Updated: Jun 24
News travels faster in our world than ever before. New stories and headlines can hit the internet in a matter of hours, and they are at the disposal of anyone. Our generation has the opportunity to access more information than any previous generation. However, with this privilege comes a responsibility for us to stay informed and up to date on current events. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming, with everyone talking about news and spitting out facts that you may not know. In my first business class within the Fisher College of Business, I was surprised and impressed at how knowledgeable students in my class were about the business world. It made me realize that when you’re informed about something, other people will take notice and be impressed. Employers are looking for people who are knowledgeable about their field and who can stay on top of their job. So, I would argue that instead of looking at all of the information at our fingertips as overpowering, we should all use it to our advantage to stand out in jobs and other situations, such as interviews.
I am sure that every college student has learned countless definitions throughout their classes, but out in the real world how often are you going to be asked to recite them? Employers are looking for candidates who can take this foundation of knowledge and apply it to relevant, real situations. A great way to stand out in interviews is to be well informed about what is going on in your desired field. They may ask you questions about recent changes in the business world or hypothetical questions that require outside knowledge. Current events are a great conversation starter at interviews and networking events, and they give you the chance to demonstrate your awareness of what's going on in the world around you. Not only is it important to know about the specific company that you are interested in, but being knowledgeable in general about current events and what is going on in the world around you will put you at an advantage and ensure that you’re prepared for whatever employers and networking connections throw at you.
An easy and fun way to stay informed and learn about your interests that I have found and practice is by watching TED Talks, which are short videos from expert speakers in various fields. On TED’s website, which can be found here, there are videos on any topic that could possibly interest you. Whether you want to learn about SpaceX or about business in Africa, TED really has it all. A simple way to start getting informed can be by picking out one TED Talk a day to watch. Podcasts are another popular way to stay up to date on current events and to hear from different perspectives on different topics. Apple Podcasts is an app that is easily accessible to anyone with an iPhone and it has thousands of different talks about anything that you could be interested in. There are even series of podcasts for different topics that you may be interested in. Both TED Talks and podcasts are quick ways to learn more, and you can do it from the comfort of your bed so that it doesn’t feel like a chore.
I also urge everyone to start spending some time each week reading your pick of a business, or whatever your interest may be, website or newspaper. Whether it be Business Insider or The Wall Street Journal, we can all set aside some time to do this. Even just glancing over the headlines everyday can give you an idea of what’s going on in the world. We have all of these resources at our disposal, so why not use them? Taking a few minutes out of your day to gain more knowledge about your field, interests, or what's currently going on in the world can end up making a big difference when the time comes to put your knowledge to work. After all, knowledge is power!