If you want to make it in the Professional Services industry, we've rounded up the key qualities you'll need to excel.
Here at Bright Network, we work with "the Big 4" (Deloitte, EY. KMPG and PwC) - as well as lots of other great professional services firms - to help connect them with top Bright Network graduate talent. It's a very competitive sector, so we've summed up the top 5 skills you'll need to possess if you're thinking about pursuing a career in this area.
1. Top academics
This industry is one of the most prestigious and so you'll need (and be expected to have) the academic intellect to match. The usual basic requirement is to have attained/be predicted at least a 2.1 in your undergraduate degree; at least 340 UCAS points (excluding General Studies and re-sits) and a minimum of a B at GCSE (or equivalent) for Maths and English.
In addition to your academics, you'll also have evidence of hard work in your extra-curricular activities and work experience.
2. An analytical mind
Professional services puts you at the heart of the business world - so keep up to date with current affairs whilst at university - your competitors certainly will
A career in the professional services sector does tend to be more weighted towards numbers and problem solving so you need to have the ability (and interest) to draw conclusions from data.
Of course, you can practice your skills more once you start working, but you need to choose modules at university which require logic, stats and numbers, or look to do this in your extra-curricular activities.
3. Emotional intelligence
Don't let the daily stats and figures dazzle you into thinking that this isn't a people-focused industry. Professional Services is a very personal sector, and by that we mean you'll be working with clients in tight-knit teams. You'll need to demonstrate that you can work alongside different people, with a varied skill set. Empathy, patience and the ability to listen to what is being said are key. Prioritise team-based extra-curricular activities at university to show that you have built these skills.
You need to be focused, committed, hard working, organised (work can build up very quickly!), being agile enough to change quickly and most importantly, you need to be enthusiastic.
Alice Chen, EY Consultant
4. Commercial awareness
Professional services puts you at the heart of the business world - you need to ensure that you have a good commercial brain to keep up. This means that you need to know what is going on that might affect the work you do. Keep up with the news with broadsheet business papers, financial radio and websites, and also the weekly Bright Network Commercial Awareness update, which will be emailed to you every week. You can find more of our tips here.
Like Banking, life in Professional Services is fast-paced and challenging. When (not if) things go wrong, you'll need to have the resilience to dust yourself down and get going again.
Increasingly employers look for the maturity to persist and overcome failure, so search out new things to try that you think you will fail at and use these examples at interview.
Use our handy application list to browse graduate jobs in Accounting, Tax and Audit to get your career off the ground.