Enterprise hires 7,000 college graduates a year as management trainees, recruiting from 220 different college campuses. BusinessWeek has included Enterprise in its listing of the 50 best places to launch a career for three years running. One college recruiter sums up what Enterprise looks for in its new hires this way: “The students that fit are highly motivated, positive, energetic, and enthusiastic.” Motivation is key, because the hours are long, and the work isn’t always glamorous. The company describes the standard work week as no more than 49.5 hours, but some employees report a norm that’s closer to 60 hours. And much of that time is spent behind a counter, picking up customers, or washing cars—all while wearing professional business attire. Estimates suggest that about half of the new hires don’t last a year at the company.
But those who stick it out do so for two major reasons: a clear career ladder for promotions and an impressive array of incentives. Management training