“It’s important to give back, I am in a position where I can offer advice and guidance to those who may find themselves in a similar position to the one I was in all those years ago.”Ashley Hever, Criminology, 1997
Ashley Hever oversees Talent Acquisition for all UK and Ireland operations at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. After graduating from The University of Hull in Criminology in 1997, he joined Enterprise Rent-A-Car as a management trainee in 2001. Having enjoyed over 18 years of experience with the company in a variety of roles in operations, management and human resources, he has lots of good advice to share with current University of Hull students in his role as an e-mentor.
Ashley sponsors and chairs the Enterprise LGBT+ network Enterpride and was the first in his family to go to University, and the first LGBT+ Director at Enterprise. He is regularly asked to speak on various graduate and diversity related topics, including the LinkedIn talent connect conference. In this interview we find out more about his career path, his experiences as a mentor, and his tips on standing out from the crowd when applying for jobs.
If you would like to find out more about mentoring University of Hull students, please contact Matt Beecroft in our Student Futures Team.
What attracted you to study at the University of Hull?
I wanted to study Criminology and, at the time, there were very few Universities that offered the course. I visited ten universities across the country; Hull was the last university on my UK tour. I was the first in my immediate family to go to University, I found it difficult to know exactly what to look for, but after attending the university tour from a friendly ambassador, I knew Hull was going to be where I would spend the next three years, and it proved to be a great decision.
Was there anything at Hull that helped to shape your future life/career?
I was never the most confident of people, I had never had a nickname and I was nervous about moving away from home and living on my own. I moved into Ferens Hall in September 1994 and my university experience over the next three years helped shape my future. I met some great people, got given the nickname Terry (apparently I look like Terry Christian, the broadcaster) and the people I met in my first week are still great friends today. We are still there for each other today in the same way we were nearly 30 years ago and that has been so important for me, especially over the last few months (during the COVID-pandemic). Every Friday night twelve of us make the time to catch up, have a quiz and chat.
You have been working in Talent Acquisition at Enterprise Rent-A-Car for over 12 years. What does your job entail, and why do you enjoy it?
I joined Enterprise nearly 20 years ago on the Graduate Management Programme, and worked my way up through the business, as Enterprise promotes from within. In my current role, as Talent Acquisition Director, I oversee recruitment across all business lines for the UK & Ireland. We hire around 800 graduates a year into branches across the UK, and last year we visited over 100 universities. Working with my team, I set out the strategy and the goals for the year for all areas of talent acquisition, from the marketing, selection, candidate experience and onboarding. Inclusion and diversity is a passion of mine; I chair the LGBT+ network ‘Enterpride’ as well as co-chair our national diversity committee.
You are a mentor at the University of Hull – what do you get out of the experience of being a mentor?
It’s important to give back, I am in a position where I can offer advice and guidance to those who may find themselves in a similar position to the one I was in all those years ago. I didn’t have a mentor whilst at University, but now I recognise how important it is. It can be tough and daunting as a student going into your final year and having someone to help review your CV, give advice on what to actually do at a career fair, or help make connections on LinkedIn can go a long way to building confidence. I enjoy mentoring and I also get a lot from the students who often reverse mentor me and give me great advice.
What advice do you have for a young person looking for work today – what can they do to put themselves ahead of the crowd?
There are so many things a young person can do to put them ahead of the crowd. I would suggest getting involved in extra-curricular activities at University, this could be through clubs and societies. Go one step further and try and obtain a leadership role on the committee. Look for any Ambassador roles the university or your course offers. Ask yourself how you can give back. Visit your careers service, find out what employability events are they offering, how can they help you build your skill set and your network. Ensure you have an up-to-date and active LinkedIn profile, who are you connecting with? Are you contributing and commenting on posts?