IOE and IT Graduation ceremony 2022: The Graduates' view

Thu 24 Nov 2022
Posted by: Phillip Adnett

Graduation Ceremony 2022 All graduates in Mansion House

At this week’s IOE&IT Graduation Ceremony at Mansion House, another wave of current and future trade experts received the reward for all their hard work. The Daily Bulletin s spoke to some of the graduates to reflect on their recent learning experience and how it will help them in their roles.

Vernon Rato

Vernon Rato runs an import and export customs compliance consultancy, Vernon Rato Ltd, helping companies import and export and trying to save them money. He has just completed the Diploma in World Customs Compliance and Regulations.

“It's a second diploma for me, because I have a diploma on International Trade. I wanted something more customs focused, compared to just broader international trade. I found the course interesting. Although I have been in international trade for about 22 years, I learned a lot, more than I thought I would. Because I work with international customers and international clients, [having a qualification] that has global customs on it will benefit me and help in obtaining new clients.”

Adriana Santos

Adriana Santos is an export manager for condiment and sauce maker Tracklements. The company exports to 26 countries and Santos has just completed the Level Five Diploma in International Trade.

“I did the Level Five Diploma because I felt it would be interesting to give me a little bit more structure to the knowledge gained from working in international trade over the last few years. I found the content of very interesting and relevant to the industry and I enjoyed it. What I learned on the course has really helped me to apply different strategies, especially related to marketing. It has all been very helpful.”

Diane Whittingham

Diane Whittingham works as an international trade adviser at the Department for International Trade (DIT) and did the Diploma for Advanced Customs Declarations through the UK Customs Academy.

“I enrolled just as the UK was leaving the EU and I wanted to understand more about customs compliance. It seemed like the perfect qualification to take. It was all online. I was hoping to do it in 12 months, but because we actually left the EU halfway through there was a bit of delay taking it, because of the changes in regulations. I found it really beneficial. In my work I help companies to grow their exports. The knowledge I learned through the course allows me to inform the companies that I work with of the processes they need to take in order for them to successfully export.”

James Beaty

James Beaty works for Clark's International, the footwear retailer and is responsible for customs operations within the company. He has just completed the Level Five Diploma in Customs.

“I'm responsible for ensuring our goods clear customs across the globe into the UK and the EU, the Americas and Asia. So I have a wide remit ensuring the paperwork's together, that we've classified the goods correctly, that we're paying the right amount of duty and we have got all our origin paperwork together. I started my career in accountancy and tax and as I started doing more customs work, I wanted to put a qualification to the work. But also, it has given me a greater understanding of why certain things are done in customs and what the opportunities are.”

Dumitru Mihalca

Dumitru Mihalca works as an air freight coordinator for Cargo Logistics at Heathrow Airport. He was graduating from Level Three and Level Four in Customs Compliance with the UK Customs Academy. He says he is already planning to carry on with Level Five. 

“The reason I study is because I love what I'm doing. I love air freight and customs. The challenges after Brexit were huge and we all needed updates regarding the changes, many of which are still going on. Both courses were very useful, but the Level Four was really great, because it covered more detailed issues of excise and other customs problems we currently face daily. I have already started sharing the information from the course with colleagues. It's very useful because it's going to help my career. I want to advance my career in customs and if you want a career in customs, the UK Customs Academy is the best possible choice.”