We are now in the midst of video interviewing, psychometric testing and assessment centre season. Many vacation scheme and training contract application deadlines have already passed, and hundreds of lucky applicants are now receiving the much hoped-for email to say that they are through to the next stage.
As the process continues, it in many ways gets harder – for example, during video interviews and assessment centres, you do not have the chance to go away and research topics like you can when drafting the initial application. Therefore, being commercially aware becomes even more important.
Here are four sites that can help you with this in an easier way than endlessly scrolling through the Financial Times’ website the night before your assessment centre.
I signed up to this service when I started university and it gets better every day. Each evening you receive a short email briefing you on a few current issues that are affecting the global and national economy, which you can read as you eat your breakfast or travel to university the next morning.
Written in an easily digestible form, the emails are fairly short, with the option to click through to the website for longer stories. You can now also opt for a paid offering, but I find that the free option offers plenty. Bonus points if, like me, you enjoy the copious amounts of puns it uses!
Again, this is a website with the option to sign up to daily or weekly email round-ups. It specialises in carefully curating articles about the newest innovations from around the globe – from products that reduce food waste to technology that helps self-driving cars in the snow. Personally, I find the emails really interesting because of how broad the topics are and it is always important to remember that commercial awareness isn’t limited to business, economic and legal-specific stories. These products will impact businesses, consumers and society, so it is important to recognise trends in innovations of all kinds.
Whilst its website may not look quite as fancy, these stories have just the right amount of detail to both pique your interest and enable you to substantiate your points on the topic during a potential interview. I haven’t signed up to its weekly newsletter, but I do enjoy reading the ‘top stories of last week’ articles, so maybe I should!
4. LawCareers.Net (LCN)
I might be a little biased, but I did also use the commercial awareness section of the LCN website during my preparation for interviews and the like, so I can personally vouch for its usefulness.
This one is especially useful because it is tailored for law students, so it includes both commercial stories and information on how to improve and apply commercial awareness itself as an applicant; it is definitely worth a look!