Student Earns Scholarship as Exemplary Intern

For Laura Sosa, her philosophy is simple: treat customers how you would like to be treated.

“My goal is to gain their trust and have them leaving knowing that I was there for them, and that I met all of their needs,” says the management major at the Rutgers School of Business–Camden.

Laura Sosa

Laura Sosa

It was this consistent approach that customers came to know and appreciate at Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s Pitman location this past summer. Sosa served a highly competitive internship for 12 weeks – the first three months of the company’s management training program – and placed third out of 21 interns in the Delaware Valley region for her superior sales and customer-service abilities. In recognition of her excellence, she was awarded a $500 scholarship.

“She is a real go-getter. She is ambitious, has a great attitude, and displays the leadership qualities that we are seeking,” says Christie Smith, a talent acquisition manager for Enterprise Holdings’ Philadelphia Group. “The branch really enjoyed having her there.”

While her position posed many challenges – and the first week was “a little scary” – she learned to trust in herself and was never afraid to ask questions, says Sosa. “I just stepped out of my shell,” says the Turnersville resident. “I encourage everyone going into the job market to never be afraid, no matter what the job entails. Just jump into it and trust yourself.”

As Smith recalls, she recruited Sosa, a cadet in the Army National Guard, at a veterans career fair held on campus in the spring. Twice a semester, the offices of Veterans Affairs and Career Services partner to host the events, which bring together a host of companies looking to hire more veterans.

“Laura is a role model for student veterans,” says Fred Davis, director of the Office of Veterans Affairs at Rutgers–Camden. “They can look to her as an example of the initiative and determination that it takes to be successful, especially in today’s tough job market.”

sosa2According to Smith, admiration and respect for veterans can be traced back to the company’s founder, Jack Taylor, a Navy veteran of World War II, who served on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise and later named his company after the vessel. Smith notes that Enterprise has had great success hiring veterans, who already possess exceptional leadership skills and work ethic.

“Veterans have these skills engrained in them,” says Smith. “We are training our interns to be leaders, so the skills that veterans acquire in the military really translate well in our work environment.”

A 2010 graduate of Washington Township High School, Sosa immediately joined the Army National Guard as a flight operations specialist. She is currently enrolled in the Army Officer Education Program, earning her undergraduate degree at Rutgers–Camden, while receiving officer training as a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at Rowan University.

“The biggest challenges that I face in the military are related to time management,” says Sosa, who likes to unwind playing volleyball every Sunday in Washington Lake Park. “As a leader, you are held responsible for many things and are given a limited amount of time to make them happen. But no matter what, it’s up to you to make it happen.”

sosa4Sosa also credits her business management education at Rutgers–Camden for supplementing her military training, as well as her business acumen. “It teaches me everything from understanding the psychological background of my subordinates to knowing operationally what it takes to produce an item,” she says. “I’ve also been able to apply what I’ve learned in a classroom to my work at Enterprise.”

Sosa continues to work part time for Enterprise and has been offered a full-time position with the company upon graduating from Rutgers–Camden in May. In addition to a career in business, she looks forward to serving as an Army officer.

“Whatever the capacity,” she says, “I want to be out there and effectively leading people to accomplish the missions that the Army has set forth.”

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