interviews with gurus

Interviews With Gurus: Cornelia Steinert



corneliaOur featured Guru this month is Cornelia Steinert!

Cornelia is a Licensed Customs Broker who specializes in helping companies manage their international duty obligations and Customs documentation through efficient and compliant foreign trade zone operations.

How did your International Trade Career begin?
I started out at the bottom of the chain (and had a college degree) with a Customs house brokerage company.

If you could time travel back to day one of your career and have 5 min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heartache, what is the one thing you would tell yourself?
Communicate more effectively, and follow up all the time.

What are your non-work habits that help you with your work-life balance?
Always get away from your desk at lunch and leave no later than 6 pm. There will always be “more to do.”

What is the best advice you received in your career?
To get my brokers license.

What is your favorite “career” memory?
Receiving recognition for facilitating trade and economic growth in my home state.

What do you think your greatest accomplishment has been?
Teaching people how to effectively manage trade compliance and run their FTZ’s.


What were some of the biggest lessons that have impacted the way that you work?
How to remain cool and manage difficult people and situations.  Always keep everyone as your friend because the community is very small.

What habits helped make you successful?
Be organized, take notes, and keep things in files – leave “to do” instructions on files; communicate clearly and kindly, and use email as follow up to telephone conversations.

What mindsets do you feel helped make you successful?
Wanting to help people; wanting to do things “correctly”; everyone is important so be kind to everyone; prioritizing and follow through; being “big-pie”; and teaching others to do my job so I could focus on making myself valuable in other ways and take on other projects. 

What was the biggest risk you took in your career?
Starting my own consulting company; taking time off to raise my children (worked part-time).

What do you think were the top three factors in contributing to your successful career?
Communication, organization, and thinking outside the box.

This interview is part of a series from Pisani Recruiting. If there is a topic or guru that you’d like to see featured, email [email protected].

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