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.

Elise Etienne

The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) last week celebrated the successes and achievements of businesses and trade professionals with the inaugural International Trade Awards prizegiving, which took place at the IOE&IT’s new conference, the Import Export Show.

Among the winners was Elsie Etienne, an export control and customs specialist at Vattenfall Wind Power, who took the home the Young Trade of the Year Award. Etienne was given the award by Marcel Landau MIEx, the chair of the IOE Foundation.

We caught up with Etienne at the show to gauge how she felt about winning the award and what it might mean for her career in trade.

Interview with Elsie

IOE&IT: Congratulations on winning the award. How are you feeling right now?

EE: Very delighted and surprised that I won – I didn’t expect it! I really want to thank the judges for recognising me.

IOE&IT: Why do you think you won the award?

EE: I was very personal about my journey and demonstrated what I’ve done throughout the last 12 months, providing examples and pictures as evidence of what I’ve achieved.

I also talked about the future, demonstrating my ongoing eagerness and passion for the work I’m doing.

IOE&IT: Would you recommend other young people to enter the awards next year?

EE: Absolutely. It’s an amazing competition and journey. I really enjoyed the process of entering and absolutely loved the questions.

IOE&IT: What tips would you give to people entering next year?

EE: Be personal and describe what you do with passion. Also, provide pictures that showcase your past, if possible, as well as examples of what you do.

IOE&IT: And finally, what have you made of the Import Export Show?

EE: I’ve really enjoyed today – it’s been amazing. It’s been really packed with a lot of information from government, specialists and board members from every company I can think of.

How Elsie reacted on social

Following her win, Elsie posted on LinkedIn about how the “unexpected joy of this achievement is beyond words”. She expressed her gratitude to colleagues at Vattenfall Wind Power and across the offshore wind generation supply chain.

“This recognition is also a testament to our collective efforts in navigating challenges and achieving excellence in the world of international trade and customs,” she said.

“This recognition is not just a milestone; it's a celebration of my real and dedicated passion for customs and international trade. Every day, navigating the complexities of our industry has been more than a job—it's been a calling!”

She also praised Noreen Burroughes Cesareo FRSA, the president of the UK chapter of the Organisation of Women in International Trade (OWIT), for her “commitment to promoting international trade and UK businesses.”

You can read the full list of International Trade Awards winners here.