Demonstrating commercial awareness is vital for whatever sector you are hoping to go into – law, technology, politics, health, for example, not just business. Yet every year, graduate recruiters frequently tell me that graduates lack commercial awareness at interview or assessment centres. I find this too when I carry out mock interviews and assessment centres with students at City. Questions like“What do you think are some of the key issues affecting our sector at the moment”? or “Give me an example of an article or programme which has interested you recently” (a typical question to test how you keep youself up to date with sector issues) are frequently met with blankness or hesitation with lots of ums and ers!
Of course an internship, placement, or voluntary work experience is the ideal way of gaining or dveloping commercial awarness, but a lot can be achieved by thoroughly researching specific organisations you are interested in and keeping up to date with the sector in general. There are lots of ways of doing this, but a good start can be finding out about organisation’s culture, values and goals via their website and signing up for their newsfeeds. Some professional bodies also provide good resources to develop commercial awareness. The ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants) has excellent podcasts on its dedicated graduate website about how to develop your Continue Reading