4 international business professionals tell us how the CITP designation helped them find career success


4 happy business people giving each other high fives

4 happy business people giving each other high fives

Lora Rigutto Vigliatore, CITP overcame shaken confidence and found career success in international business after a 6 year hiatus

Lora Rigutto Vigliatore, CITP

Job Title: Marketing Manager

Company: CircuitMeter Inc.

CITP Since: 04/04/2011

Unfortunately, a six year hiatus from my profession had left my confidence shaken. Was I up to date on international trade issues? Was my skill set where it needed to be to re-enter the global business field? Although I had the international trade experience, I was in essence starting over and I needed to carve out a niche as an international trade practitioner. I needed to upgrade my skills, not only to enhance my chances of finding an international business position but also for my own professional development. Back in 2010, with two kids in competitive sports, work commitments and a busy lifestyle in general, I decided to finish the remaining FITTskills courses online, on my own time.

In 2011, I obtained my CITP designation and I was proud to be receiving it along with other highly skilled international trade professionals. Shortly thereafter, I accepted a position of Export Manager for a local manufacturer which was looking to take a strategic approach to global market expansion.

I used what I learned via the FITT curriculum to leverage my experience as an international business development specialist and hit the ground running.

One of my first tasks was the creation of an international business plan with a focus on risk mitigation; which was not as monumental a task thanks to the FITTskills courses I had completed.

Since that time I have transferred my skill set to a Canadian technology start up company and concurrently I am now sharing my knowledge and international trade experience with students at Durham College as a FITTskills instructor.

What is one piece of advice you would give to those who are just starting their international business careers?

Complete the FITTskills training, obtain your CITP designation and network with other CITPs. It provides me with a network of other international trade practitioners that I can reach out to for advice or assistance. It’s a great community!

Learn more about Lora’s story

Igor Chigrin, CITP found that his designation opened doors to clients like never before, allowing him to grow his business

Igor Chigrin, CITP

Job Title: Export & Import Consultant

Company: Win Global Partners

CITP Since: 12/19/2013

For almost nine years, I’ve been running my own business, Win Global Partners, where I help other businesses go global.  My first exposure to trade was through my family’s business in pharmaceuticals and medical products. I started helping to get quotes, transportation and clearance. Others in my business community started asking questions about how to do those same things, so I started consulting for them. I noticed more and more of the same questions, so I started WIN global to help people address those problems.

Earning the CITP designation had a huge impact on my business because it opened doors to many organizations that facilitate export-import, who I’ve worked with regularly over the past five years.

Immediately after earning my CITP designation I was able to apply to be a qualified consultant to Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) and its members for export strategy and business planning. It also opened the door to facilitate training with some government organizations, which wouldn’t have been possible without having the designation. My CITP designation definitely added a lot of credibility with Canadian organizations and businesses.

What is one piece of advice you would give to those who are just starting their international business careers?

Learn as much as possible about the markets you are dealing in in terms of culture. When you are talking to people electronically or in person you need to know how people behave, how to tailor your communications to them and understand the different boundaries and level of acceptance of certain things within your global market.

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.

Click here to take the next steps to your CITP designation

Joshua Hodgson, CITP gained credibility and insights into his clients needs that helped him excel in his role helping companies go global

Joshua Hodgson, CITP

Job Title: Counsellor (Science, Technology and Innovation)

Company: Trade Commissioner’s Service, Embassy of Canada, Tokyo

CITP Since: 11/17/2003

I’ve been working with the Canadian government for over 25 years now, and with Global Affairs Canada for over 20. This is my 3rd posting, I was previously in Taipei, Taiwan, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago and now Tokyo, Japan as well as regional offices in Toronto and Vancouver. FITT and the CITP designation equipped me well to be able to put myself in the shoes of a business person as they go through the exporting process.

I started with the FITTskills courses and was attracted to the learning opportunity, since it’s my job to provide advice and help my clients connect to different partners. As a public servant, I’m not going through the challenges that entrepreneurs face.

The FITTskills program and the CITP designation gives people a road map to start asking the right questions to save time and money and connect with the service providers that can help them achieve global success.

Having the credibility with my clients was a great benefit of the CITP designation. When they see my designation, my clients don’t have to take my word for it that I have that level of knowledge to be able to help them.

What is one piece of advice you would give to those who are just starting their international business careers?

Be open-minded. Most CITPs would be, that’s why we’re in international business, because we are interested in exploring different cultures and ways of doing things. Be open to different solutions and opportunities. We need more Canadian companies doing work in other countries so all of our CITPs have an important role to play to encourage this and contribute to the Canadian economy. Diversify your markets and reduce your risk. Doing this will also expose you to more competition and give you the chance to improve your product and/or service.

Kristie Luk, CITP has helped her company save money and avoid costly errors with her “full picture” knowledge of trade processes

Kristie Luk, CITP

Job Title: Senior Trade Compliance Specialist

Company: SSENSE

CITP Since: 05/13/2016

I took FITTskills courses through Fanshawe College’s International Business program. They were very helpful in developing a broader understanding of what international trade encompasses. It gave me the tools to think critically about the intricacies of trade and how each detail related back to the bigger picture.

I won the FITT Achievement Award for my accomplishments both in the classroom and in my community. The program expanded my understanding of the international trade industry helped me see how everything fits together.

Since 2016, I’ve taken on the role of Senior Trade Compliance Specialist with SSENSE, a Montreal-based luxury fashion e-commerce platform. Some of my main responsibilities include managing the company’s relationship with customs authorities (Canada and international), acting as the main point of contact between the company and its customs brokers, optimizing duty savings initiatives as well as ensuring sustainable customs and trade compliance strategy.

The CITP designation distinguishes me from others in the customs industry.

It proves that I am not simply a technical specialist in a very specific niche of international business, but rather a global-minded trade professional with the ability to apply broad and creative business and supply chain management concepts to trade strategy and procedures.

What is one piece of advice you would give to those who are just starting their international business careers?

Be humble and open-minded. Look for experienced and passionate professionals to learn from. In addition to academics, learning through first-hand experiences will provide you substantial insight into the inner workings of how international business functions.

Learn more about Kristie’s story

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Certified International Trade Professional (CITP|FIBP) designation and for the entire month of June, we’re celebrating the accomplishments and exceptional careers of CITPs worldwide! Find out how you can get involved, ask questions, expand your network and more!

About the author

Author: Pamela Hyatt

I am the Content Marketing Specialist for the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT). You can find some of my work on TradeReady.ca. My background is in copywriting, journalism and social media. My passion lies in connecting people to the stories that are most important to them.

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