Meet our inspiring students

Thu 11 May 2017
Posted by: William Barns-Graham

graduation photo montage


This year’s graduation ceremony is coming up fast and it’s set to be another inspiring event of networking, speeches and prize giving at the residence of the Lord Mayor of London.

It’s at such events that the importance and benefits of studying international trade truly hit home. Our high achieving graduates, who are already contributing greatly to businesses large and small through their professionalism in trade, are testament to that.

If you are attending, or still thinking about it, it’s a great opportunity to hear from the students themselves about the impact that the Institute’s courses can have for both individuals and businesses.

Rachel Howell, who studied the Level 3 Certificate in International Trade and has won the Highest Mark award for the certificate, is already reaping the long-term rewards in her role as an international sales coordinator at Pet Brands.

The Certificate gave me an excellent understanding of all of the key elements involved in exporting, from marketing and sales to logistics and finance,” she told us. “It gave me the confidence to pursue international sales as a career and hit the ground running in my new role.”

While Debbie Christie, the import/export coordinator at Spirent Communications who is now enrolling for the Diploma in World Customs Compliance & Regulations, told us:

It is invaluable to understand why shippers and agents do what they do and the reasoning behind rules, regulations and best procedures for compliance.”

We have long banged the drum in favour of greater professionalism and expertise in international trade, but a common theme among new and recent graduates is the view that treating exporting seriously as a professional skill is only going to get more important in uncertain times ahead.

With Brexit likely to alter many of the aspects of how we do international trade – especially with our neighbours still in the union – staying up to date with the latest developments in our trading arrangements with other countries, and continually building upon the skills and expertise required to do trade, is of the utmost importance.

As Rachel told us:

“I think all export professionals and exporting companies should strongly consider investing in export qualifications and training. No matter how experienced you are, the global marketplace is constantly changing and mistakes can be costly for any sized business. Compared to the opportunity for business growth that a good understanding of trade can bring, an export qualification is great value for money.”

Chris Pagel, who was awarded highest marks on the Level 5 Diploma in International Trade, agrees too:

The importance of this cannot be emphasised enough. There are so many challenges in international trade, specifically in less developed countries, and these courses are, to my mind, the minimum requirement for anyone wanting to progress in this field.”

Without a doubt it’s a great time to be studying with the Institute. Our complete range of professional qualifications is designed to meet any business or individual’s needs, from those that have no experience, up to those who wish to qualify themselves to take a business degree.

“It's got a world wide reputation and extreme professionalism in presenting modules, even if it is done by correspondence,” says Chris. “The guidance and encouragement from mentors at the IOE is exceptional, consistently probing students to get to the bottom of the subject, really having to understand a specific real life business or trading challenge. Kevin Shakespeare's role in this regard is outstanding.”

And the impact it’s had in making our students better ready to help their companies thrive in international trade cannot be understated. Maeva Evans, who is just finishing her Level 5 Diploma, told us:

It has given me a holistic knowledge of the business and a better understanding of the risks and challenges each function faces on the international trade arena.”

If you’ve not already signed up to attend, we’d definitely recommend coming along to our graduation to find out more about our students and how the Institute can help you develop yourself or your business’ trading expertise and skills.

We attract around 200 people and the Institute invites major stakeholders from the world of international trade, such as Department for International Trade and UKEF.

There's still time to book tickets for the event - More information