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Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer
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Develop your Commerical Awareness - Marc Pinter-Krainer

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  • 1. Commercial Awareness Demonstrate Your Understanding of the Business World Marc Pinter-Krainer BSc PhD Sussex Alumnus (MAPS 1990-1993) Organised by the Careers and Employability Centre University of Sussex 3 February 2011
  • 2. Why Commercial Awareness?
    • This skill will significantly boost your chances for a successful job interview
    • Impress recruiters
    • Differentiate yourself from other candidates
  • 3. What is Commercial Awareness?
    • View situations from a commercial or business perspective
    • Thought or consideration for the business environment
    • Understanding business issues
      • What makes a business successful?
      • How does it fit into its market place?
      • Who are the customers / suppliers?
      • How does it make money?
      • <…>
  • 4. Why is Commercial Awareness a sought-after quality?
    • Understand key functions & structure of an organisation more readily
    • Add value to a business by recognising, utilising and creating opportunities
    • Quickly become a valuable asset to a business by taking initiatives which are relevant to it and its success
  • 5. How does Commercial Awareness help in the job interview process?
    • Seen as key skill which is desirable (but relatively scarce amongst graduates)
    • Positive differentiation from other candidates
    • Demonstrates potential value you can add to the business more readily
    • Improves discussion opportunities in an interview
    • Displays your interest in, and understanding of, the business
  • 6. Ways to improve Commercial Awareness
    • Read the press / news / business sections
    • Understand financial information and news about a business
      • E.g. Marks & Spencer issue profit warning
      • What does that mean?
      • What does the CEO statement imply?
    • Look at company websites
      • What is the nature of the business?
      • How would you describe the business in your own words?
  • 7. Ways to improve Commercial Awareness (contd.)
    • Play the “Investor” game
      • Imagine you were to consider investing money in a business
      • What is the main reason for this being a potentially good investment?
        • Profits?
        • Growth?
        • <…>
      • What are the risks and potential downside?
  • 8. Exercise: The Investor Game
    • You have the opportunity to invest in a company you know
    • Which one would you choose?
    • Describe its business in one brief sentence
    • What are the top three reasons for your choice?
    • Identify risks for your investment
  • 9. Take note:
    • To play the investor game, you ask questions about the business
    • You gain Commercial Awareness
    • Play the investor game as part of your preparation for a job interview
    • You will consider a significant investment – your time!
    • Note down your findings
    • Take note of any questions about the business
  • 10. Ways to improve Commercial Awareness (contd.)
    • SWOT Analysis of a business
    Strengths Weaknesses Threats Opportunities
  • 11. Exercise: SWOT Analysis
    • For the business nominated for your investment earlier, carry out a SWOT analysis
    • Identify internal factors:
      • Strengths
      • Weaknesses
    • Identify external factors:
      • Opportunities
      • Threats
    • In each case, what actions can the business take?
  • 12. Ways to improve Commercial Awareness (contd.)
    • Understand business financials
      • Published as part of annual report
      • Available for download from PLC websites
    • Top line revenues (sales)
    • Fixed and variable costs
    • Profit and loss
    • Balance sheet
    • Dividends
    • Ask “Why?”
  • 13. Exercise: Business Financials
    • Example: Annual Results, Marks & Spencer
      • Group sales of £9bn, increase of 5.1%
      • Profit of £1bn, increase of 4.3%
      • Strong balance sheet:
        • Total assets £7bn
        • Total liabilities £5bn
        • Net assets £2bn
      • Return to shareholders of £1bn in dividends
  • 14. Latest News Flash …
  • 15. Ways to improve Commercial Awareness (contd.)
    • Understand an organisation’s Supply Chain:
  • 16. Commercial Awareness Summary
    • Commercial Awareness is a valuable skill which will help fast-track your professional career
    • Commercial Awareness is about taking a view from the business perspective
    • Follow the news, play the investor game, carry out SWOT analysis and consider the supply chain
  • 17. Questions?
    • Thank you for your interest and attendance
    • Commercial Awareness will help create an understanding of a business, and boost your confidence
    • Enjoy your head start!

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