How to increase your commercial awareness – aside from reading the news
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It’s the season for vacation scheme applications, training contract interviews, assessment centres – you name it! This means you'll probably be wanting to keep up-to-date with the business world, and there are some pretty cool ways you can keep on top of everything!
Aside from following the news in traditional ways, such as by reading articles by business-focused magazines or online newspapers, there are more interactive ways to build up your commercial awareness. Here is a list of innovative ways to supplement your regular reading in inventive ways that will make your business reading a pleasure to do.
There are a whole range of news and business apps out there. If you search on the app store for key terms like ‘business news’, you will see that you can download many apps with regular news articles. The best thing about apps like these is that you can change your phone settings to allow you to receive notifications when something big happens in the world of business – meaning you’ll be the first to know without having to constantly check the news in your own time!
Nowadays, there is a podcast for everything! Podcasts for helping you with careers advice, law applications (lawcareers.net actually has its own podcast , which offers advice to budding lawyers) and some regular podcasts discuss business news. Not only can you listen to podcasts while on the go, on public transport or while walking, but you can also gain an in-depth insight into someone’s opinion on a topic of public debate. Often law firms want to see you develop an opinion about news stories and how they affect business – and listening to people expressing their views through podcast discussions can be hugely helpful in forming your own personal viewpoint.
Commercial awareness channels on social media
There are numerous specifically designed channels or pages on social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, that provide information about current affairs. The information they provide via these channels is often adapted for students, helping them to understand the business implications of an event, and they also break down complicated information to smaller, bite-sized chunks for students to read if they don’t have much time on their hands. It’s a great idea to follow these channels, because while you’re procrastinating when scrolling through Facebook, you can feel less guilty because you’re gaining commercial awareness by taking in the posts that these channels make!
Another way to improve your knowledge of legal and business issues is to take part in competitions. There are various online commercial awareness competitions, some run by law firms, that you can take part in. If you’re a current university student, you can also take part in competitions run by your university, such as mooting or negotiations competitions, to increase your understanding of the law in action. By taking part in competitions, you’ll immerse yourself in the mindset of a commercial lawyer and develop your ability to engage with current affairs fully.