Joanna Brewer on her career in Customer Service, Retail and Sales interviews Joanna Brewer, Strategic Account Manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

What has been your biggest challenge?

I work in sales and I definitely meet some interesting characters! I have worked on taking something away from each and every experience and turn it into a positive.

What are the rewarding aspects of a career in your industry?

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is leading the way in the car rental industry with our commitments to the environment on initiatives such as our 50 million tree pledge, research into renewable fuels and carbon offsetting.

What do you do to ensure you get a break at the weekends?

Make plans! I love to go travelling, see friends, play golf or do projects on our house. It all keeps me busy and gives me a break from work.

What's the best career advice you've ever received?

The best advice I have received is focus on your target, enlist the help of a mentor and be prepared to listen to criticism to help you improve.

What have you had to sacrifice/risk to get to the position you have?

I don’t feel I have had to sacrifice anything. Obviously I need to put in the hours when required but I think that is fairly standard across all companies and industries.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I wanted to present the Holiday Programme so I could see the world and experience all types of different cultures.

What differences do you believe being a woman has made to your career?

Because I work in the car industry which is seen as more male oriented, I feel that people remember me more in meetings and at events. I see this as a great advantage for creating new opportunities and building relationships with clients.

Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring graduate women who are pursuing a successful career?

I didn’t expect to be working for a car rental company when I graduated - so I think you need to be open minded when applying for jobs. If you do something you are good at and enjoy, you will be successful.

What has been the most exciting element of your career so far?

There have been highlights at every stage. I started working for Enterprise in Boston over 11 years ago as a graduate trainee and returned to the UK to bring some of the culture back that I experienced there. It has been really exciting to work for a new, rapidly expanding business and see the phenomenal growth that we have accomplished over the past 16 years.

What is your greatest achievement?

In 2010 I was named one of the Top 35 Women in Business Under 35 by Management Today Magazine. I featured alongside some fantastic women in the magazine as well as in the Sunday Times.

Who is, or has been, your role model and who is a strong role model for young women starting their career?

I have never really had one specific role model. However, I think it is great to see successful females emerging more in the press and on TV such as Karren Brady and Michelle Mone. This offers great inspiration to females.