Co.ngratulations to our International Trade Apprentice, Sam Martin

We are very proud of Sam Martin, our brilliant International Trade Apprentice. Sam has passed his British Chambers training courses with flying colours and is now very capable of offering a wide range of advice and support to the Norfolk business community. He is also fully qualified on standard international documentation, including certificates of origin, carnets and EUR1s and import/export Customs documentation.

We grabbed five minutes with Sam to chat about his apprenticeship...

When did you start your apprenticeship at the Norfolk Chambers?

I started my apprenticeship at the chamber in March 2020, it was then postponed until around July later on in the year because of Covid ☹.

What interested you about working within the International Trade department - it was a completely new direction for you wasn't it?

You're right, it was something I had never experienced before. Since Sixth form I had wanted to find some experience in the business world and the opportunity of working in International trade was one I could not miss. International trade is an ever-changing Industry and having the chance to engage in such an extensive market was really attractive for me.

International Trade is a complicated area with an incredible amount of training needed – was it daunting to begin with?

I would not describe it as daunting but more exciting. I had only ever worked within hospitality, and so the opportunity to learn so much and really get stuck into a specialised role was something I could only look forward to. Of course, as with any new job it is going to be a bit nerve wracking at times but with time things can only get easier and more comfortable.

What did you find helpful within your apprenticeship with such a steep learning curve?

I think a main help with the apprenticeship, was the support with working in a business environment and especially the admin side. I had never worked in an office before and the constant help with understanding my role within the company really aided me along the way.

Was the practical training on documentation helpful with your studying and online work?

The training here at the chamber has definitely helped with my studying! By continuing to learn and develop my skills in online working and computers, I am able to learn more efficiently every day.

Co.ngratulations! You’re fully qualified on standard international documentation, including certificates of origin, carnets and EUR1s, and on import/export Customs documentation  – this is an incredible achievement Sam! Is there an area you particularly enjoy?

At the moment I have really been enjoying the customs side of the role. I have only been involved in the customs role for a few months, and every day you are dealing with different clients sending new and strange goods abroad which is always entertaining to experience. Not only this, but there is so much still to learn as we move over to new and improved systems so no days are ever the same as the last!

What has been the most challenging aspect of your role? 

I would say the most challenging part of the role is the ability to adapt to new regulations or new rules especially within documentation. It's hard work with so many different rules for individual countries or documents, when new ones are implemented, especially in everyday work. At times, it can be hard to keep up and remember to apply the knowledge where it needs to be, but I have our International Trade expert Julie Austin on hand to support me whenever I need her advice. 

What has been the most positive aspect of your role?

I have to absolutely say the most positive outcome of my role would be the ability to overcome a problem, and my confidence when helping others. A pivotal part of my role is offering support to clients in and around Norfolk, as each new call is usually different from the last, having the ability to stay calm and try and help in any way we can has been something I have really been able to improve on and develop! 

Every Chamber Member has their own Chambers Trading Card. Your name is 'The Prodigy', with skills as Precision, Discipline, versatility and determination -  and your motto; ‘Don’t be busy, be productive’ – how do you apply these skills to your work?

By applying these skills to my work I take each task one step at a time and not trying to juggle a hundred things at once. In this role it can be very easy to suddenly have five things to do at once, but by keeping calm under pressure and taking each task as it comes you can complete them with precision and confidently to a workable  timescale at the same time – easy!

You have excellent qualities to work in International as you are a very calm member of the team – ‘unflappable’. How do you keep calm when the pressure is on?

The main way to stay calm under pressure is usually to shout for a quick answer from Julie! However, Julie may be busy with another client so usually I think the key is to not panic, as realistically the problem will always have some form of solution whether it takes a bit of time or not. As I have gained experience in the role I now have alot of resources around me that can help in situations under pressure -  so the solution is always there! 

What will be your Christmas party drink this year?

Without doubt, it has to be a Pornstar martini!

What are you looking forward to in 2022? 

The main thing I am looking forward to in 2022 in my role at the chamber is developing as an individual and hopefully progressing higher and higher if I can. My aim is to try and get involved in as many projects as I can, as well as helping with any events to try and meet some of the clients we deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Outside of work I would say I am mainly looking forward to travelling as much as possible, I already have a few trips lined up so hopefully, covid-pending, so I can get out of the country a bit as well!

Well done Sam on your hard work and determination and passing your apprenticeship with a Distinction.  From everyone here at Team Chambers, we're really looking forward to working with you and supporting you in 2022 and beyond!  




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