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Career story: studying to become a Qualified Trade Finance Specialist

02 September, 2022Juno Baker
xu yi (002)

Mrs Xu Yi is a Trade Operations Manager at National Australia Bank Limited in China and has been working in trade finance for 23 years. Since 2013, she’s been studying our qualifications and is now a Qualified Trade Finance Specialist (QTFS). She tells us about her experiences of, and motivation for, studying.

“Trade finance improves standards of living around the world,” says Mrs Xu Yi. “Different countries are able to supply different goods according to their geography, their natural resources and what they produce. Global trade finance is what makes it possible for people to get what they need at a good price.”

This is what makes working in trade finance and transaction banking so interesting.

Asked what she enjoys most about her job, Mrs Xu Yi says, “Connecting with global trade development and trends, along with supporting and meeting customers.”

Studying trade finance qualifications

Of course, a trade operations manager requires a deep understanding of the challenges around all the different trade finance products. Driven by her passion for international trade, Mrs Xu Yi has studied five trade finance qualifications since 2013, giving her the confidence and knowledge she needs to solve clients’ issues and gain the trust of the front office.

“Customers trust and respect me because I help them solve tough problems and make their transactions faster and safer. Excellent feedback from customers, and the subsequent increase in business, has been recognised internally.”

As many trade finance professionals do, Mrs Xu Yi started with the Certificate for Documentary Credit Specialists (CDCS) – the industry benchmark qualification for credit specialists. She followed this with the Certificate in International Trade and Finance (CITF) in 2015 and in 2017 with the Certificate for Specialists in Demand Guarantees (CSDG).

Developing trade finance skills and expertise

However, despite already being well qualified and very experienced, Mrs Xu Yi didn’t stop there.

She explains, “International trade finance is a comprehensive set of products used to support, or finance, transactions and mitigate all the key risks inherent in international trade transactions.”

So in 2019, Mrs Xu Yi embarked on the Certificate in Principles of Payments (CertPAY). This furthered her understanding of payments and moving money across the globe, as well as compliance, risk, regulation, and strategy.

The following year, she passed the Certificate in Trade Finance Compliance (CTFC) which gives professionals the knowledge they need to help prevent trade-based financial crimes.

Motivation to study

Five exams in just seven years is an incredible achievement. What kept her going?

“When you pass an exam, you feel a sense of accomplishment and find that there are still many more areas that you need to explore more deeply,” says Mrs Xu Yi.

“Each exam is independent of the others but they are all interconnected. By studying trade finance in depth, you constantly update your knowledge and keep up with the development of international trade. That puts you in a better position to control the risk points related to international trade.” 

Being a Qualified Trade Finance Specialist (QTFS)    

In 2021, Mrs Xu Yi became a Qualified Trade Finance Specialist. She says it has increased her self-confidence as well as enhanced her professionalism and personal reputation.

So – after eight years of studying trade finance qualifications – what advice would she give someone who’s thinking of working towards QTFS?

“The theory that you learn from books must be linked and applied to your daily practice,” she says. “Study with passion and persistence. The more you learn, the more interesting the learning becomes.”

Related content

The QTFS Diploma has been created to demonstrate your knowledge of trade finance, and confirms your ability to use your skills in real-life situations.

More about QTFS

See all our trade finance qualifications