Tanita Alexandridis, CITP has something in common with many of the people who choose a career in international business – she has had a passion for world cultures and languages from a young age. This passion inspired her to pursue an education in International Management at McGill University in Montreal, which included a semester abroad at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.
After completing her studies in 2012, it was clear to her where she wanted to take the first steps in her international career.
“With a Bachelor of Commerce degree in hand, I moved back to Ottawa and I knew Export Development Canada (EDC) was the place I wanted to be! I have been at EDC for four years now, and am really enjoying working for Canadian exporters.”
She began her career with EDC in December 2012 on the Light Manufacturing Sector Team, helping to develop EDC’s business in the life sciences, plastics, and packaging industries, and connecting Canadian exporters in those industries to international opportunities. In 2015 Tanita began taking FITTskills training, starting with the International Trade Finance course and in February 2016 she was promoted to Sr. Associate, Advisory Services.
Export knowledge is power
On EDC’s Advisory Services team, Tanita directs Canadian companies to the wealth of resources and services that exist to help them gather market intelligence, enter their target markets, and mitigate some of the risks of exporting.
There’s a big world out there, and my role is to connect companies to credible sources and reliable partners who can help them make sense of it all.
“My typical day involves receiving inquiries from our customer-facing staff with questions from clients that are not related to EDC’s insurance or financing solutions, but rather to their export strategies or certain challenges they may be facing abroad.”
This involves conducting research to find the right contacts and resources for them – whether from the Trade Commissioner Service, other federal and provincial government partners, or private sector service providers. Tanita then gathers the relevant information into an email package for her colleagues to share with their clients.
“The idea is to arm exporters with knowledge and help them tap into resources that they may not have been aware of previously.”
Learning how to tackle exporters’ every day challenges
Advising clients on their export plans is a big responsibility, requiring comprehensive knowledge of the global trade environment and the opportunities and challenges exporters face. Getting the industry-backed training to build that high level of expertise and establish trust and credibility with her clients is an important part of that responsibility. Tanita completed the FITTskills program over the course of 2016.
The FITTskills program was a great way to supplement my university education with practical content that is relevant to exporters’ everyday challenges. I’ve referred back to my FITTskills textbooks multiple times to answer questions on international logistics or legal and contract issues.
“The courses provide a great framework for understanding how, for example, marine insurance or licensing agreements would typically work in international markets. Once you know those general principles it’s much easier to find information specific to a certain country.”
Tanita faces new challenges every day in her work that serve as both an opportunity for her to make use of her knowledge and experience, and a way for her to grow as a global trade professional.
“Every day I get a bit more insight into how complex exporting can be. Even beyond the challenges of gathering market intelligence and finding customers, there are seemingly countless steps to take before entering a market, such as writing contracts, finding customs and regulatory information, and lining up a freight forwarder.”
Establishing client relationships through trust
Beyond helping exporters get started in new markets, Tanita’s team helps them keep their companies and investments safe so that they can get the most out of their global business ventures.
“A couple of times we’ve had exporters come to us saying they have a great opportunity to work with a partner abroad, but they aren’t sure how to manage their risks. In addition to EDC’s insurance and financing solutions, we helped them gain an understanding of what is typical to include in an international contract, how to protect their intellectual property, and how to conduct due diligence on potential business partners. We also put them in touch with Trade Commissioners who have the industry and market expertise that the exporters were looking for.”
Serving in a role that requires her clients to fully trust in her knowledge and abilities makes it crucial to Tanita to demonstrate her credibility. Earning her CITP®|FIBP® designation gave her the specialized knowledge base she needs to serve present and future clients as she looks forward in her career at EDC.
“Becoming a CITP®|FIBP® was an important step for me to be able to truly live up to my role as an export advisor.”
I’ve built the knowledge to provide meaningful assistance to exporters, and the designation serves as the seal of approval that I know my stuff. I know the designation will continue to be an asset for me no matter what role I take on next.
Tanita has also shared her export expertise by contributing articles to My StartUp Canada, a resource for new entrepreneurs in Canada. We look forward to publishing her original articles in TradeReady.ca soon so stay tuned!
LinkedIn: Tanita Alexandridis, CITP
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 global 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.