UCL Careers


Commercial Awareness Skills

The capability to gain a deeper knowledge of an industry/sector and keep up to date with the marketplace in which it operates.

Three people sat in a lecture theatre speaking with each other
Explore your understanding

Employers are looking for you to have an understanding of their industry as well as the role that you are applying for.

Commercial awareness is not only about having the knowledge of business issues and how this may sit within a larger economic context, but also about having a wider interest in the work that you will be doing.

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Find and develop your skill

Where can you improve your Commercial Awareness skills at UCL?

Attend an employer-led skills session

Recognise why and how graduate employers look for commercial awareness in their recruitment by attending an Employer-led skills session on Commercial Awareness. Develop techniques on developing your commercial awareness in order to help you in job applications and interviews.

Employer-led skills sessions

Read one of our bespoke articles on commercial awareness

Explore a huge range of information resources (written by UCL Careers with you in mind) designed to help you research different skills, options, and find practical tips on topics including commercial awareness and preparing for interviews.

Career Discovery Feed

Join a club or society

Join a club or society within the Students’ Union to deepen your understand about a particular interest or group. The Students’ Union also offer a variety of skills sessions such that can help strengthen and supporting your learning. 

Clubs and societies directory

Students' Union UCL skills sessions

UCL’s Volunteering Services Unit partners with more than 400 local charities to promote their volunteering opportunities. Understand more about working with different people in a particular industry, and what kind of realities and challenges faced by their sectors.

Search volunteering opportunities

Use digital tools to expand knowledge on building commercial awareness 

LinkedIn Learning has a huge range of video courses supporting learning in software, creative and business skills – all free to UCL staff and currently enrolled students.

ISD Digital Skills Development

Use LinkedIn Learning to grow your skillset

LinkedIn Learning has a huge range of video courses supporting learning in software, creative and business skills – all free to UCL staff and currently enrolled students. Access LinkedIn learning content on how you can built your commercial awareness skills.

Access LinkedIn Learning

Utilise resources provided by UCL Careers

Attend a Careers Fair – where you can network with recruiters and employers from a wide range of sectors.

Upcoming UCL Careers Fairs

Book onto an Employer Presentation - where you can meet individual companies delivering presentations and have the opportunities to ask questions and network with those in the business.

Employer presentations

Come along to a sector insight event – experience a week of events focussed on a specific sector.

Our Sector Insight Programme

You could also apply for an internship or work experience within a specific sector or industry – where you can learn more about the context a business operates in by gaining real life experience within it.

Sourcing internships

For more information about UCL Careers events, please visit the UCL Careers events webpage.

Prepare your examples

Ask yourself:

Can you describe an organisation to another person?

What do you think are the challenges that your sector of interest will be facing in the next 5 years?

Next steps:

Research more about the industry and develop an understanding of who their competitors are. Explore social media: follow key businesses and their posts and look at a range of company websites. Read a company annual report (if available) or a news article.

Need some support on how to structure your answers on commercial awareness for an interview?

How to demonstrate your skills in an interview

Here you can find out more about how to structure your answer and demonstrate your skills along with many more resources that will help you prepare.

If you have written a draft application for any type of opportunity, our team can provide personalised practical tips and advice to help you better understand how recruiters will shortlist your application, and how you can best demonstrate your motivation and your most relevant skills / experience.

Get one-to-one advice