Many employers will use software that you may have no experience in. And often it will be bespoke to that particular organisation or industry. As part of developing your “commercial awareness” it’s important to try to find out what software packages you are likely to come across in the sector and try to get some experience in them. For example, Galileo is a computer reservation system used in the airline industry. Trade shows are often a great way of finding out what possible software solutions are being sold within your sector.
Here are our Top 6 packages to consider:
A GSM London graduate recently impressed an employer by demonstrating her awareness of Sharepoint. Sharepoint is a collaborative platform that allows multiple users to share and work on documents together. It tracks changes, allows users to comment and message each other, It creates work-flow progress charts charts, calendars and other tools. And the good news is that Sharepoint is free to download and use. Many organisations, including multinational corporations, use it regularly so being familiar with it will be a real asset.
SAP Business Applications
We have provided SAP training through KBM Group on campus and hope to do so again. SAP provide a wide range of software for business – from third sector to corporates. They specialise in real-time analytics and providing end-to-end packages. If you are interested in supply-chain management, HR, resource planning, finance – get to know SAP. You can access free trials of many of their applications on their website. Being familiar with their range and platforms could really enhance your CV.
Advanced MS Excel
Really knowing how to maximise Excel is a valuable skill for many employers. Many people can do just the basics but developing your expertise can make you stand out. And Excel is not just for accountants – I don’t think I’ve worked anywhere that didn’t use Excel. Develop your understanding of advanced formulas, conditional formatting, pivot tables, simulations and integrations and you’ll find employers get more interested. There are plenty of credible resources on YouTube to help you get started.
You think you are good? Can you believe that this presentation was done only using PowerPoint?
Presentations are a part of working life. Most people have to do them. Powerpoint is a powerful ally for presenters. It should add value to the presentation, not distract audiences from the content of the talk. Get it right and you can stun audiences – including potential interviewers! Apple’s Keynote software is very powerful and often preferred by experienced presenters but may create technical issues when used with MS software. Always good to check beforehand.
Some students, particularly Economists, will be aware of SPSS. It’s a predictive analytics program used in many industries. The package includes:
- Descriptive statistics: Cross tabulation, Frequencies, Descriptives, Explore, Descriptive Ratio Statistics
- Bivariate statistics: Means, t-test, ANOVA, Correlation (bivariate, partial, distances), Nonparametric tests
- Prediction for numerical outcomes: Linear regression
- Prediction for identifying groups: Factor analysis, cluster analysis (two-step, K-means, hierarchical), Discriminant
Now this might all look a bit scary but the software is designed for so many different users – from market researchers to scientists, academics and financial services. Being aware of the software and it’s abilities to help users interpret data is very important for certain roles.
OK I realise there is quite a lot of MS software on this list but Project is definitely worth spending some time on. Like some of the SAP applications, Project provides both the detail and the overview for complex projects. It can produce work-flow data, assign responsibilities and tasks to individuals, provide budgeting information and integration. It is a powerful tool used by many large organisations, change managers and project leaders. It is not cheap but there are free trial versions available. The free trial will give you enough time to understand how it might work in practice.
All GSM London students have free access to Lynda.com which provides professional training videos and courses on a wide range of software, including all of the above. These are highly credible and should be sufficient for you to build your knowledge and awareness. Lynda will be available through Blackboard in the next few months but in the meantime email the Careers Team for access. There are also lots of short courses around London that can help. Some may be free of charge but many will have costs. And remember to speak to members of academic staff about the sort of software that might be useful within your industry. They may have alternative suggestions that will help you make a strong impression when you apply for jobs and internships.