This year the CITP®|FIBP® designation reached a milestone 20th anniversary, and as I was being interviewed for the CITP Connections Guide eBook as part of the celebrations, I realized that I was also celebrating my 5th year of holding this prestigious international business designation.
As I look back to 2001, the first time I handled an international shipment, and then fast forward to my current position at Export Development Canada helping exporters with their trade-related questions, there are so many things to celebrate.
My experience growing professionally and academically
Throughout my career I was able to grow in two ways: professionally and academically. As I took my first steps in international business, I realized that having a few years of experience was not enough. I needed to learn and understand why it was so important to be involved in trade and how exports can make a difference in the development of any global economy.
I recognized the need to get specific practical training to give me the global business know-how I needed to take my career to the next level.
As I researched different programs of study, I found the FITTskills program through Seneca College’s part-time study option. The CITP designation was my main goal at that time and having a flexible option to study part-time was the best way for me to achieve it.
Learning all aspects of international trade and supply chain management allowed me to grow professionally in this field at a fast pace. I became an asset to the manufacturing company I was working for in Toronto at the time. They wanted to expand their business internationally and due to my work performance and supply chain and trade knowledge, I was asked to relocate to Mexico for three years to help train the team and implement the processes in customs, logistics and trade operations.
Although this delayed my progress in completing the program, this was an incredible experience that allowed me to grow within the company and learn through hands-on international work. As my assignment in Mexico began winding down, I completed my last few courses to finish the FITTskills program.
Emiliano with a group of his international students during his time as a global business instructor.
Today, I am proud to say that I’ve delivered international trade and supply chain management training to over 2,500 students and individuals through classroom and online courses. These individuals have been part of my career success, as I also learned from them through their engagement, curiosity, and passion for international business. The CITP designation allowed me to work with amazing staff and students at different academic institutions across the Ontario College system as faculty in their international trade and supply chain programs.
Applying my global trade know-how to help exporters grow
In 2012 I took on a new opportunity to work as a project funding officer with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), Canada’s largest trade and industry association. Through the Smart Program I learned how companies could implement export expansion through manufacturing projects that encourage investments in new equipment capabilities as well as job creation and increased global trade for Canada. My job was to support the manufacturers’ applications by ensuring they had solid export plans that were able to be implemented quickly.
This warranted that the provincial contributions towards these projects were going to companies that had the best chance to sustain the created jobs and get their products exported rapidly. The new capabilities, that more than 150 companies under my portfolio gained through this funding program, were the pillars to their export growth.
As I’ve learned through the FITTskills program, gaining new global customers needs to be supported with sufficient capacity and capabilities that can serve those new customers.
By becoming more competitive with the purchase of new equipment, those funded recipients were able to achieve and contribute to the overall export trade statistics that we always hear from the government.
Providing my opinions and analyses of the export plans developed through the Smart Program was always a big responsibility. But knowing that my know-how was backed up by my experience in the industry, and the process of earning my CITP designation, assured my managers that the money was allocated to the right companies.
Taking on new opportunities to support exporters from Peru to Vancouver
Emiliano (centre) with group of trainees at Prom Peru
After seeing that some companies weren’t eligible to receive funding due to a lack of export skills, CME decided to offer export training workshops across the country. Through different nation-wide organizations in the ecosystem, including BDC, EDC and the Trade Commissioner Service, I was able to deliver international trade courses and engage with over 1500 companies in the 18 months that the program was offered.
This program delivered training in major Canadian centres, including Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver. As part of a partnership between FITT and EDC, I also travelled to Lima, where I was able to deliver the FITTskills training to employees of PromPeru, the government agency that promotes exports in Peru.
As my journey continues in the export ecosystem, I have recently joined the Export Help Team at Export Development Canada (EDC). Through this service Canadian companies looking to export (or currently exporting) can access trade-relevant information and have their questions answered by a team of experienced CITPs and other advisors and partners. The team responds with curated information that helps address their concerns and directs them to relevant export and trade resources.
During my time helping exporters at EDC, I’ve learned that companies are cautious when exploring new markets, and it is in their best interest to do enough research to secure a successful global expansion.
It’s great to know that at EDC, the Export Help team and other departments, can assist companies with trade knowledge, and also connect them with solutions that can mitigate their international risks. Look for some of my upcoming blogs and webinars at EDC.Trade.
Success is not individual, but comes through relationships and partnerships
Throughout my career, I attribute my success to not only my own work, but countless individuals who I have been lucky to connect and work with over the years. Without the help and assistance of those in my dream teams, coworkers and leaders that cared enough about my career development, or that gave me the opportunity to take on new challenges, many of my achievements could have not have materialized.
Keep in mind that you will meet key people in your life and at work. Managers, clients, peers at industry events, students or classmates, will allow you to succeed as they support your projects, businesses or knowledge.
To all of you who helped me through the years, I offer a big thank you, and look forward to fostering many more relationships as my career continues.