Business, Accounting, Finance and Economics are all popular courses offered at university. If you’re considering studying any of these subjects and looking to gain some further experience to enhance your personal statement, then look no further! Here are some ideas to help get you started.
Virtual Work Experience
Work experience is limited at present but fortunately, there are some accessible virtual opportunities out there, all of which are useful for these subjects.
The platform Inside Sherpa (try accessing through Chrome) offers banking and finance virtual work experience at Citibank as well as at the law firm Latham and Watkins where you can gain insight into the legalities of finance and acquire a variety of skills ranging from performing a discounted cash flow analysis to reviewing a purchase agreement. For something more data-driven and analytical, try the Virtual Data Analytics Experience with KPMG. As well as these experiences, you can also take a virtual tour of Ipswich Building Society, gain insight into high street banking as a business and find out more about the various roles within this operation. For a more general type of business insight, Barclays Lifeskills are also offering virtual work experience at Freeformers, a digital transformation agency.
Like any work experience, there will be some aspects that are straight-forward and others that will be more challenging, so stick with it and ensure you make a note of the projects you get involved in and the skills you develop. If the experience is not directly related to your degree choice, consider the transferable skills you gain instead.
So what exactly are transferable skills? Essentially, they are the skills and abilities you have acquired throughout your life, whether that’s through any previous work experience you undertook when you were in lower school, any part-time jobs you’ve had or through any project work you were involved in at school or college. Examples of transferable skills may include cash-handling, leadership, research, time-management or problem-solving. So reflect on your experience to date and consider the skills that would be applicable to a business environment. You’ll probably find that you have far more transferable skills than you realised and these can also be evidenced in your personal statement too.
There is a lot of information available online that will add bulk to your personal statement, as well as enabling you to build on your skills and subject-knowledge. For example, have a look under the Business and Money section of the free Open University online courses. Here you can take short courses in areas such as Investment Risk, Business Cultures or the Fundamentals of Accounting, to name but a few! Or try FutureLearn where you can gain knowledge of Book-keeping for Personal and Business Accounting. There are also many other courses on here that you can experience for free. Coursera is another platform for free courses relevant to Business Management, Accounting, Finance and Economics. Just use the search facility in all of these platforms until you find something that both interests and suits you. For a taste of what a lecture is like, you can also research individual virtual university taster programmes/summer schools, YouTube or try pre-recorded lectures available through Gresham College, which boasts a varied selection covering many topics related to Business.
Documentaries, Podcasts and Further Research
Want to gain further insight into different business-related roles? Check out film clips from Careers Badger where you can find out more about Entrepreneurship, Human Resources, Marketing and Real Estate from professionals working in these business sectors. Given how broad Business is as a discipline, consider an area of it that interests you and research industry publications or websites. For example, The Drum is a specialist marketing website and the CIPD is the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development – a professional association for HR (Human Resources). See if there are any events you can attend virtually through these websites too.
For an insight into Finance, keep up-to-date with news and current affairs by reading a broadsheet newspaper such as The Guardian or try the Bank of England website, which has home-learning resources, news and events. You can also listen to podcasts related to Business, Finance and Economics through the BBC such as Business Daly or In the Balance. For Economics, you can watch documentaries such as the The Best of Analysis also available through the BBC or research economic trends through Economics Online. Researching more about your chosen industry and sector-specific news develops your commercial awareness and also provides evidence of further reading and excellent research skills for a personal statement!
These are only some ideas to keep you busy over the summer, but do keep an eye out for other opportunities too.
For further advice on your personal statement, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Always be cautious and check any online forum or employer with your teacher or people at home first, as your safety is paramount!