We all know the catch-22 of getting your first job: You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience.
Finding a company that’s willing to break the vicious cycle and give you a chance can be hard. That’s why the smartest candidates look for companies that invest in their potential, rather than their resume. It’s also why Management Training programs are perfect for grads.
We know, though, that just the words “training” and “program” can be enough to send you into a spiral of questions. Are management training programs full-time jobs? Are you guaranteed a job after a management training program is “over?” Do you even get paid?
To get the official lowdown on how these programs work and why they’re ideal, we spoke to a veteran of the Management Training program at Enterprise.
What Is A Management Training Program?
Kelly, who has moved up a couple times at Enterprise, most recently to an Assistant Manager role, can confirm that the Management Training program is a full-time, paid job. However, that doesn’t mean the position isn’t focused on learning, development, and—of course—moving up the ladder ASAP.
“It is a training program, but they’re teaching you to run your own business,” Kelly says. “I majored in Business Management, so this was an ideal job where I got to apply everything that I learned in my classes.”
The program covers everything, from managing branch employees and sales, to working with insurance companies and vendors.
“Everything you learn you have to apply on the job,” Kelly explains. “When you look at spreadsheets, you’re actually seeing the numbers for your business.”
Surprisingly, the analytics aspect is often one of her favorite parts of the job: “You see how well your branch is doing, so you feel invested, because those numbers reflect you.”
Taking On Management Responsibilities—While You’re Learning About Them
Because it’s a training program and Enterprise is a company obsessed with investing in its employees’ development, you’re constantly learning—whether from mentors, formal sessions, or just trial and error.
“At first, you go to orientation where you go over the different systems that we use. Then you shadow people and get a gist of what the business is like,” she says. “Enterprise is very, very thorough. They give you all the resources you need from the very beginning, and when you go back to your branch, you start applying everything you’ve learned,” Kelly says.
So what do you actually do?
When you return to the branch, it’s real responsibilities, right away. You’ll assist with managing the branch, work with customers, build business-to-business relationships, and track performance metrics. But there’s no reason to be overwhelmed.
“You have support from your manager and employees who have been around longer,” Kelly adds. The team isn’t just dedicated to the success of the business; they’re dedicated to the success of each other.
Moving Up The Ladder, Together
“They’re training you to run a business by yourself, but you’re never alone,” says Kelly.
“You get one-on-one training with your manager, so they can see how well you’re doing compared to your peers and develop you to make sure you can complete the goal: to run your own branch.”
There are also a series of tests, the last of which asks you to apply the knowledge you’ve learned about management and the business in scenarios and hypotheticals.
“That’s the qualifying test to become an Assistant Manager. And once you successfully complete that, you’re eligible for internal promotions.”
That’s the best part of the program, according to Kelly. Everybody can move up—and one person’s success always means the success of others. The result being you build a strong bond with your peers.
“You make a lot of friends. It’s fun, but it’s also good networking. You build a brand for yourself, and they keep you in mind for opportunities.”
That network means more than just promotions, though; the friendships and emotional support system are just as valuable.
“It’s the kind of environment where you feel that people actually care about you. The thing that keeps me tied to Enterprise is the people that I work with. I have built so many strong relationships,” Kelly says.
And The Perfect Candidate For The Management Training Program Is…
Fired up about the program? Kelly suggests there are a few traits that can make someone a great fit.
“People who are dedicated, self-driven. People who are competitive. I’m more competitive against myself than anyone else,” explains Kelly. “It’s always about reaching my goals. How did I do compared to last month? How do I want to do better next month?”
“And, of course, people who are just hungry to learn,” Kelly notes. “For me, my biggest motivator is learning. I’ve been here a year and a half now, and I’m still learning a lot, which is what keeps me interested and wanting to be here as long as I can.”
As you’re learning and growing in your role, you’re also given plenty of autonomy.
“You have to make decisions on the spot, and they give you the freedom to make those decisions,” says Kelly. “And if it’s not the right decision, you can learn from it.”
Ready to start learning—and doing more in your first full-time job? Check out opportunities from Enterprise on WayUp.