Commencing a career in Enterprise Risk Management

What is ERM? And why should you think of a career in the realm?

ERM is essentially a business process that includes the methods and processes that organizations use to identify, assess and manage risks that could interfere with a company’s operations and objectives. Risk managers are essentially asking the question “What could possibly go wrong, and how can we control it?”

The unique characteristic about the process is that it is essentially embedded in any decision one makes across industries, right from measuring opportunity to implementing a well thought-out plan. ERM is uniquely positioned to give structure to a business person’s thought process, as not only can it measure downsides of a situation, but it can also help one navigate a strategic decision, or evaluate future paths by estimating whether taking calculated risks can pay off.

The key here is the word ‘process’. ERM as a process can set narratives of how business operate. But a process is only successful if there are managers who can effectively execute and leverage the said process. Not only this presents a unique opportunity for individuals who are looking to hone themselves as professionals, but it also paves way for businesses and organisations to re-think the way they operate and become more risk conscious in order to structure their operative in a healthier and calculated manner.

ERM for students/emerging professionals, What’s in it for us?

 “Change is the only constant” is a statement one hears time and again, but how many times do we actually factor this constant into the decisions we make when we plan out our careers and professional trajectories? While doing so, we need to ask ourselves two questions.

Is my choice of profession going to remain relevant?

  • One must answer this question by really pondering about what ‘relevance’ means in light of our newly established constant. Relevance does not just mean what remains necessary for a period, but also what creates legitimate value and opportunity in context with the happenings of the world. Processes like ERM will not cease to be relevant as they are themselves evolving in context with situations, and require smart, conscious and goal driven managers to be implemented. They can underpin future actions, control their downside, and maximize their upside.

Is this something I want to do/does it interest me?

  • This question is deeply personal, but what I have to say about it in context with ERM, is that it is simply applicable everywhere. Whether you’re a fashion designer planning your collection for next fall, or an engineer building a plan for a complex piece of machinery. What is important here is choosing how you want to upskill in order to stay relevant and create value in your choice of work.

Getting started

Investing time in learning about how ERM can impact your career is the best place to begin. The IRM’s curriculum is a great place to start, it is immersive and gives you a comprehensive view of the topic, this allows one to understand the subject, and mould the knowledge you have gained to diverse situations one may face professionally. The curriculum is malleable and gives a strong fundamental understanding of concepts that prove to be material to a plethora of situations.

Furthermore, the design of the curriculum allows one to pursue it alongside fulltime work/education smoothly. It is an invigorating, enlightening and immersive experience. Students must evolve and continuously re-define what their education means. We can choose to continue with an incumbent education in a professional world that cannot add more value that is expected out of human capital, or we could take charge of our education, and set the narratives for our career which could potentially create life lasting, positive impact on us. Remember, not making a choice, is a choice!

Blog Author: Vishesh Wadhwa, Cleared IRM’s Level 1 Enterprise Risk Management Exam 


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