3 new CITPs in international finance talk about their career success

11/08/2022

Image of front of old-style bank with lens flare

Image of front of old-style bank with lens flare

The world of international finance can be broken into myriad fields, and within those fields, international finance professionals have a variety of backgrounds, experience and expertise. Because of the diverse opportunities available under the international-finance umbrella, those in the field may find themselves looking for ways to diversify or deepen their knowledge base by learning more about the different facets of international finance and trade transactions.

For those international finance professionals looking to branch out into new areas or delve more deeply into their current field of work, FITTskills courses provide meaningful professional development that can help grow careers and develop professional confidence. At the same time, the CITP designation – which factors in both skills development in international trade and experience in the field – provides validation to a professional’s expertise.

Below, three CITP designees share how their FITTskills coursework and CITP designation has helped them find more opportunity and meaning in their already successful careers in international finance.

CITP designation banner image explaining what the certified international trade professional designation is

Olutobi Kodaolu, CITP – International Trade Finance Supervisor, Guaranty Trust Bank Limited

Olutobi Kodaolu CITP Headshot

Earned his elite CITP®|FIBP® designation: April 2022

Olutobi Kodaolu doesn’t have what would be considered a traditional background within the field of international finance. After graduating university as an anatomy student, Kodaolu took a job at Guaranty Trust Bank and completed banking school. He’s been working in the international trade division ever since.

Throughout his career, Kodaolu has counted many successes, including being part of the team that designed the transition from manual to digital processes for foreign investors within his home country, contributing to the review of his country’s Central Bank Foreign Exchange Manual, and championing automation processes within his unit for better processing times and full compliance. He has structured trade transactions in a variety of fields, including oil and gas.

Despite his successes, Kodaolu said his unconventional background led him to shy away from seeking out training within the field of international trade.

“When I began in International trade, I was introduced to many branches of trade, and I was reluctant to learn because they were broad and strange to me. My regret was that delayed in training myself. I would have started learning more about international trade earlier in my career.”

To expand his expertise in international trade, Kodaolu decided to complete the FITTskills program and seek his CITP designation through FITT. At first, Kodaolu found the courses somewhat overwhelming, but he was quickly drawn in by the interesting material, the real-world applications presented, and the easy-to-understand information. He also appreciated that he was able to complete his coursework at his own pace.

Kodaolu said the course on International Market Entry Strategies and Feasibility of International Trade exposed him to the pros and cons of international business engagement and to the importance of understanding laws, markets and strategies for new markets. Overall, the FITTskills program has given Kodaolu a better outlook of the international market.

International Market Entry Strategies Couse Banner

With its recognition within the international business community, Kodaolu said he’s confident that his CITP designation will help him to further grow his career.

“I feel a sense of progress in my career that is not only knowing my job but having a designation to show to the world. The designation will help me advance in my career and give room for more challenges internationally, like new job offers and new projects.”

Want to connect with Olutobi?
LinkedIn: Olutobi Kodaolu

Matthew Lewis, CITP – Managing Director, Desjardins

Matthew Lewis CITP Headshot

Earned his elite CITP®|FIBP® designation: November 2021

Matthew Lewis found a natural transition into a career in international trade. He began his career as a commercial manager and followed a logical path, accepting a job as a manager of international trade at the National Bank of Canada.

“I wanted to take it to the next step and wanted to help businesses promote their importing/exporting endeavours.”

Through his career, Lewis has worked with large corporations on hedging solutions, something he has always found to be satisfying. Nevertheless, he also enjoys working with the SME sector, where the impact of education is more relevant. Lewis also spent time training new graduates for the field through the height of the 2008 financial crisis. After returning from a particularly long assignment in the Philippines, Lewis said he was amused to see the takeover of social media when he returned.

Working with a variety of clients in a variety of settings and situations throughout his career, Lewis said there is one revelation that’s had the greatest impact on his work – listen to the client’s concerns and address those first.

Lewis sought out the CITP designation as a way to showcase his expertise in the field.

“I wanted to have the recognition from my peers, but I also wanted my clients to know that my knowledge meant business.”

Even as someone with a solid foundation in the field of international trade, Lewis said he found the FITTskills courses to be robust and diverse, and they challenged him to think outside the box. There were also core courses, such as Feasibility of International Trade, that had a great deal of relevance for anyone working in international banking or finance.

Feasibility of International Trade Couse Banner

Lewis said he’s proud to finally hold the CITP designation, and he’s excited to see where the designation will take him.

“Hopefully, it will take to me to new places in my career and surprise me along the way.”

Want to connect with Matthew?
LinkedIn: Matthew Lewis

Frank Okoye, CITP – Senior Financial Advisor, Scotiabank

Frank Okoye CITP Headshot

Earned his elite CITP®|FIBP® designation: September 2022

Frank Okoye got involved in the field of international finance early in his career. Throughout his career, he has been involved with working in finance guarantees, international trade and product paper development for small businesses and medium market enterprises.

“It’s an exciting and challenging profession.”

The most important element within his professional sphere, according to Okoye, is stakeholder management and perseverance.

With an established career in international finance and trade, Okoye sought his CITP designation as a way to expand his professional network while building his expertise and gaining more professional knowledge of the trends and cornerstones of international trade and commerce.

Okoye said he’s excited to have earned his CITP designation, and he believes it will help him to gain more professional exposure and to have more insight into the field.

Want to connect with Frank?
LinkedIn: Frank Okoye

Kodaolu, Lewis and Okoye – with their different backgrounds and experience within international finance and trade – found meaningful professional development through the FITTskills coursework they completed, and they all look forward to seeing their careers grow with their increased knowledge base and the international prestige that comes with the designation.

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.

*Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) is trademarked for use within Canada. FITT International Business Professional (FIBP) is trademarked for use internationally. Both reflect the same FITT-certified designation. 

**Note: This represents one of the current pathways to the CITP. Based on FITT’s application for ISO 17024 accreditation, this process will change as of January 1, 2023

Click here to take the next steps to your CITP designation

About the author

Author: Jennifer Nesbitt

Jennifer Nesbitt is a New York-based freelance copywriter. A former journalist and graduate of Penn State University, Jennifer now writes about a variety of topics, including business, technology and marketing. She is passionate about helping companies develop their brands by providing compelling copy that adds value to their online presence.

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