Written by Helen Plummer, Careers Consultant
Any business needs fresh ideas to grow and remain competitive, that’s why employers, whether they are large corporates or SMEs, increasingly want graduates who can demonstrate creative thinking and enterprise and entrepreneurial skills.
Recruiters often ask candidates for examples of entrepreneurial or innovating thinking at the application stage. For someone with little or no related work experience and who isn’t a business student, this might be a challenge. But there’s nothing to worry about; the key is to think about a time when you’ve come up with a new or better way of doing something: at work, where you’ve helped to improve customer service, or on a placement/internship where you increased the efficiency of a process. Perhaps you’ve been involved in a student society where you’ve increased membership or secured new sponsorship by doing something differently; this kind of activities show graduate seekers you are pro-active and commercially aware, too.
In fact, an increasing number of students are now setting up their own business whilst at University as a way of becoming financially independent or just to gain hands-on business management experience. If you too are looking to lay the groundwork for your start-up or just want to gain new competencies in this area, there is plenty of support available at Reading. To get started:
- Join The Entrepreneurship Society.
- Take a look at The Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship who offer University-wide modules on Entrepreneurship.
- Attend the Business Idea Clinic, where you can get practical advice from an experienced entrepreneur.
- Access the Student Business Incubator which supports students and recent graduates set up and grow their own business.
If you already have an idea and feel it has great potential, why not submit it to the IDEAFEST Student Business Idea Competition 2018 starting 1st of February? Now in its fifth year and open to all students, the Competition gives you a real opportunity to practice entrepreneurship, gain valuable enterprise and entrepreneurial skills and launch a profitable business. Last year’s winner, Magnus Ronning, turned his idea into a successful five-figure business, Ronning Co. Find out more about the entry requirements, participate in the preparation workshop on 18th January and apply by 23rd of March.