Calling all students of the Liverpool Hope University! Have you decided what career path to travel once you graduate? What I’d like to do is provide with a little nugget of information that could help you choose a career path that is challenging, but lucrative, and immensely enjoyable too. If you like a good challenge that pays off in the end, applying for a business development role might just be on the cards for you.
While working in the finance sector for SME Loans, I have found myself liaising closely with many business development managers, who are tasked with improving and growing the business they work for. Their main objective is to improve the profitability of a company and that takes strategic planning, industry know-how, and of course, an in depth knowledge of financing options, innovative marketing opportunities, and relationship building.
A business development manager’s role affects every area and department of the business. If you don’t like the idea of responsibility, then this career choice is not for you.
But let’s say that it is for you. Let’s say that you hear about the tasks of a business development executive and you feel excited by the prospect. Now what? What’s the next step? What sort of qualifications do you need and what skills do you require? Most important of all; how do you apply successfully for the role and ace the interview too? Here’s where I would like to provide you with some assistance.
What Skills Are Required for a Business Development Role?
When speaking to our Business Development HOD and to the various business development executives that we assist with financing on a regular basis, I discovered that the role is quite varied. No day is exactly the same, so if you are looking for a bit of variety and don’t want to be chained to a desk examining the same documents day in and day out, then this role might be of interest to you.
It was mentioned that the top skills required are:
What Qualifications Are Required for a Business Development Role?
It is quite interesting to note that there is no strict or set qualification required to enter the job market, in a business development role. However, the market is highly competitive and those who are entering such positions generally do have a degree. The most common degrees required in such a role include:
What Type of Companies Employ Business Development Execs in the UK?
At the moment, there are various industries that employ business development executives. Some of the most common are the High Street banks, financial institutions (companies that provide small business loans), IT companies, and manufacturing firms. Of course there are others, if you look for them. Glassdoor provides a list of current business development roles available across the United Kingdom.
Applying for a Role in Business Development? Consider These 5 Top Tips
What Does A Business Development Manager Earn?
Realistically speaking, graduate business development executives make an average salary of between £20,000 and £24,000 per year. Indeed states that the average salary for a mid-range development manager in the UK is £34,827 and tags it as “29% below national average”. That’s food for thought, isn’t it?
Hopefully these tips help you land the perfect business development role! Good luck!
Having spent the last two years studying Business Management and Marketing at Liverpool Hope University, I have had little exposure to PR and growth marketing was a mystery. So, when I was awarded my internship at Active Profile through the university’s Insight to Business Awards, I was intrigued to find out what my textbooks couldn’t teach me.
Fast-forward two weeks and I have worked closely with all three specialist teams at Active Profile – Place, Innovation and Growth Marketing – trying my hand at everything from social media management, to attending client meetings and even drafting press releases.
My first day
When I stepped through the doors of Active Profile, I was met with bunch of friendly faces who were keen to get to know me and find out what I wanted to get out of my time at Active Profile. This surprised me due to the tales of interns being given little responsibility and restricted to making the teas and coffees, so I was over the moon when they gave me the responsibility of getting involved with real client work.
Learning on the job
The Place team in particular gave me a lot of responsibility. I had expressed my interest in social media and wanted to get to know how to use some of the software they use, such as Hootsuite for scheduling and monitoring the client’s social media. I was given the responsibility of drafting and scheduling the weekly tweets for a number of clients. I also spent some time sourcing ‘hot topics’ for clients and Active Profile alike.
The Innovation and Growth Marketing teams introduced me to how an integrated comms account works. I attended client meetings, drafted news articles for clients’ websites and came up with event ideas.
During my time here I also worked on a competitor analysis project for Active Profile’s social media accounts, writing up suggestions based on what similar companies are doing and recommendations on how we could take learnings to drive traffic and engagement. From this, I made a calendar to coincide with days to celebrate in the office and made recommendations on how to use them on social media.
What I enjoyed the most
One of the things I found most interesting during my time at Active Profile was being able to join meetings and observe the dynamics of how the team worked, which was especially interesting when they involved external partners or clients. This was really eye opening to me as I had never been apart of a professional meeting before.
As I had expressed an interest in social media, I really enjoyed getting to wrap my head around the different scheduling systems and learning how to tailor different posts to different media outlets, audiences and businesses.
Throughout my time at Active Profile, the whole team created a warm and welcoming environment that made my time with them fly by and I enjoyed getting to know them.
After I graduate University next year, I hope to build my own start-up company within the hospitality industry. You never know, I may end up back at Active Profile as a client one day!
Check out Hannah’s original blog post here
Find out more about Active Profile and what they do here
New research on the benefits of having a furry friend in the office suggests that it could lead to a 15.5% increase in overall work quality of life compared to your average office.
Along with an increase in people’s satisfaction with their home-work interface, by better balancing their commitments, being able to have a dog at your desk indicated a 12% increase in job satisfaction.
The study found that a dog’s presence can reduce stress and people like them because they don’t judge.
They are also a source of social support, a dog is always happy to listen to you complaining about that printer that won’t work. Our furry friends act as catalysts for social interactions with other humans as well, who wouldn’t love to see the office dog stake a claim on the boss’s chair?
Companies are starting to realise the benefits that having a pet in the office can bring. Small businesses with the flexibility to make their own rules are the front runners in letting dogs come to work.
There’s a number of larger companies that appreciate the positive increase in work-life balance as well. Have a look on a company’s careers page to see if they list it in their benefits but a couple to get you started are Pets Pyjamas and Build-A-Bear.
Dog handlers are needed by a wide range of services from security and rescue to the Police and Armed Forces. Find out more about becoming a Dog Handler here
Different dogs are suited to different roles, just like people. You might be interested in using larger dogs for security and protection or smaller dogs for sniffing out things like drugs, weapons and money.
If you really have the passion for working with animals you can go it alone and start your own business. The UK reportedly has over 100,000 pet dogs and they all need walking and looking after. Starting a dog walking business can be difficult but once you have a regular client base that you can rely on, it can become multi-faceted and even employ other members of staff. Check out this comprehensive guide from Simply Business.
Some volunteering opportunities that are outdoors will welcome well behaved dogs, the National Trust for example sometimes allows dogs to come with volunteers during woodland maintenance or litter picks (check before you go, just to make sure).
If your dog is friendly with people and other dogs there are always charities who work with animal loving service users that would to pair you up. Not only is this kind of work incredibly rewarding, you’re improving the life of other people and your pooch too. If your dog is super chilled and friendly it could be trained to work as a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, find out more here.
Voluntary experience can really set you apart from other candidates when you’re job hunting and being able to demonstrate you are a well-rounded, caring person is never a bad thing!
Walking a dog is a huge commitment that the majority of owners knowingly undertake but a bit of help now and then is so useful. Let you friends or family know if you’re keen to get involved, it’s a huge relief to have someone you can trust if you need dog care on a busy day or when you’re sick.
Most dog lovers know about Borrow My Doggy but for those that don’t it’s a platform that allows people interested in caring for dogs to match up with people who have dogs that need care.
It could be an afternoon walk while the owner is at work or a week of dog sitting while they’re on holiday. There’s a small cost for the premium account if you want some extra features but the free account will still get you up and running with a new four legged friend.
A number of organisations attended our summer jobs fair in March with available roles still being advertised on our vacancy system. In this blog we hear from a student currently working for FGH Security. Thomas isn’t a Hope student but we hope that by sharing his story we can encourage you to apply to FGH, currently ranked the 23rd Best Company in the Northwest to Work For.
Get paid to work at a range of festivals this summer by joining FGH Security’s Festival Team (& don’t forget to share your festival story with us afterwards so next year’s blog is from a Hope student!)
Here in the Careers and Employability Team we love hearing, and sharing, the experiences of our graduates in the workplace. In this blog we hear from Denis, A Geography graduate from Hope, who’s now working for BDO LLP in Liverpool.
What is my job role?
I work at a large accountancy and business advisory firm called BDO LLP. I work in the firm’s Shared Service Centre (SSC), which is based in the Liverpool office, and my job title is SSC Assistant. I do bank letter coordinating for various BDO offices, mainly for London and Leeds. This means that I am constantly in communication with banks around the world and our Audit Managers to provide account balances for our clients end of year audits. This requires careful management of large databases consisting of hundreds of entities and client private banking information. At the moment our team is relatively new, so we are always implementing new ways of improving the process that we do. Read More