It was a normal Wednesday. My first lecture of the day, EEE1, an employability module which had peeked my curiosity about what my options were for my first year at University. We had spoken in depth about many employability concepts like graduate talent, but still, graduation seemed a long way off. On this particular Wednesday, there were four unfamiliar, but very enthusiastic faces waiting on us as we all shuffled into our seats. They introduced themselves in a very professional manner and seemed eager to explain the opportunity which I had no idea I was about to embark on. There was around 250 students in the lecture hall that morning and I remember thinking… “how can they confidently speak to that many people?”
Kuljeet, Athena, James and Adam were all either part of Enactus, a community of students using entrepreneurial action in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable way to better student livelihoods and the community. Or they worked for Enterprise Rent A Car.All of their stories which they shared with us really inspired me to apply, each one of them had made the most of their time at GCU and they showed us just how much this can benefit your career and employability as an individual.
The competition consisted of a series of challenges to win a summer internship at Enterprise Rent A Car, created by the commercial team at Enactus and Enterprise. Many students waited behind to sign up, I was one of them. Each of us were sent an application form and I remember filling it out as soon as it landed in my inbox, eager to make sure I made the cut.
The Enterprise Apprentice – a competition based on BB1’s “The Apprentice” – started with 36 places and we were the first people to ever partake. It was exciting, nerve-wracking but ultimately something to look forward to. The next weeks consisted of many challenges which would ultimately test six key competencies set out by recruitment at Enterprise Rent A Car.
The challenges were wide-ranging and diverse, giving everyone who entered a chance to better understand their strengths and weaknesses. There were sales, social media, branding, events, marketing and problem solving challenges which kept us all on our toes.
For our first challenge we were split into teams, naming ours Team Trinity, I was the first Project Leader of the Big Issue Sales Challenge. I had never met anyone in my team before yet we all just clicked straight away. Off to a flying start our team came in first, selling 111 copies of the Big Issue and it was such a great feeling. Using business skills and raising profit but for such a good cause.
With every challenge I learned something more about my skills and competencies. The biggest challenge and learning curve came in stage three, The Big Event Challenge. Trinity knew this would be the biggest hurdle to overcome and we had a fantastic idea to run a graduates careers fayre with Marie Macklin C.B.E and Business Woman of the Year 2017 who was eager to come and deliver a talk. We had a whopping 94 students signed up out of 100 places available. Due to unforeseen circumstances with the venue, the event could not go ahead as planned. This was the most frustrating challenge but probably the most rewarding. Although our event had the potential to be excellent, sometimes things do not turned out the way as planned. At the end of the day, that’s just business. Our team fought till the end with this challenge and showed our resilience no matter the outcome. Personally, the event challenge taught me to remember what I have accomplished and not regret what I haven’t.
Come the end of the challenges I had saw such an exponential growth in myself as a person I actually applied for a position as Marketing Executive at Enactus which I was voted into just last month! Before the competition, I would never have believed in my own capabilities enough to apply for such a position.
And then came the interviews, my first ever professional interview, the nerves were real. Even though I had met Chris from recruitment a few times now I was still extremely apprehensive about what was to come. It can be really hard for us to talk positively about our abilities for fear of seeming egotistical but in an interview you have no choice. I learned that day to be proud of what I can do and who I have become.
In the end, it was one of the most beneficial and constructive processes I have ever taken part in. I met so many likeminded, incredible individuals who have become more than just my team but my friends. Not to mention the help given by our mentors and the wonderful Chris and Claire from Enterprise!
On the 27th of April, I was named Enterprise Apprentice Champion 2018 which was an overwhelming feeling. The feeling of seeing your hard work and enthusiasm recognized was wonderful and in a room with so many inspiring people it was hard not to get a bit emotional.
This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to network, gain skills, make memories with amazing people and be in with the chance of winning a summer internship at company with such commendable values and goals. If you do anything in first year at GCU then make it The Enterprise Apprentice.
The internship itself was the best part yet, I have never before worked with a team of such amazing individuals who I still keep in contact with regularly.
Placed at the Glasgow Airport Branch I had an amazing summer welcoming and returning many international people from all over the world... I spoke Spanish, learned some Punjabi, got two Customer Service pins, meet and greets with VIP's, developed my self-confidence, learned how to adapt in a fast paced business environment, won another award and laughed so hard every day I cried! (PS, that's the shortened version!)
It's an unmissable opportunity and your way develop and invest in your future.