Analysis of the importance of professional skills competition for international trade majors

1 Introduction

In recent years, with the rapid growth of China’s economy, China’s foreign trade has also achieved rapid development, and then the international trade major has become one of the most popular majors in China’s universities.

At present, more than seven hundred undergraduate colleges and universities in China offer international trade major, the professional courses commonly offered in the major are international settlement, international trade practice, international trade documents, foreign trade correspondence, customs practice, macro and micro economics and other courses.

A common feature of these courses is the strong theoretical, although the experimental teaching method and the case teaching method have been gradually referred to the teaching process, but in the current practical teaching, there are less class time, the content set unreasonable, can not reflect the new dynamics of international trade and other issues in a timely manner.

Although the case teaching method can enhance students’ ability to link theory with practice to a certain extent, most professional teachers lack practical work experience in enterprises and cannot understand the latest actual case situation, so students’ ability to combine theory with practice is still not strong, lack of interest in professional courses, and thus the learning effect is not very satisfactory.

Therefore, how to further improve the interest of international trade courses, so that students really grasp the principles of international trade, to become a foreign trade talent to deal with the actual business, we need to conduct further exploration. Professional skills competition is an effective way to improve this situation.

2 The favorable impact of professional skills competition on our major

2.1 Incentive mechanism stimulates students’ interest in learning

Professional skills competitions generally set awards and issue corresponding certificates, which are an extremely important plus for students to find jobs when they graduate, so they must first master the corresponding knowledge if they want to achieve good results, thus playing the role of stimulating students’ interest in learning.

For example, in 2016, the first Anhui University Student International Trade Comprehensive Skills Competition held by Anhui University of Finance and Economics set the first, second and third prizes in the finals of the provincial competition of each university, and issued the corresponding certificates with the seal of Anhui Provincial Department of Education, which is more attractive to the participants. In turn, it can stimulate students’ interest to participate, and once they have interest, they will learn the corresponding theoretical knowledge more seriously and actively.

2.2 Enhance students’ ability to apply theoretical knowledge

International trade is a foreign-related economic activity, and the employment involves many economic sectors, so it is characterized by long lines, wide areas, high risks and high complexity.

Engaging in this kind of work also requires students to master foreign negotiations, international settlement methods, international trade terms and other corresponding professional theoretical knowledge. Professional skills competitions are closely linked with professional courses, and through the competitions, students can further strengthen the application of the theoretical knowledge they have learned.

For example, the preliminary round of Anhui Province’s first comprehensive international trade skills competition is a campus selection competition, which is mainly conducted in the form of campus commodity fairs and international trade simulation negotiations. Students need to be proficient in communicating in English; they also need to be familiar with the theoretical knowledge of which trade terms are more favorable to their side for import and export; and which settlement methods are safer and more feasible, such as remittance, collection and letter of credit.

2.3 Exercise students’ sense of group cooperation

International trade requires dealing with banks, foreign trade and economic departments, customs, commodity inspection departments, transportation companies, insurance companies, and many other departments and enterprises, especially when negotiating with foreign countries, legal personnel, professional and technical personnel, sales staff, etc.

Therefore, such work also requires students to have a sense of teamwork. Professional skills competitions are usually held in the form of group competitions, where team members have to cooperate with each other in order to achieve good results.

For example, the Anhui Province International Trade Skills Competition requires a group of 7 to 10 participants to submit a business plan for an international trade exhibition before participating in the provincial finals, and a 15-minute product launch in the finals, which requires each group member to contribute a point of strength and smoothly connect with each other, otherwise it will have a negative impact on the performance of the whole group.

2.4 Furthering student-teacher and student-student relationships

The job of college teachers is not only to teach, but also to educate people. But at present, the function of nurturing people among college teachers is far below the level required by the society and students.

According to According to the survey, 80% of students in higher education schools have zero contact with their teachers after class, except in class; and during class, the podium between teachers and students seems to be a gap that hinders the communication between teachers and students, and the teacher-student relationship is weak. Contact between classmates, on the other hand, is mainly in the classroom, with few opportunities for communication outside of class.

Through the professional skills competition, there are not only more communication opportunities between instructors and students and between team members, but also strengthen the mutual communication and learning between teachers and students from different colleges and universities, thus being able to deepen the relationship between them, which is conducive to creating a harmonious classroom atmosphere in future classroom teaching, and thus improving the classroom teaching effect.

2.5 Provides students with a two-way choice of employment opportunities

Professional skills competition often gets the attention of some excellent enterprises, such as Anhui Province International Trade Comprehensive Skills Competition judges in addition to part of the excellent teachers of international trade, and part of the relevant departments of foreign trade enterprises in Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, Shanghai, etc. Enterprises can not only make more people understand this enterprise through this competition, but also select excellent reserve talents for the enterprise.

For the students, they can choose their preferred enterprises to intern or work through their wonderful performance. Especially for the students of international trade in colleges and universities located in non-first-tier cities, this is a rare opportunity.

3 Suggestions for improving the professional skills competition

3.1 Strengthen the connection with enterprises

Currently most colleges and universities offer a wide convergence of talent training objectives for international trade majors, with the international market and the characteristics of the needs of employers for international talent gap is large, in the process of talent training lack of school-enterprise cooperation, enterprise and institutional personnel training and other forms of practical teaching.

Therefore, the professional skills competition should strengthen the contact with enterprises, understand the needs of enterprises, and set the corresponding competition contents according to the needs of enterprises for foreign trade type talents.

3.2 Expanding the scale and variety of competitions

In terms of Anhui Province International Trade Comprehensive Skills Competition, it is still only a provincial competition, and similar meaningful competitions should further expand the scale of the competition, which can better stimulate students’ enthusiasm to participate in the competition, and through the competition between provinces, it can strengthen the exchange and learning between students and students, students and teachers, teachers and teachers in universities between provinces.

In addition, the kinds of competitions can be diversified and closely connected with the professional courses of ITC, which can further strengthen the learning effect of students on the professional courses of each subject.

3.3 Diversification of competition contents

Excellent foreign trade talents should not only master the professional knowledge related to foreign trade, but also have high literacy and the ability to be flexible. Because foreign trade work needs to deal with people from different countries, and also represents the image of the enterprise and the image of national citizens, so the competition content should focus on exercising students’ comprehensive quality and professionalism in addition to the close connection with professional courses.

For example, a 5-minute questioning session can be set up at the end of the competition, in which the judges can ask corresponding questions and students can answer them flexibly. Through this session, students can also learn the direction of the enterprise’s demand for talents, and then improve their own shortcomings.

3.4 Strengthen the training and learning of instructors

In the professional skills competition, the level of the instructor directly affects the overall level of the team team, the instructor only mastered the first-hand information of international trade business operations, to understand the latest international trade developments, in order to better guide students. Therefore, you can ask the staff of enterprises with practical operation experience to give instructors to do intensive training or organize instructors to learn in enterprises to achieve.

3.5 Focus on the grade level of students

The lower grades of college students are generally learning the basics of the link, contact with professional courses is still less, the international trade profession is not very well understood, while the upper grades of college students are learning the professional knowledge of the link, more hope to go to the foreign trade units to practice, in order to achieve the convergence of theory and practice, so the professional skills competition can be held separately for students of different grades.

For the lower grade students should focus on the exercise of basic knowledge, such as the degree of mastery of English, and provide students with the opportunity to visit foreign trade enterprises through the competition. For senior students, the competition should focus on the exercise of professional knowledge, such as the mastery of international trade practice knowledge. Through the competition, students should be given opportunities for internship or employment.

4 Conclusion

To strengthen the cooperation and exchange of international higher education, actively open the domestic market to all countries and make full use of the international education market; to adapt to the needs of international communication and development in education content and education methods, to cultivate talents with international awareness, international communication ability and international competition ability is the development direction of higher education in China.

Drawing on foreign teaching experience, with the network, information technology and the acceleration of the process of global economic integration, China’s foreign trade industry is developing rapidly, the demand for composite talents with comprehensive foreign trade skills is increasing, professional skills competition is not only a fun, but also helps to train composite talents to meet the needs of society, so that should attract the attention of students and teachers of international trade, as well as the opening of Therefore, it should attract the attention of international trade students and teachers, as well as the attention of universities with international trade majors.