This article was published before we became the Chartered Institute of Export & International Trade on 10 July 2024, and this is reflected in references to our old brand and name. For more information about us becoming Chartered, visit our dedicated webpage on the change here.

It’s the end of the academic year and the IOE&IT’s graduate class of 2020 is emerging with plaudits ringing in their ears. 

In a congratulatory email to graduates last week, sent on the day when the awarding ceremony would have taken place at London’s Mansion House, IOE&IT director general Marco Forgione outlined how timely their qualifications are:

“The impact of Covid-19 highlights the value and importance of the skills you will have developed on your course,” he wrote. “These skills will be essential to helping businesses recover.” 

Unlike university graduates entering the workforce for the first time, facing an uphill task to get that first step on the career ladder, the future for these working graduates is much more certain.

Here Claire, Craig and Sally outline what they took from their courses, ahead of receiving their IOE&IT Graduation Certificate at a ceremony later this year.


Claire Hamilton  

Who: Claire Hamilton, logistics director EMEAR, Terex

What course: Diploma in World Customs Compliance and Regulations

Why: “I am truly passionate about trade compliance and wanted to improve my knowledge in this area. The firm I work for is a global manufacturing company and it’s imperative we understand the rules when it comes to world customs compliance and regulations to give us a competitive advantage.  

“It is essential we incorporate trade regulations into our business goals and overall supply chain management, while reducing the risk of non-compliance.”

Best thing about the course: “Throughout the whole course I was really impressed with the practical knowledge of the lecturers – not just theoretical but applied to real situations as well. Another good aspect was the course being online, with flexibility on the period for study (I did it over two years).

“I was able to study, work full time and look after three children.”



Craig Green  

Who: Craig Green, export finance manager, UK Export Finance 

What course: Level 5 Diploma in International Trade

Best thing about doing the course: “I did [this qualification] to support my capabilities in working in a civil service export division. 

“Being honest, before the course I was not very confident about international trade, compared with domestic trade. Prior to starting, I focused on what the benefits would be from taking the course. The answers are the same now as what I initially thought.”

What graduating means to me: “By completing the course, I have more confidence, deeper understanding and ability to provide solutions to exporters, which prior to the course I would have struggled with. 

“If you are serious about learning more about international trade, look no further [than this course] but you need to be committed. I am very pleased I committed and achieved.” 


Sally Bristow   

Who: Sally Bristow, sales administration manager, Diamond Hard Surfaces Ltd 

What course: Degree apprenticeship 

Why: “I chose a degree apprenticeship through the Institute of Export because I wanted a flexible supported learning environment which incorporated the best practices in international trade.”

Best thing about the course: “I thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience and found the course content engaging and relevant to the organisation in which I work. The tutors all work in their given field and therefore brought a practical application of the theory.
“Both me and my organisation have greatly benefited from the learning, especially through the final practical global trading report, which was a work-based project.” 

Find out more about the Institute’s qualifications here or by contacting us at or 01733 40440.