The learning journey: 5 questions with new PCP graduate Grace Chua

Singapore, 1 April: In November 2017, the educational arm of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the ICC Academy, applauded the first cohort of graduates of the International Trading Professional Conversion Programme (PCP), as they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas. The International Trading Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) had been launched in 2016, in partnership with the International Trading Institute of Singapore Management University (ITI@SMU), IE Singapore and Workforce Singapore (WSG).

The ICC Academy caught up with recent graduate Grace Chua who is now Account and Project Manager at a local small business providing IT solutions and security services. Ms Chua shared some insights with us into how, thanks to the PCP programme, she developed new skills to perform more efficiently in her new role.

ICC Academy: How did you learn about the PCP?

Ms Chua: For the last 15 years, I have been a stay-at-home mother, focusing on my family life. Before that, I had worked in administrative roles. However, taking such a long career break meant that I was out of touch with the industry’s latest practices. So when the time came to return to work, I was met with my fair share of challenges.
Fortunately, an opportunity came along for the position I am in today. As the role required trading knowledge, my company decided to enrol me in the PCP.

ICC Academy: Can you talk us through your learning journey?

Ms Chua: The PCP provided me with an immersive, first-hand experience of the current global trading landscape and an overview of the wholesale trading value chain. Stretched across a one-year period, the three-phase, part-time programme was designed to prepare us for a variety of middle office roles in the trading value chain. To provide an enriching experience, classroom training is blended with e-learning components and enhanced by seminars with industry experts, site visits to companies and project work. Aside from key e-courses, including the ICC Academy’s “Introduction to Supply Chain Finance,” “Fraud & Reputational Risk” and “Trade Documentation,” the curriculum also includes digitisation-relevant modules, such as “Online Marketing and e-Commerce Platforms” and “Fintech,” to meet the ever-increasing needs of the sector.

ICC Academy: What challenges did you face during the programme? What kept you motivated?

Ms Chua: My biggest challenge was procrastination. As the programme is a year-long and with the convenience of online learning (anytime, anywhere), you tend to have the thought that there is more than sufficient time to finish the e-courses. It took me a while to become diligent and pick up a pace. What kept me going was the trust that my company had in me. This was my opportunity to prove my worth and move forward. So, I could not afford to let anyone down—neither my company nor my family or myself even.

ICC Academy: How did the ICC Academy’s digital platform help you with your learning?

Ms Chua: The most important aspect, which gave me the reassurance of taking up the PCP, was the convenience of learning at my own pace. For me, as a full-time working professional, it would not have been possible to fit everything into a pre-defined timetable.
The ICC Academy’s tailored digital platform offered a personalised dashboard, the ability to stop a module at any time and continue from where I left off with clear markers, return to previous lessons to refresh my learning and badges to track my progress. A plus was the multi-device learning, which helped me utilise my so-called “down time.”
What’s more, the lessons were interesting and allowed me to increase my knowledge about trading and refresh some of my own know-how gained during my university days. All-in-all, these features offered a top-notch educational experience.

ICC Academy: Our Global Trade Certification (GTC) programme is a key aspect of the PCP curriculum. How do you think this will help you in your current role?

Ms Chua: In my current role, the job scope involves contract manufacturing, as well as importing IT solutions for integration, networking, and collaborative purposes. The GTC helped me gain a comprehensive understanding of trade finance products—from letters of credits through to supply chain financing techniques. Now fitted with the necessary expertise, I am confident in applying the knowledge acquired through the e-courses in my day-to-day activities, such as distribution, financing and import/export.

To learn more about the International Trading Professional Conversion Programme, please visit Workforce Singapore’s website. To discover our introductory-level trade finance programme, please visit our dedicated GTC information page.

Priyanka Satapathy
Marketing & Events Manager
ICC Academy