CIFFA Young Freight Forwarder of the Year Award Interviews

Interview between CIFFA and Alicia Chin

CIFFA: What prompted you to enter the CIFFA Young FF of the Year contest?

Alicia: As I love writing and enjoy taking on new challenges, I thought this would be a great contest to enter, and an even better one to win! Through entry into the contest, I realized that, not only would this be an excellent opportunity to learn and grow, but would certainly be a great milestone in the development of my career. I also received very positive feedback from Doug Burek, which further encouraged me to enhance my professional development.

CIFFA: When you were selected by CIFFA as our Canadian winner, how did you feel?

Alicia: As I was still mourning the loss of my Grandmother, whom I lost just before I entered the contest, the Canadian win didn’t really “sink” in right away. However, once I realized what I’d achieved, I felt very honoured.

CIFFA: How did you feel about going to the FIATA World Congress in Moscow, and the possibility of winning the International contest?

Alicia: I was elated and excited!!! Not only had I never attended a FIATA World Congress, but I had also never been to Russia before and was thrilled at the thought of these experiences, which I knew would be an adventure. Although I was very hopeful about the possibility of winning the international contest, I was also really nervous. From the outset, I decided that even if I didn’t win, I would make the most of my trip to Moscow and this accomplishment.

CIFFA: What were your very first thoughts when your name was announced as the International winner?

Alicia: I was in absolute disbelief and overwhelmed with emotion.

CIFFA: I know you worked very hard on both your Canadian and International dissertations. What were the challenges and benefits of writing your compositions?

Alicia: As it’s very difficult for me to write about what I do, I had to first organize my thoughts on paper. Then, because the international dissertation was related to exports, I had to re-learn this aspect of the business and focus on the changes and new regulations implemented by Transport Canada and Canada Customs, since it has been more than five years that I worked in Exports. This involved a lot of hard work and research – all on my personal time – along with a large measure of persistence. Despite the many hours spent working at night and on weekends in the local library, I took great pride in my projects because they were the best I could do. The projects became my passion and I was determined that, even if I didn’t win, they would still be my best work.

CIFFA: What memories have you brought-back from your trip to Moscow?

Alicia: The memories I have of Moscow are very fond ones. Moscow is a beautiful, clean city with very hospitable and accommodating people. The architecture is breathtaking and the food & drink, different – yet delicious. Although I’d seen the Red Square on TV channels like CNN, being there in person was out of this world. The people at the Congress were very friendly, and I had the opportunity to network and make friends with people from around the globe. Naturally, I also got the chance to learn more about FIATA, IATA and the TT Club – along with the various roles each Organization plays in our Industry. CIFFA seems to be very well respected in the industry, and is well represented in both FIATA and IATA. CIFFA’s education programs are thought of very highly in international circles. Memories of Moscow will always bring a smile to my face.

CIFFA: You have received a number of excellent rewards for your Canadian and International wins. What reward interests you the most and why?

Alicia: The most important awards are those for the training seminars for self improvement in our Industry. I’m also very interested in the possibility of travelling to Hong Kong, as this would be another country that I’ve not had a chance to ever visit.

CIFFA: Has anything in your personal or professional life changed since your win in Canada or Moscow?

Alicia: There have been lots of changes – and all of them for the better. At work, I’ve received a promotion and have moved into Sales.

CIFFA: What has been the most satisfying experience in winning these two awards?

Alicia: The recognition that I have finally received for my hard work and talents has been the most gratifying experience, and I will strive to continue my learning in order to further develop my career.

CIFFA: What would you say to other young Freight Forwarders in Canada, that may be interested in applying for the 2006 award?

Alicia: I would strongly encourage all up and coming young Freight Forwarders to enter the CIFFA contest, invest in their future and to persevere and be diligent – as it is well worth it. After all this is a very unique and personal achievement.

CIFFA: Thanks for the interview Alicia. Best wishes for a rewarding career in Freight Forwarding. You have already accomplished quite a lot.

Interview between CIFFA and Pamela Rooney

CIFFA: What prompted you to enter the CIFFA Young FF of the Year contest?=

Pamela: I was ready for a new challenge. I thought it would be a great way to demonstrate what I’m capable of.

CIFFA: When you were selected by CIFFA as our Canadian winner, how did you feel?

Pamela: When I first heard the news, I was excited. I was honoured to have been awarded the CIFFA Freight Forwarder of the Year Award. I was immediately looking forward to having the chance to enter into the International contest.

CIFFA: How did you feel about going to the FIATA World Congress in Shanghai, and the possibility of winning the International contest?

Pamela: I was overwhelmed with the idea of going to Shanghai. I would probably not have had the chance to visit China otherwise. Although I wanted to win the international title, I didn’t think too much about it. My priority was to enjoy the Congress and my stay in Shanghai. What an amazing opportunity.

CIFFA: I know you worked very hard on both your Canadian and International dissertations. What were the challenges and benefits of writing your compositions?

Pamela: The topics of both the Canadian and International dissertations were regarding the transport of vehicles and paintings from Canada to South America. At first glance, I thought the projects would be simple, especially given my experience in ‘Project Logistics’. After some careful analysis, the projects proved to be a worthy challenge. My research not only consisted of secondary sources, but I also took the opportunity to network with experts in our industry by discussing the topic with them. I learned a great deal about aspects that I don’t normally touch upon in great detail, like insurance, for example. The projects were indeed time-consuming since it was done on my personal time but the tangible and in-tangible rewards were well worth every moment.

CIFFA: What memories have you brought-back from your trip to Shanghai?

Pamela: I will always remember my first reaction when I arrived in Shanghai. I was completely stunned … what a beautiful, modern city. The architecture, the landscaping, the cleanliness. The Chinese culture was fascinating. I not only got to visit Shanghai, but also took the opportunity to visit Xi’an and Beijing. I still can’t believe I climbed the “Great Wall”. It was the adventure of a lifetime. The FIATA World Congress was a great opportunity to meet and network with others from around the world. I even made some good friends!

CIFFA: Has anything in your personal or professional life changed since your win in Canada?

Pamela: I gained the confidence necessary for anyone to succeed in the freight forwarding industry. I proved to myself and to others my potential. My eyes have been opened to the opportunities available in our industry.

CIFFA: What has been the most satisfying experience in winning the Canadian award?

Pamela: It would definitely be the satisfaction of gaining the recognition and support of my fellow colleagues. Of course, the chance to travel was an added bonus.

CIFFA: What would you say to other young Freight Forwarders in Canada, that may be interested in applying for the 2007 award?

Pamela: This competition is your chance to demonstrate your drive, determination and potential to the local and global freight forwarding industry. Don’t miss out on this opportunity of a lifetime.

CIFFA: We appreciate you taking the time for this interview Pamela. I know that your friend and colleagues are very proud of your accomplishments. Good luck and best wishes in your Freight Forwarding career.