Abdel Azzouzi, CITP|FIBP, is a Manager of Trade Finance with Desjardins, specializing in structured and export finance.
Since first discovering FITT a decade ago, he’s used his training to take his career in new directions and build an impressive array of international trade expertise.
Finding a passion for the job
When Abdel began his international trade career in 2002, he was excited to start his own small business, but felt like he still had a lot to learn.
When I first started I had a lot of enthusiasm, but I was lacking expertise in international trade. You need that passion and desire to succeed in any job, but it’s good to have some tools to channel that desire, along with the proper skillset.
Running his own business offered him many opportunities to travel to target markets like Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, and helped him develop his skills.
After two years, however, he decided to leave his business and take a new role as an International Trade Officer with the Global Development Group. The two years he spent in the role proved to be a turning point in his career.
Building a comprehensive global trade worldview
In 2005, while doing an internet search on international trade, Abdel’s wife stumbled across a FITT document listing many of the various professions in global trade.
“When I saw the document, I took some time to look into FITT more closely. I saw them as an institution that would help my career.”
He therefore decided to start taking FITT courses, which he found to be immediately beneficial in his career.
The courses were very good because I could take the courses during the night, and then apply what I had learned the very next day in my job, as I looked for new markets and new businesses to work with.
“My favourite course was the International Marketing course, as it was most in line with what I wanted to do. It also applied perfectly to help me complete an international business development plan to provide procurement services in different countries. That’s one of the projects I’m most proud of.”
He also feels that the courses helped him become a more well-rounded and comprehensive international trade professional.
“The courses were a big help in every aspect of my job at the time. Taking them helped me build my expertise, skills and credibility.”
“The FITTskills program is the best one if you want to get the whole picture of international trade. No aspect is missing.”
Capitalizing on FITTskills training to move in a new career direction
In addition to his FITTskills training, Abdel also took his Bachelor of Law degree at the University of Ottawa from 2006-2008, worked as an independent consultant, and became a CITP®|FIBP® in 2007.
Being a CITP®|FIBP® demonstrates that I have a well-rounded understanding of every area of international trade. The skills I developed through FITT courses really help when talking to clients, and builds my credibility with them.
With his new education and designation, he started searching for a new job. Having FITT training turned out to be a huge asset, and took his career in an entirely different direction.
“I had an interview with the National Bank of Canada for a Manager of International Trade position. My problem was that I didn’t have any banking experience, and banks rarely hire people who don’t. During the interview, however, I drew a lot from the FITTskills courses I took and it made a real impression on the interviewer.”
“I got the job, and since I didn’t have that experience, I think that the FITTskills courses made the difference.”
Moving up in the banking world
After five years with the National Bank, Abdel moved to his current role with Desjardins. Once again, his FITTskills training and certification proved to be a crucial asset in getting this new job.
“I worked as a subject matter expert on FITT’s 5th edition Legal Aspects of International Trade textbook, which helped with the interview. Talking about FITT made a very good impression.”
Since he started in the role, Abdel mainly works on international transactions, talking to banks in Central America, South America, North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, India and China. It also involves a fair amount of travel, to places like India, and both Washington and Boston in the U.S.
When he’s not making the commute back and forth between Montreal and Ottawa, or supporting his favourite soccer (football) team, Barcelona, he continues to enjoy his work, and talks about FITT regularly.
“I recently talked to some colleagues who had heard about FITT and then got a lot of requests for information from them about FITT certificates and course options. They all had very, positive impressions.”
Now with over a decade of international trade experience, Abdel plans to continue to excel in the world of trade finance, and hopes to pass on the many lessons he’s learned along the way.
LinkedIn: Abdel Azzouzi
Learn more about the CITP®|FIBP® designation
International Business Certification—CITP®|FIBP®
Advance your career and build your professional credibility in the field of global business by earning the Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) designation.
Why Earn the Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) Designation?
The Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) designation is the world’s leading professional designation for the field of international business. So whether you’re new to global trade or have over a decade of direct experience, you’ll find the CITP designation can help advance your career and build your professional credibility.
The CITP designation sets you apart in the competitive international business industry because it’s proof you possess the competencies glbal business experts have identified as being essential for a successful career in international trade. It also recognizes your dedication to ethical business practices and ongoing professional development—both of which are desirable traits for today’s global business practitioners.