Guide to Careers in International Business and Trade

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1 Guide to Careers in International Business and Trade Peartree Solutions Inc. and Waldie, Brennan & Associates, Ltd. September 1999

2 Acknowledgements This guide was jointly prepared by Peartree Solutions and Waldie, Brennan & Associates with funding from the Sector and Occupational Studies Division of Human Resources Development Canada. The Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) provided invaluable assistance by taking a hand in directing the study, and providing a task force of industry experts to review the work. FITT also contributed to this work by facilitating access to practitioners through their contact lists, and by allowing the authors to attend their 2nd annual conference held in Calgary in April Luc Rivard coordinated this work for HRDC, and Caroline Tompkins provided direction and support on behalf of FITT. The authors thank them for their kind support and assistance. The Appendix on professional designations and associations was prepared by Jim Pealow of AMCES -- Association Management, Consulting and Evaluation Services. The authors thank him for his contribution. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1 Trends in the Market for International JobsError! Bookmark not defined. Organization of this Guide 3 A Note on Qualifications 5 INTERNATIONAL MARKETING 7 International Business Development Manager 9 International Marketing Manager 11 Market Research Analyst Foreign Markets 13 Product Designer Foreign Market Adaptation 15 International Marketing Representative 17 INTERNATIONAL SALES AND PROCUREMENT 19 International Sales Manager 21 Export Sales Representative 22 Procurement Manager 24 International Trader 26 Foreign Trade Consultant 28 INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT 30 Country Manager (Branch Plants, Joint Ventures, Partnerships) 32 Project Director (Foreign Capital Projects) 34 International Management Consultants 36 INTERNATIONAL LOGISTICS 37 Corporate Logistics Manager 38 International Shipping Specialist 40 Customs Broker 43 Customs Inspector 46 INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES 48 GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE i

4 International Treasurer 50 Foreign Investment Analyst 52 Commercial Bank Officer 54 Central Bank Officer 56 International Development Bank Officer 58 Insurance Broker 60 Risk Analyst 62 FOREIGN TRADE AND INVESTMENT ACCOUNTING 64 International Tax Accountants 65 International Consolidation Accountant 66 Transfer Pricing Specialist 68 INTERNATIONAL LAW 70 Commercial Trade Lawyer 72 International Investment Lawyer 74 International Regulatory Lawyer 76 INTERNATIONAL ELECTRONIC INFRASTRUCTURE SPECIALISTS 78 Electronic Communications Specialist 80 Information Technology Specialist 82 Satellite Applications Specialists 84 MARKET ACCESS AND TRADE PROMOTION 86 Foreign Service Officer Trade Commissioner 88 Administrative, Technical and Administrative Support Personnel 90 Trade Analyst 91 ACTIVITIES RELATED TO INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS 93 Economic and Social Development 94 Environmental Research and Regulation 98 International Education 102 Democracy and Governance Assistance 105 APPENDIX: PROFESSIONAL DESIGNATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS RELEVANT TO INTERNATIONAL TRADE OCCUPATIONS 107 GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE ii

5 INTRODUCTION This guide describes the wide variety of opportunities available to Canadians seeking careers in international business and trade. It explains the broad role of each occupational function and the duties that people in these positions perform. And it lists the key qualifications, skills and aptitudes that candidates require. It also describes the types of employer that are most likely to hire qualified candidates. This guide updates an earlier list of jobs published in 1991, and it reflects many changes in the international job market since then. Throughout the 1990s there have been substantial and ongoing changes in the international economy, and in the way that Canadian businesses and governments interact with it. Trends in the Market for International Jobs Several forces are driving changes in the market for international jobs. Most of them have become fully apparent only in the past few years: Globalisation and the expansion of trade The internationalisation of Canadian business. Technological change, especially in the information and communications technologies that underlie the international business infrastructure. A pervasive trend towards the replacement of regulated and stateowned enterprises by competitive private businesses Over the past 50 years, the size of the world economy has increased by five times, and the volume of international trade has increased 15 fold. This means that a much larger proportion of the output of the world economy is traded than was the case in the past. More and more of the world economy is generated by more and more individuals and companies involved with international trade such that over 2/3 of the people working in Canada today have some involvement in international trade. Whether it is production, finance, marketing, logistics, or one of the many other business functions, it is the expertise in international trade that keeps the Canadian economy healthy. This expansion in trade has been brought about principally through the interest of countries recognising the importance of international trade on their economies. Through expanding existing international trade treaties and the creation of regional trading agreements, tariffs have been reduced, non-tariff barriers have been attacked, and generally rules and regulations have been GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 1

6 established to provide for a reasonably fair and equitable trading environment. Now more countries have a potential to enter into the global economy. It is within this free trade environment that Canada s two-way trade has increased significantly so that Canada has become the 7 th largest exporter and the 8 th largest importer in the world. It is understandable that the vast majority of our exports over 85% - is with one of the largest and most prosperous markets directly adjacent to Canada - the USA. In parallel with the rapidly changing and expanding Canadian trading environment, jobs and careers are also changing and expanding. Companies and entrepreneurs have changed their domestically focused activities to now consider the global economy as a viable and profitable challenge. Individuals with knowledge or training in any aspect of international trade are using their capabilities to go into business for themselves as consultants or international entrepreneurs, or work for medium and large companies who need highly trained professionals with international expertise to help them grow their global business. In moving into the global export business, these medium and large companies are often reacting to foreign challenges in the domestic market. There are very few companies who do not feel the competitive pressure from non- Canadian companies. So the career opportunities are also expanding for Canadians as import agents and specialists who can help a foreign-based company compete in the Canadian market. With over 2/3 of our economy connected with international trade, the employment structure in Canada has changed significantly to now require Canadians to understand more about foreign products and international business culture. Recently, medium-sized companies have been moving beyond simple exports from Canada and are forming joint ventures and partnerships with foreign firms. These arrangements help to establish a strong local presence and to rapidly overcome cultural barriers to market entry. This is creating demands for a new set of relationship-building and cultural skills that go beyond those involved in the traditional transactions-based approach. Increasingly, Canada's international traders must be capable of negotiating workable partnerships with foreign firms and working with sophisticated supply chain management systems. One challenge to the development of international opportunities by SMEs is that they do not have the same access to highly skilled professionals as their larger counterparts. In these SME s one executive has to wear many hats, covering functions that might be done by several professionals in a larger firm. These SME s recognise that it is not always practical to hire on a full time basis individuals who may have very valuable skills but there are not sufficient challenges to warrant full time employment. Contracting out of specific skills for international trade has become a very feasible and efficient way for SME s to obtain a high level of international expertise while maintaining good control on their salary budget. It is a win-win situation for both the companies and the entrepreneurial service provider consultants. Rapid changes in information technology and communications has contributed significantly to the expansion of international trade and the way it is carried out. Companies can communicate better and faster with their customers in providing service and information. Companies now have 24hr service centres to be able to respond to their customers around the world. In effect the time zones have shrunk and customers and companies can communicate any time of day or night. With the service barrier being raised, with customers expecting instant service, employment opportunities have been created. Also the IT specialists now GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 2

7 get into the international scene to create web sites and promotional programs that can go around the world. Any company or individual- that does not recognise the need to continue to update their approach to their customers and clients will soon find that they are facing a diminishing client base. The events of 11 th September 2001, has created uncertainty within the international business community in that travel and international contact need to be approached more cautiously. Technology can take up this slack during this period in that companies can continue to communicate with their client base but now must use this communication technology more effectively to replace the face-to-face marketing opportunities. Career opportunities will still go to those who are able to work with the international trade environment to provide the service level required within the existing business climate. For a complete listing of the wide variety of opportunities available to those seeking careers in international trade, visit for a free copy of a Guide to Careers in International Business and Trade. Organization of this Guide This Guide is organized into nine functional groups, according to the role each plays in supporting international business, trade and investment: International Marketing International Sales and Procurement International Operations Management International Logistics International Financial Services Foreign Trade and Investment Accounting International Law and Regulation International Electronic Infrastructure Providers Market Access and Trade Promotion All of these categories include jobs that have been created by the developments of the past few years, jobs that have been significantly changed by recent developments, or new jobs in the services, professions or government that have emerged to support the higher volume and changing nature of international trade. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 3

8 In addition, the Guide includes general descriptions of career opportunities in activities related to international affairs: International Economic and Social Development International Environmental Research and Regulation International Education Democracy and Governance Assistance Although the occupations described in these areas are not directly engaged trade and investment relationships, they are largely the product of the same set of forces that have driven the expansion of international business. Moreover, the functions they carry out, such as promoting sustainable development, improving agriculture and the environment, expanding education opportunities and reforming systems of governance, tend to support the expansion of international trade. They are helping to develop the kind of international climate is needed for an orderly expansion of international business. There is also considerable job mobility between NGOs and commercial organizations operating internationally. Every organization that employs international trade and investment specialists has its own way of operating, and the exact job specifications vary widely. The objective of this guide is to raise awareness of both the opportunities available and the challenges of developing the skills needed to exploit them. For this reason, it focuses on broad occupational functions and competencies rather than specific tasks. In each case, a career path is discussed, which may involve several positions that comprise the normal route of progression. Wherever possible, specific job titles associated with these functions are mentioned, and differences between them are noted. There are many occupations in Canada that involve international trade that are not described here. Increasingly, Canadian technical specialists are traveling abroad to advise foreign clients and to assist in the installation or service of Canadianmade equipment. Such positions are found in virtually every sector of the economy, but they are not described here because the services they provide are not usually directly connected to the business of marketing, selling, financing and delivering that product to world markets. The focus of this guide is on those professions that create the infrastructure that makes international business possible. These are the occupations that require specialized training in international business. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 4

9 A Note on Qualifications In this document, each occupational description includes a section on the qualifications needed to perform the job. This description can be interpreted in a number of ways, and it is important for the reader to understand the particular meaning of these qualifications in this document. The qualifications described in this document are based largely on what employers recently indicated they are seeking in job postings in these occupations. Several different interpretations of qualifications could be offered, however, and we review these briefly to assist the reader in interpreting the material presented in the remainder of the document. First, qualifications could refer to the degrees or certifications typically held by current occupants in these job. Conceptually, these qualifications could be derived by surveying current job-holders in these occupations, asking questions on degrees, fields of study, and any designations or certifications they have earned. This definition may be summarized as What qualifications most job holders have. Second, new programs or designations may be developed over time as the technical demand of jobs become more clear, or the occupation becomes larger, more specialized, and better defined. Current occupants of these positions may not have these designations, since their skills were developed as the occupation emerged, but employers may seek candidates with appropriate degrees or designations as they seek to fill current vacancies. This definition may be summarized as What qualifications job-seekers should acquire. Third, there is the set of qualifications listed in job postings by employers. Sometimes these are indicated as required, perhaps in an effort to limit of screen the application pool. Strictly speaking, some of these qualifications may not be necessary to perform successfully in the job, but as a practical matter, candidates without the qualification are unlikely to pass the first screen. This definition may be summarized as What qualification employers are seeking. Our primary source of information in this guide was a large set of employer job postings. As such, these postings are likely geared to attracting what employers consider ideal candidates, combined with a possible preference to limit the number of applications to some manageable level. Employers risk missing a diamond in the rough candidate, but limited resources force employers to concentrate their search to candidates with certain certifications and designations. Thus, we believe the third definition comes closest to the material on qualifications presented in this document. Though the descriptions of qualifications presented here are drawn from job postings of 1998 and 1999, there are professional designations in these fields, GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 5

10 such as the Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) that are growing in acceptance. At the time of this writing, the designation is likely too new to enjoy widespread mention in the requirements of job postings. As the CITP designation develops, however, it may become the standard sought by employers seeking to fill jobs in international trade. An appendix to this document provides detailed information on the various professional designations relevant in these international occupations. Information provided includes a listing preferred or useful designations by occupation, as well as a more detailed description and contact information for each professional association. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 6

11 INTERNATIONAL MARKETING International marketing is the process of planning and executing the promotion, distribution and sale of products and services to meet the needs of foreign customers. This includes identifying target markets, assessing the needs of foreign customers, evaluating competitors, discovering market niches, adapting the product or service for the target market, launching the product and creating customer awareness through advertising and promotion. International marketing occupations are usually entirely focused on foreign markets. Typically, the most senior position in this career stream is the International Business Development Manager. This is the person with overall responsibility for discovering new markets and developing market entry strategies. The International Marketing Manager is responsible for managing marketing operations and further developing the market. Some large companies allocate this responsibility on a regional basis, so there might be separate managers for Latin America, Europe and Asia, for example. Others assign responsibility for particular product lines, with each manager having global responsibility for that line of business. Small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs), are unlikely to have such specialized staff. They tend to place these responsibilities on senior managers of the corporation, who may split their time between domestic and foreign markets. Regardless of the allocation of overall responsibility, there are a number of specialized occupations in market development. They include Market Research Analysts, who document the characteristics of specific foreign markets, Product Designers who adapt goods and services for export, and Marketing Representatives who support the work of marketing executives by performing specialized tasks such as organizing trade show participation. In this guide, marketing is distinguished from sales on the basis that the former operates at the market-wide level, whereas the latter is focused on closing sales contracts with individual buyers. In some smaller organizations, sales and marketing functions are combined, and as companies grow, these functions tend to become more specialized. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 7

12 Trends International marketing has changed dramatically over the past several years. Falling trade barriers and the globalization of business has substantially liberalized market access. Many countries that used to pursue policies of state ownership and regulation have relaxed their regulatory structures to allow private ownership and to encourage competition. While these changes have occurred all over the world, including in Canada, they have been especially pronounced in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Marketing professionals are expected to stay abreast of these trends and to recognize situations where they create business opportunities. The rapid growth of trade combined with increased competition is also driving a trend towards the use of partnerships and joint ventures as international business vehicles. Many Canadian businesses have realized that they need to establish a strong local presence in foreign markets to succeed. Partnerships and joint ventures with local companies make it easier to overcome cultural barriers and gain rapid market entry. Partnering requires different operating styles than armslength transactions, and this trend has created a demand for new skills. Rapidly advancing information technology is another important trend affecting the marketing function. A few years ago, many marketing professionals spent a significant part of their time in the library. Today, electronic information sources such as the Internet, supplemented with databases available on CD-ROM, mean that much of this work can be done in the office, or even on the road. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 8

13 International Business Development Manager The International Business Development manager is responsible for discovering foreign markets for the company s products and for formulating and executing market entry strategies. This position is found mainly in large companies. In smaller companies the Marketing Manager or other senior executives may perform this function. Market entry includes forming partnerships and alliances, arranging acquisitions and mergers, negotiating distribution agreements and setting up Greenfield investments. The Business Development Manager acts for the company in negotiations with partners, clients and governments. This includes negotiating tax concessions from various levels of government in the host country. The International Business Development Manager is responsible for establishing a vision of oversees opportunities, developing strategic plans for exploiting them and leading teams of employees in their execution. Qualifications This is a senior position requiring a combination of advanced studies and extensive experience. A Bachelor s degree in business supplemented by at least 10 years of experience is the minimum, but new entrants are more likely to have an MBA with a specialty in international business. Skills and Knowledge The International Business Development Manager requires a detailed understanding of the international trade environment, including legal, economic, financial, regulatory, political and cultural aspects. It is particularly important to comprehend the effect that cultural values have on product demand and on business practices. Analytical skills are required to evaluate market reports, trade statistics and other quantitative information. The manager is expected to integrate information from many sources and to synthesize strategic plans. The manager must also have a solid understanding of the company s products, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how they can be adapted for foreign markets. For some products, this requires detailed technical knowledge. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 9

14 Strong interpersonal skills are required as well as a good understanding of the principles and practices of conducting negotiations and achieving results through persuasion and diplomacy. Presentation skills are required to make presentations to senior managers and investors. Discovering a market opportunity is only the beginning. The manager is then expected to convince senior managers to allocate the necessary resources and to give priority to proposed ventures. The Business Development Manager also requires an instinct for assessing customers, competitors and potential partners. He or she must be able to quickly separate serious prospects from a large number of business contacts. Aptitudes Candidates for this position must be strategic thinkers, capable of conceiving global strategies, promoting a shared vision of business opportunities, selling those ideas to senior management and then motivating staff in their execution. The ability to manage time in the face of multiple competing priorities is essential. This position can be very demanding in terms of personal and family life. Extensive travel is involved and constant time zone changes can have significant health impacts. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 10

15 International Marketing Manager The International Marketing Manager has overall responsibility for developing foreign markets and managing the company s marketing activities. This job is most common in large companies, especially those selling consumer products. The manager usually oversees global or regional marketing programs, and leads product launches. He or she could also be assigned overall marketing responsibility for a specific product line. In general, the larger the company, and the more diverse its product line, the more likely there will be a division of responsibilities on geographical or product lines. These distinctions do not affect the educational requirements, skill requirements and necessary aptitudes described in this guide. The manager oversees the work of a variety of specialized professionals. In a large organization, subordinate areas would include Market Research, Product Adaptation and Partner/Client Identification. In smaller companies, the Marketing Manager might assume these responsibilities personally. The manager visits target countries, attends trade shows, and develops advertising and promotional material. This responsibility includes consideration of restrictions to market access, financing and risk analysis. Qualifications In the past, many International Marketing Managers learned their marketing skills on the job, often having started in product development or manufacturing. Today, employers seek specialized educational backgrounds. A minimum requirement is a Bachelor s degree in business, but an MBA with a specialization in international business, marketing or economics is generally preferred. If the manager is responsible for a technical product line, an engineering degree may be preferred and many top executives in this field hold both engineering and business degrees. At this level, ten years or more of progressively responsible experience is also usually required. Formal training in a second or third language is also highly desirable for this career path. For casual contacts, foreign counterparts will appreciate even basic skill or effort to communicate in their language. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 11

16 Skills and Knowledge International Marketing Managers require a broad understanding of the international trade environment, as well as detailed knowledge of the marketing environment in the target market. These fundamental skills underlie the application of more technical capabilities, including the analysis of consumer and buyer behavior, trade flows, industrial structure, competitor strengths and weaknesses, distribution channels, and financial and regulatory institutions. The manager is expected to have the communications and language skills needed to quickly establish rapport with potential customers, partners, agents, financial intermediaries and logistical providers in target markets. He or she must have a detailed knowledge of the techniques used for advertising, sales promotion and new product introduction. Where partnerships or joint ventures are involved, another essential skill is the ability to assess the technological and human resource capabilities of the counterpart and to decide what support from Canada will be needed and accepted. The ability to express oneself in writing and in personal presentations is another critical skill for this position. The manager must also be equipped to lead and motivate subordinates and to promote teamwork. Aptitudes The position of International Marketing Manager appeals to individuals who enjoy travel and discovering other cultures and have a knack for appreciating their inherent strengths and idiosyncrasies. Travel is not as extensive as for some other international marketing positions, unless the manager is also responsible for new market development. This career path will appeal to people who enjoy logical analysis using statistics and other facts, and who are adept at putting together the big picture from many small pieces. The ability to interact smoothly with foreign counterparts and to provide authoritative leadership to subordinates is also important. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 12

17 Market Research Analyst Foreign Markets Market researchers are engaged in the technical study of opportunities for the company s products in specific markets. For example, an assignment might involve assessing the market for swimming pools in Saudi Arabia. The researcher does this work though an analytical process which breaks the subject down into component categories. There are many aspects to a local market, and the researcher has to consider such elements as buyer characteristics and needs, competitor strengths and weaknesses, market access issues, distribution mechanisms, regulatory structures and the business environment. In larger organizations a Market Research Manager may supervise the work of a small group of researchers. Qualifications International Market Researchers require a university education, generally a Bachelor s or Master s degree in business or economics. Some people preparing for this career pursue specialized graduate degrees related to particular regions, such as Latin American Studies. Highly qualified candidates have degrees in both business and international studies. A working knowledge of at least one language other than English is a common requirement, since current information often comes from the international news media and from foreign business periodicals. Skills and Knowledge Market Researchers must have a good understanding of the global economy and the operation of regional trading blocs. This includes knowledge of the international system of trade barriers and institutions devoted to reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers. These researchers are expected to know where to find information concerning foreign market and to possess the analytical skills needed to synthesize conclusions from a large number of information sources. They require specialized knowledge of market research methods, including statistical and forecasting techniques as well as the use of surveys and focus groups. All of these tasks also require good computer skills and the ability to access on-line and other electronic databases. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 13

18 Superior writing skills are essential to prepare concise reports for senior managers. Senior positions require superior interpersonal and leadership skills and the ability to motivate subordinates. Aptitudes A Market Researcher must have an inquisitive, logical mind. The work requires the ability to recognize seemingly small facts that may be indicators of an underlying trend, to pursue leads, and to systematically follow up on every aspect of the subject matter. Researchers require self-motivation and the ability to manage their time. Most projects are time-sensitive and the individual usually works without supervision between assignment and deadline. There is a high standard of accuracy, and serious consequences of error. Many International Market Researchers enjoy the variety of the work. They may study Latin America one week and Eastern Europe the next. There is a requirement for some foreign travel, although this is increasingly unnecessary with access to modern communications systems. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 14

19 Product Designer Foreign Market Adaptation Product Designers are engaged in creating customized products for foreign markets. This may be as simple as adding spices to a food product for Latin America or as complex as completely redesigning engineering specifications to meet mandatory technical standards in Russia. Only the largest organizations would assign a designer exclusively to foreign market adaptation, but many designers perform this function as part of their jobs. The designer must consider differences in both consumer tastes and regulatory requirements when adapting a product for a foreign market. This is not a simple matter of making the product similar to local products. Indeed, the fact that the product has an imported quality or image may be part of its appeal. But in today s competitive market, this appeal must be fine-tuned. The designer works closely with the Marketing Manager and Market Research Analysts and usually has access to detailed market research indicating what consumers like or dislike about the class of products involved. The designer will also be provided with details of the host country s technical standards. Samples may be test-marketed and then modified further prior to export in quantity. The designer may participate in these tests. Conforming with local regulations concerning product quality, design, labelling and packaging is another important part of the job. Many countries have very specific labelling requirements for certain products, and may also require technical testing in local laboratories. The International Product Designer is responsible for ensuring that the product, and its packaging, meets all of these requirements. Qualifications International Product Designers have the same qualifications as designers for the domestic market. This usually includes a degree in engineering or design, supplemented by some business training and experience as a design assistant. For most product lines, designers must be trained in the use of Computer Assisted Design tools, and integrated design-manufacturing systems. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 15

20 Skills and Knowledge Technical design skills are required, with a particular emphasis on ways of meeting technical requirements without interfering with customer appeal. Knowledge of foreign cultures or cross-cultural issues is a distinct advantage. The designer must have a genuine appreciation for the ways that tastes vary across cultures. Knowledge of international systems of measurement, technical and safety standards and other product specifications is required. Knowledge of transportation logistics and their implications for packaging are required, since packages must be designed to withstand greater stress than in the domestic market. Aptitudes International Product Designers must be creative and innovative, and enjoy discovering unconventional ways of achieving a desired result. There are frequently no established approaches to a necessary adaptation. Self-directed learning is an important element of this occupation. The successful designer knows how to learn from his or her own experience and apply this knowledge in other situations. Attending trade shows and monitoring design trends in the media are key elements in continuous skill improvement. Individuals who can meet challenges in the face of frustration do best in this occupation, since many product changes are required for purely bureaucratic reasons. In fact, some may be in response to hidden trade barriers. The designer must be able to focus on meeting the standard while maintaining or enhancing the product s appeal for the customer. GUIDE TO CAREERS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE PAGE 16

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