Commercial Awareness & CAKE…

Are you preparing to move into graduate employment and want to make sure you can stand our from the crowd? Do you like cake?

Commercial Awareness is increasingly cited by graduate employers as an essential competency when seeking new employees.  Commercial Awareness for Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) is a short workshop that will accelerate your understanding of how their businesses work and give you the insights to show how you can make a difference as their latest recruit.

By the end of this session you will:

  • Understand why Commercial Awareness is so important to graduate employers
  • Understand what a Business or Value Model is and how you can apply it to your job seeking activities
  • Have practised analysing the Business Model of a popular graduate employer or on-campus company
  • Have practised analysing the Business Model of an employer that you are interested in
  • Have enjoyed eating some cake.

The session will be led by Lyndsey Egerton, Student Opportunities & Skills Developer, from the University’s Careers service.  She will draw on the Business Model Canvas as a framework for designing, analysing and describing Business Models for organisations of all sizes, in all industries and sectors.  If you are preparing generally for employment, or have a particular employer you are hoping to impress, the insights gained in this session could help you to stand out from other candidates.

If you are not graduating this time but would like to attend to develop your Commercial Awareness, please register as normal.

When? Thursday 7th June, 1:30-3:30pm

Where? Bowland North Seminar Room 23

Book on Target Connect

MOOC: The Importance of Money in Business

MOOC to develop your commercial awareness & financial knowledge, starts 7th March

mooc money in business2Free Future Learn online course for greater understanding of the role money plays in business success.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur in the making, or you’re looking to work for an established business when you leave University, here’s an opportunity to improve your commercial awareness by completing a Future Learn course in conjunction with the University of Leeds.

Over four weeks you’ll get insights from business professionals and entrepreneurs from adidas, PwC, FitFlop and M&S (to name but a few of the companies involved) about dealing with financial matters and understanding financial strategies for growing a business.

By signing up to the course you’ll have access to videos, animation, interview and top tips. You’ll also have the opportunity to map your skills and demonstrate your commitment to developing your commercial awareness – a crucial skill required by many graduate  employers. This isn’t just a course for future accountants and financiers; understanding the importance of money in business development is relevant across a variety of career paths.

Find out more about the course here and sign up.

‘Treat a career like a business; create a business model for the career’.

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Business Model You – a one page model to design your career

If you’ve ever been to one of our Enterprise Drop ins you will know we like to tell students about  the Business Model Canvas. It’s a strategic thinking and design tool that helps you to shape and play with your initial idea through an iterative process to work out whether it has legs and could be viable.

One of the beauties of the Business Model Canvas is that it can be used in a number of different ways. Understanding the theory, application and being able to play and iterate with the tool visually enables you to work on:

  • An idea
  • A business model
  • Research a competitor
  • Research a potential employer

But it also potentially allows you to design your career too; so  I’m flagging up ‘Business Model You.’

It’s a book from the same basic model theory, but it focusses on career development. The notion is this:

‘Treat a career like a business, and create a business model for the career’.

The authors are in the process of a re-write, but the first ‘Business Model You book’ was targeted at people who were interested in career re-invention (Judging by the approach in the book and the case studies) but many-a-time I have looked at the material and thought the material has real value for students looking to design their career now. (You can download the first few pages here.)

It’s hard when you don’t know what to do but you have to start somewhere. This canvas is a useful tool to help you to start mapping out where you are now.

You could also  use it to get insights on different prospective jobs or careers.  You could map out an advertised job and see how you measure up against it.  You might use the insights to create a personal development plan to get that job….

There’s scope to could use the Business Model You Canvas to explore the careers of people on LinkedIn. Mapping those peoples’ Personal Business Model Canvas, experience and career paths would give insights about careers in sectors you might be interested in. It gives you a clear idea of type of skills development and personal learning journey you may want to start thinking about.

The designers of Business Model You also deliver a really important message too, about the changing nature of the work place and how in the future we are all going to have to be able to adapt to more flexible career paths and the business models of our employers and partners as work becomes more project based. The need to be able to respond by constantly re-inventing your personal business model to meet what an employer or customer needs is going to be vital. We posted about this here.

The call to action is; get into ‘business model thinking’ because it will be invaluable whatever you decide to do in the future. Register on our mailing list for updates over the next 12 months of new workshops.



EVENT: Colour Me Confident!

Colour Me Confident – How to Dress to Impress: Tues 16th Feb, 6pm – 7.30pm, LUMS LT 03colourmeconfident2

Careers event presented by Cliff Bashford; personal stylist, TV presenter and award winning Global Trainer for Colour Me Beautiful.

The way you look tells us all about you, even before you introduce yourself. A poor self image is self-defeating; it gets in the way of you projecting your true qualities and abilities. A positive image leads to improved self-esteem which gives you more confidence in interview and when you start your first job.

In this session you will:

  • Learn what it take to be ‘well dressed’
  • Understand your own personal colouring and shape
  • Find out how to choose the right shirt, suit, tie for maximum impact and girls, you’ll learn how to dress to impress.

The workshop is going to be entertaining as well as useful and will make you think twice about what image you want to portray to future employers and potential business investors and funders.

If you are venturing out into the business world as a young entrepreneur, you need to demonstrate that you are professional and reliable; whilst Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg shared his standard casual work uniform this week and the Silicon Valley dress code is rather more casual than you might think, this doesn’t mean you should ignore the importance of your attire. As the old saying goes, first impressions count. Looking self assured and confident psychologically increases your actual confidence so why put yourself on the back foot by dressing badly and giving the impression that you haven’t made an effort?

Book your place on this workshop now.

LU student engineers and Scientists – Talk nerdy to us!

Melissa Marshall: Talk nerdy to me | TED Talk |

I listened to a TED talk this morning that I thought the engineering and science students in our community might enjoy.

Melissa Marshall brings a message to all scientists (from non-scientists): We’re fascinated by what you’re doing. So tell us about it — in a way we can understand. In just 4 minutes, she shares powerful tips on presenting complex scientific ideas to a general audience.

Melissa is a Communications teacher and aims to teach great communication skills to scientists and engineers, so that they can effectively share their work.

You can see Melissa’s full bio here.




Make It Happen – Demystifying Work Experience

Demystifying Work Experience – Monday 16th Nov, 10.30am-11.30am


High Fliers have found that having work experience is vital to finding a graduate job in 2015.  Learn more about what you can get involved in at this work experience opportunities showcase.

Key info:

  • Time: 10:30am – 11:30am
  • Location: Lancaster Conference Centre, Green Lane, Big Room
  • Pathway: Careers & Employability
  • Lancaster Award points: 5pts

What’s this event about?

Around two thirds of employers will seek to keep on graduates who have worked for them in the past – daunting, isn’t it? Especially if you don’t know where to look for great work experience opportunities

This session will showcase the best the university has to offer in terms of work experience placement, whether you know exactly what you want to do following graduation, or whether you really aren’t sure. Come and hear from students who have taken advantage of these opportunities and talk to them about your career plans and make them a reality!

Book your place here.



Have you noticed all our Make It Happen events are now on Target Connect?

Lancaster best for graduate job prospects

Lancaster ranked 4th in UK for total graduate employability employable LU2

If you’re graduating from Lancaster University this week, the odds are in your favour…

Student support networks and enterprising work experience opportunities are just two of the reasons why 97% of LU graduates are in employment 6 months after graduation.

If you’ve engaged with us in the Enterprise team, or have developed your enterprise skills over the course of your time here, you are the candidate employers are now looking for. Enterprise is more than just entrepreneurship, and your engagement with work experience opportunities, ideas generation and personal development will undoubtedly improve your CV and catch the eyes of employers in whatever career you are pursuing.

Read more here.

Don’t forget, we are still here to support you after graduation; let us know your new contact details and keep up to date with upcoming opportunities and start up support. Equally, if you’re returning to Lancaster next term, we have a number of exciting events and opportunities for you so sign up to our newsletter now. You can email us here.