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Students treated to an insider’s guide to bagging a top job with a global firm

Date 26.02.2021

Students studying Human Resources Management (HRM) at the University of Northampton have been taught tricks of the trade by a top HR specialist with global business, Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Bagging a top job, with a global company is no mean feat, but thanks to a masterclass from Monica Fowler, Talent Acquisition Marketing Specialist at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, that won’t be the case for University of Northampton students.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car operates an extensive network, of vehicle hire options around the world, from airport rentals to specialist vehicles. Assessment centres are commonly used by big businesses, like Enterprise, as part of their recruitment strategy, they’re carefully constructed to put applicants through their paces including role-play scenarios, individual tasks, and a group task, before a final interview.

All HRM students, from first to final year, took part in a mock assessment centre with Enterprise, giving them an insider’s guide to the process, spot what the assessors are looking for, and why businesses value this kind of recruitment process.

As part of the mock assessment centre, the student groups were put through their paces with a scenario task, to assess and make recommendations to open a new Enterprise branch, which culminated in a one-minute elevator pitch.

Charlotte Brack, a first-year HRM student and part of the Students’ Union HRM society, said: “I’ve not been part of an assessment centre before, so it was quite a daunting experience. As a first-year, having the opportunity to have a mock assessment centre is valuable, it’s boosted my confidence to present to a large group. I was chosen by my group to give the elevator pitch for our ideas – one-minute isn’t very long at all to sell your idea, but it was a good challenge!”

Hayley Henderson, Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management said: “Assessment centres give employers a chance to assess applicants’ performance very specific and analytical way, and to see and personal qualities in action. This kind of recruitment process can be quite daunting, but here at Northampton, we think it’s important for students to understand and be comfortable with this kind of recruitment process.”

Viktorija Plopa, a final year student, and President of the Students’ Union HRM society said: “This was the second mock assessment centre I’ve been part of during my studies, I think they’re fantastic real-world experience and opportunity to challenge yourself.  For students, especially final year students like myself, this is especially beneficial as I’ll soon be looking for my first HR job after I finish my studies later this year.”

Monica Fowler, Talent Acquisition Marketing Specialist at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, said: “As an experienced recruiter, helping students succeed with their applications goes further than just telling them what they need to do. We make a greater impact when students get to participate in activities such as mock interviews or assessment centre activities, where we facilitate the session with their tutors as part of their course and give the students the real experience. We give feedback and share advice on how to improve and succeed as if it was a real assessment – this will put them in the best possible position when they go on to apply for graduate jobs with companies like ours.”