Looking for an internship or graduate role at the end of the year? Then you’ll need to be clued up about what employers are looking for when recruiting.
Do you have business acumen? Are you commercially aware? Do you even know what these terms mean?
In all of our discussions with employers, time and time again they tell us that really good academically strong students often miss out on getting appointed because of their lack of commercial or business awareness. Basically what this means is whether you have a general understanding of how the market works. All organisations, whether private or not-for-profit, are subject to commercial pressures. Everyone has a bottom line that must be met if the organisation is to succeed and grow. Ignore this and you’ll find you won’t get very far in the interview.
All very good you might say, but how do you actually develop commercial awareness? There are a number of things you can do to increase your understanding of business environments.
Read! There is a great deal of information at your fingertips. Read newspapers – especially the business pages, as well as magazines like the National Business Review, Unlimited, NZ Business and The Independent Financial Review. Magazines such as the Listener, North & South and Metro also carry business stories. Professional associations and specific industries also have their own journals and magazines, for example in tourism, human resources, management, marketing and accountancy. Get a sense of what are the challenges organisations are facing and what are some of the ways in which they are dealing with these challenges.
Research employers. Never apply for a job or go to an interview without carefully researching the organisation. Look at their web pages and follow employers on Twitter and LinkedIn. Attend employer presentations and careers expos on campus. The first expo up for the year will be the Commerce and Law Expo on 18 March. Nothing beats talking to employers directly!
Get work experience. This can be paid or unpaid. Volunteer work is just as valued by employers as paid work particularly if the work has enabled you to develop skills such as problem solving, customer service, communication, working in a team, leadership, and using technology.
These are just some ideas to get you started. If you get stuck, pop in to see us in the Vic Careers office or email us with your query. Don’t forget to keep checking CareerHub (use your student computing account to login) for details on all upcoming jobs and internships, work experience, voluntary work, employer presentations, career expos and much, much more!