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Career Connections: Importer/Exporter

5 minutes

I'm the owner and president of 889 Global Solutions. It's a company that started in 2000 here in Columbus that works with China and other parts of Asia. It's international trade, and then we do a bit of exports, but mostly on the import side. We started with consumer products and promotional products. Trendy fad products that go into corporate giveaways. Some local clients are like Honda, AEP, but we've worked a lot in sports teams. And within the last eight years, we've changed our product mix to have more machine parts-- industrial, fabricated machine parts that are made out of metal or plastic. We have clients in the healthcare sector, in the commercial food sector, and just general industrial manufacturing. My activity on a typical day encompasses lots of communication with my colleagues, both in the U.S. and in China, and also our clients, making sure that you understand the customers' needs. I make a trip to China once to twice a year for 30 days at a time. It encompasses, really, visiting various different cities, factories, our offices, and it's just to establish other new relationships, to understand our new vendors and their qualifications but also to see how our existing partners are doing. My major in college is actually communications. As an undergrad, wanted to become Connie Chung. She was a Chinese anchorlady. One internship that I did was at a TV station, and I realized that wasn't a profession I wanted to go into. So, during my junior and senior year, I double-majored into marketing. And that's really one of my strengths, sales and marketing. So I am utilizing what I learned in college. What helped determine that this is a career for me to choose is I took a semester to go overseas to Hong Kong. I saw the opportunity that was taking place in Asia at the time, and I saw my niche of the language and the culture and the bicultural abilities. I am at an advantage because I speak Cantonese and Mandarin. But there's a lot of unspoken languages, you know, body language or cultural understanding or nuances that's happening within the culture. So it is important, outside of Chinese, to know the culture of the country you're working with. To go into import-export, you do need a college degree. I would suggest also doing some internships when you're in college. I think financial literacy is the basic minimum, but then financial understanding in that degree will allow you to advance beyond where you are in terms of import-export career or any other career. I can utilize my strength of the sales and marketing with customers. The fact that I'm able to speak that language on a daily basis and really get involved with that culture is something that I try to do.

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This Ohio-based contract manufacturer has four offices in China. The company's founder has a bicultural background and fluency in three languages, which helped her find a niche in sourcing consumer and industrial products from China. Part of the "Career Connection" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 5 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12