Career Progression

The Donna Miller Story

Donna started her Enterprise career on the company’s renowned Management Training Programme in California in 1990. Four months after joining, an area manager approached her about an HR position. “I absolutely loved rental. I ended up falling into HR by accident.”

She wasn’t looking for a career change, but applied for and got the job, which she kept for seven years.

Then came another HR opportunity – group recruiting manager in New York, a new role and a move to the East Coast. It was the first time she ever lived outside California. Quickly, her responsibility grew and she became the company’s first group HR manager – looking after six regions and four states.

Sixteen months later, a position became available for the first Canadian corporate HR manager. Initially Donna didn’t consider it: “I loved what I was doing and there’s so much to do.”

After being chased by St. Louis, she sought counsel from Pam Nicholson, now, Enterprise CEO, then Corporate Vice President. Pam asked Donna to outline where she’d be in five years. Then Pam said: “Let’s say this job is available and there are two candidates: you and someone with international experience. Who is more marketable?” That was enough. Donna applied and was shortly heading to St. Louis to take up the new position.

Following that, the world beckoned. She became corporate HR manager for Europe and travelled between St. Louis, the UK, Ireland and Germany every six to eight weeks. In 2003, Donna moved to the UK. Today she is HR director for Europe.

Donna has three keys to progressing at Enterprise:

1. Relocation, relocation, relocation

There are many career benefits to relocating, including financial progression. “If I had stayed where I was in Southern California, I have a pretty good idea of what I would be making, which is a different number than what I’m on today. I took a risk and moved to New York, to St. Louis, to Europe and financially that’s paid off.”

Did you know?

Donna sponsors six children across the world – two in the Philippines, two in Asia and two in South America.

Secretly she would love to be an American football referee.

Her favourite colour is blue, her favourite food is Mexican and her favourite song is Celebrate Me Home by Kenny Loggins.

Her life quote: “you can never be grateful enough or kind enough”.

To make relocating easier, Donna says: “The people who successfully relocate are the people who focus on the positive aspects of the change. Whether you move down the street, across the country or around the world, there’s going to be 100 new experiences. You can either focus on the 97 that are absolutely amazing or you can focus on the three things you really miss. If you focus on the three you’ll be miserable.”

2. Say ‘yes’

Donna likes to encourage people to say ‘yes’: to a new assignment, project opportunity, anything! “Say ‘yes’ and be open to new things. Be flexible. People who say ‘yes’ are a lot of fun to be around!”

3. Perform

“The most important thing you have to do is perform, whatever your role. If you are in rental keep your numbers up. Non-rental departments will be less interested in taking somebody on to their team who doesn’t perform, regardless of what role they’re going for.

by Kalifa Hickinson

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