your Enterprise journey?
I started on the Graduate Management Scheme last May as a trainee in our Bradford South branch. I was then promoted across to the Manchester Road branch, which was a busy city branch that came with a lot more responsibility. From there, an opportunity in the accounts team came up, which I applied for and was successful, so as of last month I now work in the accounts team at our head office in Leeds.
What do you particularly enjoy about your job?
I love the hustle and bustle at Enterprise, you are always busy and the days fly by. Every day is different and fast-paced, which I really enjoy. I like to multi-task and have variety, so this is something that I really enjoy about my role. The team I work alongside are very ambitious and driven, which motivates me to develop myself further. It is great to work with a good team that you get on well with.
What inspired/motivated you to apply for this role
The fact that Enterprise has a unique ‘promote from within’ culture with constant career progression is what drew me to apply. I knew I was joining an organisation that focuses on pushing you further up the career ladder, where you can be an assistant manager within one year and a branch manager within two. Enterprise differs from other organisations as there are promotions available all the time, with hundreds of different departments to choose from. You can carry on up the career ladder in management, or you can side-step into HR, marketing, accounts or more specific areas like vehicle acquisition or risk management. There is something for everyone.
Could you describe the application process?
The first step is an online application form which can be found on the website, then followed by a phone screening to check you have our basic criteria, which is a Full UK Driving License and the right to work in the UK, but we do provide international sponsorship. If you have the criteria, you are then moved to a Microsoft Teams interview, where we focus on competency and motivational type questions. The final stage is a branch visit, where you spend a few hours in a local branch, shadowing the employees and getting to know the role. At the end of the day, you have a face-to-face interview with the Area Manager of that region. The branch visit is another unique thing Enterprise offer, it gives you the chance to do a trial run of the role to see if you are a good fit.
Do you have any interview tips?
Firstly, you must make sure to get your personality across and have a vision of what you want to do with your career in the next 5-10 years, it is so important to plan and manage where you want to go in the future. Secondly, make sure you research the company, as they are likely to ask you questions surrounding this in the interview to test your knowledge. Finally, try and use the STAR technique when answering questions and use storytelling examples where possible.
How would you describe your journey of finding a job?
My journey was very tough, I didn’t get a job straight after graduating, despite applying for multiple roles. The important thing is to remain resilient and keep trying and something good will come along with hard work and perseverance.
What help did you get along the way?
I received a lot of support from the university, especially from my mentor Dr Ziad Hussain. I was also guided by the university careers team, with regards to applying for vacancies, competency-based interview questions and CV development. This helped me to approach job interviews with the right mind-set and knowledge. When I began my graduate scheme, I received support from my managers who really supported me throughout the process. At Enterprise you also get assigned a mentor who offers external help and guidance throughout your training programme, which I found very helpful.
What challenges have you faced in your career journey so far?
The biggest challenge for me, was that I joined at the peak of the pandemic, when everything was operating very different to how it is now. Although everything was in crisis, Enterprise is family-owned business and is now the largest transportation industry in the world, so we came out stronger from this in comparison to some of our competitors. Despite the stress of working through the pandemic, the support I received from management really helped to guide me through this time and flourish.
What advice would you give to our current students and graduates based on your experiences?
My top tip is to utilise the careers service as much as you can and build relationships with the team. Secondly, focus on developing yourself as a competent person, working on your leadership, teamwork, time management, and communication skills, as these are what employers really look at in interviews. Use your time at university to develop yourself, so that when you graduate and transition into the working world, you have the skills you need to succeed. Lastly, don’t be shy to reach out to alumni as we are always here to give a helping hand.
If you want to find out more about Enterprise Rent a Car’s Graduate Management Scheme, please go to their website to learn more: careers.enterprise.co.uk.
They also have a great YouTube channel that has information about the role alongside general employability webinars, with advice from experts
If you are in the North East, you can contact Louise on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information.
Written by Louise Sivewright (Enterprise Talent Acquisition Marketing Specialist)
Thank you so much Qasim and Louise.