Developing My Understanding of What Commercial Awareness Means in Business

Malina shares her key learning point on 'Commerciality' from her internship this summer.

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Malina is a law student going into her 2nd year at the University of Southampton. She has recently completed a three month Legal and Property Research Analyst internship at E3 Consulting. She shares one of her key learning points from her internship this summer:

Malina Amortoaie2

One of my key learning points was how I have developed a deeper and more practical understating of what commercial awareness means in business.

E3 Consulting focuses on 'Commerciality' early on & it is an important part of their induction process into the business. This has helped to reinforce how important it is to be commercially aware as it then reflects on how I engage with people and operate in business.

Previous View of Commerciality

Commercial awareness is a skill I had been developing before starting at E3 Consulting. Previously, I used to think commercial awareness was purely about gaining knowledge; about keeping up to date with business & current affairs. As a law student I read legal press and other quality press such as the Financial Times; and in my first year at university, I was regularly producing business orientated blog articles for ‘The Student Lawyer’.

Developing my Understanding in Practice

Throughout my time at E3, I have experienced a more practical understanding as to what commercial awareness means in a private sector business. I have been involved in a wide range of projects and tasks across the business and have been out representing the business at various networking events such as Dorset Chamber, Hampshire Chamber and Southampton Property Association. One of my key tasks, during my internship involved conducting research, at both a macro and micro level, on a number of different market sectors, which are important for E3 Consulting’s continued growth and client acquisition. This has enabled me to develop my research skills in a business-like manner. I have also been involved with developing the sector brief and supporting with related marketing and sales activities.

By learning on the job, every day I have developed further my own definition of commercial awareness. I now realise that commercial awareness is not about collecting knowledge purely for knowledge sake; it is the application of the knowledge and my subsequent follow through actions and outcomes that matter. Opportunities

Commercial Awareness at E3

Being truly commercially aware requires you to be client facing, outward looking and agile. You need to understand that useful insight can come from anywhere and anybody, and respond to this in terms of how you approach each project in hand. As a business you need to ensure you deliver a consistently high level of work for each client; by understanding their individual needs and business requirements, so that you can tailor your approach and delivery.

From speaking with my line manager, E3 Director Nicky Oliver, I now realise that, for E3 examples of commercial measurement are developing new contacts; turning sales prospects into fact find meetings and getting target attendees to our seminars. The acid test commercially is when a new client is signed up or we have a new project from an existing client.

I feel I have greatly developed my commercial outlook, attitude and engagement with tasks both internal and external to E3 as well as with my E3 colleagues. My outlook is now much wider than before I started at E3 Consulting. As a direct consequence of my successful internship, I have now been offered part-time work at E3 Consulting and also been selected as an ambassador to represent E3 on Campus at the University of Southampton.

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