Find out what is COMMERCIAL AWARENESS What does it matter? What you should know? AND work on ELP3
Various definitions of commercial awareness, but in essence it means: An understanding of the sector, the company and the job that you are applying for Ability to view events and circumstances from a business perspective
Employers are attracted to candidates demonstrating that an effort was made to research the employer Makes you more appealing (give you the edge) Make you feel more confident at interview You get to know the employer and find out if you really want to work for them
The business itself Company website, literature, company brochure The news Online search engines, newspaper websites, keep up to date with general developments University resources Careers services for employer information, library trade magazines, journals, etc. Sector magazines, publications and websites Talking to people in the industry Insider information
Through work experience Highlight all kind of work experience, part time and voluntary work Key thoughts How was the company structured? How did it differentiate itself in the market? What were the needs of the clients or customers? Who were the main competitors? Did any legislation impact on the delivery of its services?
Undertaking key roles in societies at university or school Key thoughts: Have you raised money for charity? Did you organise an event? Responsible for making decisions/allocating budgets? Have you secured sponsorship? Responsible for marketing an event Level of budget controlled Targets in terms of money raised or numbers attended
Undertaking key roles in societies at university or school Key thoughts: What did you do and what did you learn? Were you given a financial role, market analysis, sales role, or any other? Have you raised money for charity? Did you organise an event? Responsible for making decisions/allocating budgets? Etc.
By reviewing company’s annual report and website (or that of your placement provider) Key thoughts: Do you know the products and services? How company is structured? Key market trends? Aware of our values, aims and objectives? e.g. Able to articulate company’s customers shopping habits have changed E.g. healthy living and response of company
When given a case study The candidate is asked to review specific areas within an organisation and prepare a brief presentation You should focus on the highest and lowest performing areas within an region & make recommendations Their recommendations must include: The relative differences in performance Likely causes for differences Suggestions on the ways forward
When given a case study Interpret and use data presented in a numerical and graphical format to make informed decisions Understanding the needs of different customer groups based upon demographic information Being able to work out the operating profit for each area Providing creative recommendations Being able to coherently bring together all of the information and consider it from different perspectives in a way that makes sense Making decisions and recommendations that are commercially viable and logical
Group Debate Candidates are given instructions and an investment proposal Then asked to propose (and agree) an investment opportunity considering both the commercial and ethical criteria Establish rating criteria, e.g. a SWOT or PEST analysis Consider economically viable options
Prepare some intelligent questions Wow them with your knowledge Don’t ask them for sensitive information Don’t put pressure on them
Discuss what organisations you and your ALS would want to investigate with a view of future applications Choose at least 2 organisations per ALS Agree a time to meet and report back through your ALS online, not more than a week delay… Then back to the computer for ELP3 (CU students only)