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How to Apply What You Learn at Insight Days in Applications

Having the right work experience and insight into a commercial organisation can be priceless exposure to the financial services industry. But how can you show off what you’ve learned from an insight day in your job applications?

They say the best sort of education happens outside the classroom. And if you’re thinking of studying a business or finance degree at university, having the experience of an insight day with a bank, finance firm or professional services firm on your application is a unique and useful addition to academic qualifications.

As well as a more general taste of the finance world, an insight day will show you first hand the sort of work that takes place at a top organisation on a daily basis, and the kind of skills and ideas you’ll need to succeed as a student or future employee in the corporate environment – an invaluable introduction to the world of work.

Get more focused…

What’s more, completing an insight day at a financial organisation might help you discover that you’re interested in a specific aspect or area of finance or business, meaning that you can focus your application around it. At the very least, the exposure will help dispel the myths and illusions associated with the finance sector, and give you a vivid and realistic picture of what to expect.

In particular, having a successful insight day will help you discover exactly where your individual strengths and personal attributes lie, which will be extremely useful in knowing which roles to apply for when the time comes to looking for graduate careers.

An insider’s perspective…

Demonstrating your inside knowledge from your behind the scenes experience is a great way of showing your dedication to working at a particular company, something you can show off in your application. Shadowing people already embarked on successful careers in business can be a real inspiration to work in the financial sector, and is an experience few people get before starting work at an organisation.

A chance to practise your soft skills…

Generally more hands-on than a normal work-experience placement or internship, typical insight days involve workshops that might include taking part in problem solving tasks. You might be involved in challenges that rely on effective leadership, teamwork or public speaking. Or perhaps you’ll be asked to complete a client brief that puts your interpersonal skills and practical business savvy to the test.

These kinds of tasks are a fantastic opportunity to apply the things you’ve learned in the classroom in a real-world professional setting, and will demonstrate that you have that little bit more than a textbook knowledge of the financial services industry – all of which will impress the people reading about you.

Insight days count as work experience…

The best applications will use the insight day to demonstrate that you’ve done your research, and show how you’ve been shaped by what you learned. You can display your best personal qualities brought out by the experience to make your application glow with your personality, and prove that even though you’re looking to go to university, your interests aren’t limited to academia.

Regardless of how your applications go, any work experience or professional exposure is a priceless addition to any CV. Even if you decide it’s not for you, completing an insight day will enhance your future employability no end when it comes to looking for a job of any kind.

By Nile Davies, AllAboutFinanceCareers.com