Having to relocate can be a hard decision post-university. Diane Lynch joined Enterprise Rent-A-Car and found it the beginning of an exciting and successful adventure.
I was in my final months of university when the job advertisement for Enterprise caught my eye. It was not a company that I’d heard much about, so after reading up I applied and got an interview. Looking back, I was instantly attracted by the energy and passion of the people that worked there, plus they really seemed to love their jobs.
It was this initial warmth which struck a cord within me and I felt right at home. I reasoned that if they could make an interview so enjoyable, then surely the job would be equally great. So after graduation, much to my parents’ surprise, I said, ‘I’m off to England to rent cars!’
A new start and daunting changes
Before my career began to unfold, I could not have imagined where this opportunity would take me. Moving away from home to start a new job in the cosmopolitan city of Manchester was a shock to the system to say the least. Leaving friends and family behind was quite daunting, but at the same time it was just the beginning of a new and exciting adventure.
It was far from easy at the beginning, but then what new job ever is – especially one’s first proper job? There were the obvious challenges of developing new skills and mastering new techniques in a completely different environment, but I believe being part of a supportive company made it a whole lot easier. I quickly learnt that a good employer will give back to you one hundredfold what you give to them.
Settling in and moving onwards
After six months in my role as a management trainee, I began to see how much I had achieved in a relatively short amount of time. Already I had developed a good understanding of the company, the market and the purpose of my role at Enterprise.
At this point, I started to look towards the long-term and see the bigger picture of my future with the firm. I set myself goals of what I wanted to achieve and how I would go about achieving them. I still think this is a vital part of career progression, no matter where you work.
My confidence grew throughout my time at Enterprise, and before I knew it I was promoted to branch manager. With each step and each promotion came more responsibilities and bigger challenges. Yet by giving my employer my time and commitment, I have received all the opportunities I could have ever wanted. And with each level of expertise under my belt, I have definitely become more ambitious.
A major plus of working at Enterprise has been the continuous support they provide – not just within work but also outside it. In fact, I was promoted to city manager only weeks before my son was born. It demonstrated great confidence in me and that’s always been the environment here.
Being included in Management Today’s list of the ‘35 women under 35’, is another accomplishment not many people get the chance to receive. It is great to be recognised in this way.
In my current role as Managing Director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, I am accountable for the ongoing success, profitability and growth of Enterprise in the region. Key to this is exploring new opportunities and working with local and national businesses to build strong, long-term relationships. This is, of course, made easier by the great team around me, many of whom are on a similar career journey as I undertook.
Working my way along the Enterprise career path has provided me with a fantastic basis for the role I do now. It has also been an amazing experience for me to watch our operations across Europe grow so quickly, knowing I have played a part. Year after year we experience continued success – and it’s that kind of success that brings on career opportunities and recognition for all the European employees.
Feeling at home at Enterprise
Whilst I may not have parents or siblings here, I do have a strong network of work friends that are always there for me. When my youngest son had to have an operation, my then boss and his wife helped relieve the stress by offering to take care of my eldest for us.
Looking back, I remember my friends all thinking I’d gone mad when I left Ireland for this job. Today they tell me they’re so envious, not only because I’m earning more than they are, but because I totally love what I do. So far, my career at Enterprise has taught me to keep moving the bar higher and higher because you should never put a cap on what you can achieve.
Advice for you
- Do what you love, and love what you do. It doesn’t matter what degree you studied. Focus on the skills that you have acquired along the way – through your part-time jobs, work experience and your involvement in societies and the classroom.
- Be positive. Many companies are recruiting graduates despite what you may read in the headlines. Visit your careers services office – they are a wealth of information.
- Once you land your role, build a support network. Seek people both inside of your company as well as within your industry that can provide information and opportunities for your future. You will spend more time at work than doing anything else – and it is possible to absolutely love your career.