By Lucy Wilton, Graduate Employer Brand Manager for UK&I at EY.
Everything that we do at EY has a commercial goal in mind. It’s no good theorising for our clients if we can’t show them how it will work in practice.
Building commercial awareness takes time and on-the-job experience. But having some understanding of the business world, and being able to look at situations from a commercial perspective, will strengthen your position.
Developing a commercial awareness can make you a better fit for potential employers. Taking an interest in the business world will show employers that you can bring something valuable to their organisation – but more importantly, you will really need it when you work with clients. Here are some tips on how to broaden your awareness of the business world:
Read the specialist press for the industry you are interested in
Keep informed about business in general by reading business publications, listening to the news and staying up to date using social media
Develop opinions about current affairs and think about the impact on firms across various industries. A good way to achieve this is to buy a copy of the Financial Times, choose three companies from the FTSE 100 and follow their progress over a year
If you have a part-time job while you’re studying, you can start to think about the real business challenges your employer faces
Research the wider issues that affect the organisation you want to go into, and their position in the market
Join a society – they are like businesses. They can teach you about financial responsibility and planning to enhance your understanding.
Business skills are essential for any career – whether you want to be a banker, a journalist or a charity worker. In fact, many employers see them as a key asset, so they’re well worth developing.
As well as having a keen interest in commercial awareness, it’s important for businesses to bring in people from a diverse background. At EY, we understand that every individual has equally individual requirements – and as an employer, we’ll only tap into our people’s very performance if we embrace and enable these differences.
Ben joined EY as a Graduate nine years ago and now co-chairs EY’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Network which sits under the umbrella of Ability EY, the Firm’s overarching disability network. “I’ve found EY to be very accommodating, providing support whenever I’ve needed it. I have sign language interpreters who come with me when I attend training courses and a palantypist who converts speech to text during conference calls and other meetings which helps me to participate.”