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By: Janice BandickPublished On: February 27, 2015
Gloria Jara is an alumna of Ashton’s Certificate in International Trade (CIT). A member of the Winter 2013 graduating class, Gloria is now living her dream, working in Vancouver for an international trade company as an Ocean Import Documentation Agent and overseeing the logistics for all cargo shipments arriving from Asia.
Originally from Ecuador, Gloria immigrated to Canada in 2011. Despite her degree in Business Administration and her extensive experience as a Purchasing Coordinator for Colgate and Whitehall International Laboratories, Gloria had difficulty finding work in her field. “When I first arrived in Canada, my goal was to obtain a position in international trade or supply chain management. However, because of my lack of Canadian work experience and education, I was forced to work odd jobs for several years in order to make ends meet.” After two years working as a nanny and later, a carpenter Gloria made the decision to return to school to obtain a Canadian Certificate in International Trade. “I researched every institution in Vancouver that offered FITT (Forum for International Trade Training) courses, and then visited each campus in person. I chose Ashton after speaking with a program adviser who communicated the high employment rate for Ashton CIT grads. I also sat in on several of Ashton’s CIT courses and saw immediately that it was a professional program that emphasized practical knowledge. I signed up that day.”
Before finishing her CIT courses, Gloria met with Career Services Coordinator Tamara Papo to discuss the possibility of a practicum placement. “Right away, Tamara expressed that she would be able to find me a placement that would be beneficial to me and allow me to gain Canadian work experience. I felt so supported throughout my time at Ashton, from my instructors and classmates, to my program adviser and Tamara, I felt like it was important to everyone that I succeed.” After completing her practicum placement, Gloria immediately landed a permanent position with Panalpina Inc. “As soon as I had that Canadian education and experience under my belt, I felt that all these doors had opened for me.”
Gloria’s current position as a Documentation Agent keeps her pretty busy; “I handle over 100 files each day. It’s a fast-paced environment and most tasks are time-sensitive.” Because she enjoys the work, her supervisor and her co-workers, Gloria plans to continue her international trade education in order to further her career with this company. “As soon as possible, I’ll return to Ashton to obtain a Diploma in International Trade. I need one more subject to finish my CIFFA (Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association) Certificate and then I will be eligible to apply for managerial positions as a freight forwarder.” Nowadays, Gloria’s future is bright, and she encourages those who are considering returning to school to make a career change to take the plunge, noting “in Canada, there is no replacement for education and certification. Whatever career you want to pursue, do your research, find a school that fits your needs; location, reputation, alumni employment rates, schedule, all these factors need to be considered. I’m thankful every day that I chose Ashton.”