Students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have been given a unique insight into the world of business on a visit to the Paris headquarters of Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Nine students spent three days in the French capital where they had a tour of Enterprise’s office, were given presentations by various members of staff and took part in mock assessment centres.
The trip was organised through the university’s pioneering #DMUglobal scheme which aims to enrich studies, broaden cultural horizons and develop key skills valued by employers through international experiences.
The visit to Paris opened the students' eyes to the world of business, gave them the chance to network with industry leaders and get a taste of what graduate recruiters are looking for from their employees.
Second-year Business Information Systems student Nathan Doore was able to gain maximum benefit from the visit.
He said: “It was a brilliant trip and definitely worthwhile. It was really beneficial and a great experience, especially to see some former DMU students who are now working there and hear about their stories.”
Nathan has since been offered a placement as a trainee manager at a Leicester branch of Enterprise Rent-A-Car and he highlighted the experience he gained in Paris as a key factor in securing the sought after placement.
He explained: “I’d never done an assessment centre before but when we were in Paris we did two mock assessment centres, one focussing on the interviews and one about teamwork and group discussions.
“The interview practice wasn’t just directed at Enterprise, there was advice for things such as body posture that would apply to any interview. I felt really confident afterwards for when I did the real assessment centre. It got me in the right mind frame to be ready for it.”
One of the most important aspects of the trip was to give the students an insight into working abroad, something that has inspired Nathan to consider it in the future.
“‘Inspiring’ is the key word,” he said. “At the end of every day everyone was walking back to the hotel saying how brilliant it would be to work there and to work abroad in particular. It can be quite daunting to think about working abroad but I realised it isn’t at all.”
Russel D’Souza, a second-year Business Management and Human Resource Management, already had a placement with Enterprise lined up before the trip, but was able to find out more about the company and network with senior staff.
He said: “It was great to see the corporate side of Enterprise. They didn’t only help us with how their company works but how most organisations work. People working for Enterprise explained how they got through the recruitment process and then how they got to the top.
“They expect you to get in at the deep end and do everything from washing cars to meeting corporate clients and customers and dealing with different issues – it was good to see how open they are and how the organisation works.”
Richard Bowden, DMU’s Employer Relationship Manager, said: “We’ve had some great outcomes already from the trip. It allowed the students to network with senior decision makers and chat to people who could open doors for them.
“What Enterprise did for us was great. It was interesting for the students to see how their staff had progressed and got to the position they are in now. They realised that you don’t have to get a job in the UK, you can go abroad and experience something else.”
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DMU has a strong relationship with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which includes them sponsoring DMU’s careers fair and giving opportunities for students.
Rebecca Wheeldon, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, said: “It was a great experience to take the DMU students over to our Paris HQ as this was the first time we have done an event like this outside of the UK.
“It was a huge success as we were able to bring the students into a real corporate environment and show them a real case study of a business expanding into Europe with its challenges and opportunities.
“The students saw how we encourage talent mobility (relocation) as a company and make it as easy as possible for our employees to do this as it is great for career progression. We are very much looking forward to having Nathan, Elliott and Russel start their internships with us as a result of this trip and looking forward to see where their Enterprise career takes them.”
Thousands of DMU students have already joined the #DMUglobal programme and experienced trips to locations as diverse as New York, Berlin and Hong Kong. While there they have been involved in academic trips relevant to their courses. For all the latest news and opportunities go to www.dmuglobal.com
Posted on Monday 16th April 2018