Risk Assessment: Graduate Area of Work
Risk assessment caters to the systematic process of identifying and evaluating potential risks that may influence an organisation’s pursuit of its business goals and objectives, both positively and negatively.
Its chief priority is to help businesses recognise the risks that they may face, and then advise on the engaging of the perceived risks as they take into consideration the risk appetite of the company.
This information will help investors and business managers make informed decisions in order to avoid losses or to profit from an opportunity, such as if it is worthwhile to undertake a particular investment, as well as ways to avoid the potential losses that may be incurred.
Occasionally, risk assessment services are offered along with compliance advisory services, which endeavour to keep businesses up-to-date with new laws and rulings that have been issued by the government in the continuously-changing business industry.
Risk assessment services may also be packaged with governance advisory services, which offer advice on the process of running a company so that it meets the expectations of the management, stakeholders, and the staff.
Most graduates who intend to pursue a career in this sector tend to start out in a broader area, such as assurance, for training before they decide to specialise in risk assessment.
Some firms, however, choose to absorb new graduates directly into their risk assessment department, particularly larger organisations that prefer to train graduates in-house.
As a trainee, you will be expected to monitor daily business functions to evaluate the efficiency of existing risk controls, and to assist with the preparation of recommendation reports for clients.
As you rise through the ranks, you may be asked to plan, design, and supervise the implementation of a risk management process and continuity plans for an organisation, as well as to establish and determine the risk appetite of a company.
A large part of your job will include working closely with the executive board and the senior management of the company as you will be required to advise them on various business decisions.
This can include issues such as security and fraud protection, ecological and social performance, and the management of their technology departments.
Most risk assessors will need to possess an in-depth knowledge of enterprise risk management (ERM) programmes and Risk Control Self Assessments (RCSA), as well as a comprehensive understanding of the various types of risks that a company may face, both locally and internationally.
You will also need to keep abreast of the latest changes in laws and regulations so as to offer up-to-date assistance to your clients.
As an integral part of your job includes reporting and advising a wide range of people in the company – such as the board of directors, the business heads, and the department managers – so you will have to possess excellent communication skills so as to be able to convey your message in a way that is most relevant to them.
Do develop good interpersonal skills and a level of confidence as well, as these will help you in your interactions with your clients.
Ups and downs
As a risk assessor, you will find your position to be intellectually stimulating, particularly when you work for international companies or government ministries.
It is also immensely satisfying when you succeed in helping decision-makers avoid risks or capitalise on opportunities.
It is, however, necessary to remember that this position is chiefly aconsultative and supervisory position. As such,you will hold little decision-making power.
You may sometimes be frustrated when you come across clients who are difficult to convince, or are unwilling to take your advice.