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M.S. in Financial Crime and Compliance Management Virtual Open House

28 Min Read

Please note, as of February 17, 2022, “Utica College” is now “Utica University.”

Suzanne Lynch:Welcome, everyone. My name is Suzanne Lynch. I’m the director of the financial crime programs here at Utica College. I appreciate you joining us tonight for an overview of what the master’s program in financial crime and compliance management is about, what you as students or potential students would expect, and answer your questions, and all that.  
[00:00:30]Christine is joining me too to help on some of the more technical aspects of application and things that you’re going to need to apply to our program.  
      [00:01:00]So without further ado, I’m going to move forward and talk about some of the things that we’re doing. Obviously, like I said, Q and A is in the section that Christine’s going to be helping me with. And both of us will answer questions depending on the topic. So I think that I want this to be very open, very direct, very honest, and that you are comfortable, and that we can answer all your questions.  
    [00:01:30]       [00:02:00]       [00:02:30]So I’m, again, Suzanne Lynch. And I’m back, frankly, as director of the financial crime and compliance program here at Utica. I have both graduate and undergraduate students, both campus and online because, remember, Utica College is a campus in upstate New York, about 2,500 students on campus and 2,500 students online. So obviously, my background coming to Utica college, and frankly I am a graduate of the program back in 2002. This master’s program was first started in 1999. Our first graduates were 2001. I am a graduate of 2002. I was cohort number two. I was doing this program while working for MasterCard Worldwide. I was the vice-president of security and was able to complete the program while traveling and with a family. And I also like to say that my boss, who’s one of the original creators of the program at MasterCard, senior vice-president of worldwide global security, helped create these programs along with many other industry professionals. So his line was, “Well Lynch, one of you better go through the program.”  
    [00:03:00]       [00:03:30]So here I am today after all these years, and obviously been working in the industry. After I graduated, continued at MasterCard, was at Goldman Sachs and Comerica Bank in Detroit. The focus was credit cards, debit cards, money laundering, fraud. I was actually in Lower Manhattan on September 11th, 2001, and I tell my students and so many of you may also be in that, that my job changed on September 12th, 2001, how I look at things, how I investigate, how I analyze. So with all that, we have adapted the program throughout the years, we have to, to stay really contemporary, understand the challenges of what we have no matter what your role is in financial services, or frankly what you hope your role would be in financial services. So I’m still in the game. I still do consulting.  
[00:04:00]       [00:04:30]And one of the things that we bring to this program is the global perspective, because we always know that, frankly, between cyber crime, global corruption, global money laundering, threat financing and all that, this is not just confined to our neighborhoods, so to speak. And our alum are in every major financial institution, frankly across the country. And we do have some globally. And we can talk about that as we go through the program. And like I said, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them, and I will, as we go through this. It’s not one of those save all your questions to the end. So, as-  
Christine Cabre…:That’s right, and let’s just take a moment there to go through the instructions to be sure that students know exactly how to post their questions.  
Suzanne Lynch:Sure. Ah.  
[00:05:00] Christine Cabre…:  So, if you are interested in jumping in… I mean, [Su 00:05:01] is going to share quite a bit of information, so it’ll obviously keep it engaging, just click the Q and A in your webinar controls to get access to the Q and A window and just type in your questions directly in the text box. And I’ll be able to see that and jump in and share those questions with Su. Okay?  
Suzanne Lynch:Excellent. Thank you, Christine.  
Christine Cabre…:You’re welcome.  
Suzanne Lynch: [00:05:30]       [00:06:00]So you’ll see my title, I’m a professor of practice in economic crime. I’ve been at the college now for almost, oh my goodness, 12 years. And so a professor of practice is relatively new in academia. I chose to go on that path rather than we start looking at academia, the tenured track. You can have a masters and be on a tenure track. We have PhDs that teach in our program that are white collar criminologists. And the beauty of the college is the fact that we all work together, so we have professors of practice. Our faculty, we have a former prosecutor. Obviously an attorney, who’s a professor of practice. So we all work together in creating the course content, ensuring that it is relevant and, obviously, still involved in the industry in law enforcement and any other regulatory issues that come along.  
[00:06:30]     [00:07:00]         [00:07:30]So one of the things, and many of you who are on this webinar, are looking for the next step in your career, or where do you feel that you may want to move your career to the next level? And there really are, as we all know, the range of threats, the job opportunities. In my undergrad programs, frankly I have organizations coming to us who want the skills and the education, because I tell students, “I’m here to educate you. I’m not here to train you.” Many of you are already professionals in your field and have industry designations, but the academic credential puts you one step above, many steps above frankly. So what we’re doing is, and a lot of the job titles you see here are frankly from alum or people that have applied to the program.  
      [00:08:00]         [00:08:30]We also have interesting regulators that are in the program. We have insurance investigators, because as we know, financial crime crosses all different types of industries. We have healthcare fraud because in my world, I say a transaction is a transaction, right? So a lot of these students come from a long line, law enforcement, we’ve had federal agencies, state and local agencies. And so what’s kind of nice is that, starting in the program and teaching in this program for so long, our alum are in a variety of different roles across the country, as I stated before, and it’s such a variety of roles, whether law enforcement, private sector, compliance, regulatory, which shows the application of the kinds of courses that you will be taking really impact all of us.  
 So onto the next slide.  
  [00:09:00]           [00:09:30]Utica College now… and I know there might be some other programs out there, but we look at this and it’s like, we have… the classes are small. Your cohort, the folks that you start out with, you will continue with them through the program. In fact, cohort two, I still am in contact. I mean, it’s a whole new level of professional contacts as well, whether you’re complaining about a class, but even after you graduate, I am still in contact with the folks that I went through this program with. Kind of a different way when you look at your contacts and who you still look at in your professional life. And we’ve been doing this since 1999, a lot of programs may have started, a lot of programs maybe take a little different direction, but this has been the stalwart of graduate programs in the country.  
  [00:10:00]       [00:10:30]So you’ll see that when, for instance ACAMS, certified anti-money laundering specialists, many of you may be already have that professional designation. And that’s great. And we accept that and it’s obviously a professional designation that’s very important. And that’s why ACAMS chose to partner with us. We also have the ACFE certified fraud examiners. We partner with them. ACAMS has… and I’m not going to go into all the… some discounts and some ability for those of you who don’t have the ACAMS designation, but wish to get it in addition to your graduate degree, or frankly your undergraduate degree. ACAMS, we’ve developed some significant financial incentives for you to do that.  
  [00:11:00]       [00:11:30]         [00:12:00]And then the recent is CipherTrace. Many of you know CipherTrace is really an industry leader in helping companies, banks, financials, law enforcement, track cryptocurrency. And again, when you’ve been in this industry as long as I have, as I like to say, there are people that they reach out to you. And because of the reputation which, again, Pam was really lovely to make those statements to the press, said, “Hey, you know what? We’re starting the defender’s league and Utica College students can receive their eight-hour certified crypto tracing certificate through CipherTrace. So it’s an eight hour training, and as Utica students, you are able to go through that for free. However, your contract, as I like to say, means that you actually have to work some crypto cases. Because what we’re finding is I know shocking, but true, those people that sent some cryptocurrency to the Nigerian prince in Africa, have lost their money.  
    [00:12:30]         [00:13:00]So what’s amazing is we have… and this is CipherTrace telling us this. So they have people that come to them and it’s kind of community service. And CipherTrace has a great tool that helps you track Bitcoin, or Monero, or any of these. And the software allows you to track because we all know bits and pieces of Bitcoin, it can be broken up. The one thing that they always say is, remember folks how to multiply fractions, because we can buy fractions of different cryptocurrencies and all that. And obviously, it’s not something you would have to go to to court, and I’m probably going into way too much detail, but that’s an amazing partnership because of the college’s reputation and that they came to us, which I am extremely grateful for. So-  
Christine Cabre…:Wow, fantastic partnerships there to talk about. Thank you for that.  
 We do have a question coming through.  
Suzanne Lynch:Sure.  
Christine Cabre…:Can I share?  
Suzanne Lynch:Absolutely.  
Christine Cabre…:All right, great.  
    [00:13:30]So the question here is regarding the personal support that you spoke about, how involved are the faculty with the students during the program? Can you talk a little bit about maybe even some one-on-one time, office hours, and what the expectations are there for faculty?  
Suzanne Lynch:     [00:14:00]         [00:14:30]So even though it’s an online program, we are very reachable. We’re all in the Zoom world and we have that. We also have our great partners with success coaches who will put all of us together. Hey, and listen, I know many of us are working full time, there’s responsibilities. And I always joke… We would probably have some graduates tell you they just didn’t know what to do with their free time when they graduated. But we’re here to support you, even if you just maybe call and scream, and I’m making that up as a very extreme. But yet, we’re here. We have a wonderful group of full-time as well as adjunct professors who understand. And because our sessions are small, our classes, that we can actually reach out and we actually get to know you, which is quite refreshing… Understand your professional challenges as well as your personal challenges.  
Christine Cabre…:That’s great.  
 So maybe this is a great time to talk a little bit about the program overview, the advanced one. We can talk a little bit about what that looks like.  
Suzanne Lynch:Sure.  
[00:15:00]       [00:15:30]         [00:16:00]So when you look at the PowerPoint, you talk about we have the Economic Crime Cybersecurity Institute. We have a webpage, we have folks in the field from a wide variety from U.S. Secret Services, Coastal Inspection, major banks. So a variety of different board members that are also part of this. But one of the things I want to reinforce is looking at the types of courses that we have. So the program overview, 12 courses, two years, and it does go by fast. Although sometimes I think people go, “I don’t think so”, but it does. 36 total credits, so you have one class every eight weeks. Now, that means, it’s intense. Eight weeks, a lot of material, reading, but you’re in graduate school, totally different from undergrad. And it’s a 100% online. There is no residency.  
      [00:16:30]       [00:17:00]We do have Zoom meetings and different things, which I’m sure many of you could be zoomed out, but especially for the courses, folks really love to get on and be able to see each other and chit chat and really host it for everything. So each class is three credits. And you do get a break though, frankly, because we go 360, every 365. However, you do get a break from our fall semester to our spring. But every other time, so from spring to summer, you really have to… you start the class, you finish one, then you start one. Eight weeks, you might say that’s really short. Again, there’s some, frankly, colleges that do it shorter time. I’m not so sure how one could really actually adequately understand and learn the concepts.  
      [00:17:30]So for instance, I teach your first class. So we go into everything from the crime theories white collar crime, and all that, and end with FinTech, because, again, we have to adapt. And then you’re going to have learn some software skills, anything from link analysis, Excel SQL. You have technology classes. So we gauge the pace of these courses as well as the material, and frankly, we’ve been doing it for over 20 years so we’re pretty confident that we know what the level is.  
  [00:18:00]       [00:18:30]Now, pretty much your expectation of what you’re going to spend in reading and doing assignments is about 10 hours a week. And it may be shorter some weeks, it could be longer. And then the last two courses you will take is a final capstone, as we call a professional project, where you really… as we call it the culminating academic experience. You choose your topic, you review. You may say something in your field, you may say something that maybe something else you want to explore. But it’s an academic research paper that is relevant for today’s ever changing financial challenges. And then you graduate. And it does go very quickly, I will tell you that.  
Christine Cabre…:Would love to see an overview of those classes in the next slide.  
Suzanne Lynch:sure.  
[00:19:00] Christine Cabre…:  And one of the questions that have come through that I think will sort of provide that visual is, how do the professors, how do the faculty prepare the students for the ACAMS or ACFE exams? Is there support there?  
Suzanne Lynch:   [00:19:30]       [00:20:00]So part of the courses, we obviously teach many things. ACAMS still has their specific training for those of you who had it, we touch on many, many of the same topics. ACAMS, ACFE have their own published manuals that they use to specify or reconcile to their exam. So will we teach you, this is chapter three of the ACAMS? No. But what would you be doing? You’ll be understanding, learning many of those concepts that support your ability to understand, take the exam and pass it. Remember, graduate school so I’m not training you, but I am giving you that ability to even understand more when you take those exams. We support it, which is why ACAMS came to us, and the same with CFE.  
    [00:20:30]We’re not a forensic accounting program, I’m not going to teach you that. That might be a large part of some of the CFE. But obviously, I will tell you… You will have some ability to do analytics, data analytics, spreadsheet analysis, and things like that as a part of this program. So when you look at the different types of courses that are here, you’ll see that, whether it’s core topics in management, you’re taking management courses too. Financial crime and compliance management.  
  [00:21:00]         [00:21:30]So in my world, I work as the fraud person, so to speak. I would work with multiple departments in my organization, so cross-functional task forces in management. So you might say, well, this isn’t just about fraud management, and obviously we have fraud management, but you still need to understand the core management topics in order for you to be able to operate, be successful in any organization. I always tell students we’re the necessary evil, right? We’re here to protect, detect, investigate them, and all that. So how do we work within our organizations? And that’s what’s very helpful.  
Christine Cabre…:The courses that you have listed here, which of these would we be engaged in the SQL, Tableau, Excel in the data analytics piece? Would it be that technology section there that you’ve highlighted?  
[00:22:00] Suzanne Lynch:       [00:22:30]           [00:23:00]  So FCM 626 and 642 are the hands-on SQL, Excel link analysis. We are one of the first colleges that actually have IBM ID Analytics, or I should say Analyst Notebook. We all have all these different technologies now. So I like to call them the lab courses that we do. Fraud management technology is understanding as we go more and more back in the days of neural networks, what does AI bring to the table for any detection methodologies, risk and compliance. Depending on your type of organization, are you talking about Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, are you talking about the Patriot Act? We could do a whole… which there are probably programs out there just on the different types of compliance that organizations are faced with, not even financial services but any type of industry. Legal concepts of criminal fraud taught by our attorneys on faculty.  
      [00:23:30]So you’re going to be getting kind of that whole area of all different types of what helps you, your job, whether you’re an investigator, whether you’re an analyst, whether you are the manager of those. We’ll talk about such things as some… We give you the ability to say, “Okay, you know what? I feel all I’m doing is clearing alerts.” And I’m sure that some of you on this call will say that, but what do we do for the next steps? What does that mean? How does it integrate in the organization?  
 So again, I could probably talk for another three hours on this, but Christina keeps me on target. So does anyone have any questions?  
[00:24:00] Christine Cabre…:  I guess one other question that’s come through is with regard to our alumni, can you talk a little bit about the alumni network and what some of our folks are doing after graduation?  
Suzanne Lynch:     [00:24:30]       [00:25:00]Well, yeah. I mean, like I said, pretty much some people are already in the organization and have been elevated. Some have gone to other jobs. Frankly, we have someone right now from the Comptroller of the Currency. We have graduates from the FDIC. We have every major financial institution, Wells, HSBC, Chase. We also have credit unions. We have people that have gone to federal agencies. It’s interesting, we’ve had a couple people that have moved to Inspector General’s office. So, you’ve got that federal regulatory aspect. You’ve got the smaller organizations that frankly as many of us know are usually the newer targets from bad guys, as I like to say. What’s interesting is we have some cyber. So some of your classes, we have our cyber students taking our financial crime courses because they are in the technology field. But as we all know, cyber crime, it’s meshed into many different types.  
[00:25:30]So I could pretty much say every major financial institution, we’ve got some major insurance companies that are graduates. We have, what’s interesting too, casinos. We all know they have some strict money laundering regulations. And like I said, so it’s a really good mix.  
  [00:26:00]         [00:26:30]And when I started the program, I was like, “What are they going to teach me? I’ve been in the business 20 years.” Well, I learned a lot, number one. But you know what? You learn from each other, your fellow students, because ever everybody brings a piece of that, whether you’re working at Chase or you’re working at a credit union in Texas, or USAA, all sorts of different financial services where there are… And it is a great network, because like I said, you bond with the folks that you go through as your cohort, and then you can expand that. Even if you go on LinkedIn, you’ll see that Utica College, and there’s a lot of us out there, probably I would suspect now at least 500 graduates that have gone through this program.  
Christine Cabre…: [00:27:00]Yeah, I concur, LinkedIn is a fantastic tool, public platform where you can search alumni, see what they’re doing, and either friend or message them and ask questions. It’s really a great tool, which I share with students often.  
Suzanne Lynch:Exactly.  
Christine Cabre…:     [00:27:30]I think we can advance then into the next slide and talk a little bit about this online student experience. Part of the success of the program begins right from the start. Your online student experience begins with a member of our enrollment team. You may even be so lucky to work with me. And what we do is basically we’re dedicated to ensuring that all of your paperwork is collected and then presented on your behalf to the Admissions Committee. We’ll support you in requesting letters of recommendations on your behalf, your transcripts, and all the additional documents that you need to collect. So you’re not working in a silo, you’re working alongside your enrollment counselor in a timely fashion to present all of your information to the Admissions Committee for review.  
[00:28:00]             [00:28:30]Once you are accepted into the program, a dedicated enrollment counselor will help you with your registration process, and ensuring that you have your class schedule set up for the semester. After which, they’ll introduce you to your success coach. Your success coach will offer you an opportunity to talk through a personalized plan of study, so really looking at what each semester is going to look like, what that course load would look like, so that you can really begin thinking about and carving out the necessary time, as Su mentioned, to be successful in the program. Because remember, the flexibility and responsibility of working online ensures that you will dedicate that time to getting the work done, taking a look at those learning objectives each week, doing the readings and submitting the work in a timely fashion.  
    [00:29:00]Of course, we use a learning management system that we call Engage. This is a learning management system that offers 24 hour support. If you do have any technical issues, we do offer as well, a librarian who’s miraculously available for 24 hours, seven days a week. So if you do have any questions, you can of course tap into those resources, and they are really a great help.  
Suzanne Lynch:And Christina, if I may add that we bring in our dedicated librarian to talk to the students. So they get an idea of what the resources are too.  
[00:29:30] Christine Cabre…:  Excellent. Yeah. Those refreshers at the start of the program are really helpful. In addition, of course, you have the flexibility to learn anywhere. Because you are learning online, you just want to, once again, throughout that week, dedicate that amount of time. As mentioned, carving out the 10 hours to get the work in each week.  
 And then finally, you will have an academic advisor who will offer some career guidance later on in the program, should you need that support, in helping you get to your next leg.  
[00:30:00] Suzanne Lynch:  And if I could add-  
Christine Cabre…:Yeah, of course.  
Suzanne Lynch:… I am your advisor. The other thing that we have recently done is even enhanced our career center even more.  
Christine Cabre…:Nice.  
Suzanne Lynch:   [00:30:30]And I saw a question in the chat, and so you, as grad students, are also… We have a dedicated person for our business and justice studies of… frankly, our justice studies in cyber, as far as helping you resumes and that kind of support if in fact… Many of our students are currently employed in the field, many are not. Frankly, we have a chef from New York that decided to do career change and he’s already working for FinTech. So we do have that support system to you as graduate students as well from our career center.  
Christine Cabre…:Excellent. Thank you for that.  
[00:31:00] Suzanne Lynch:  Okay, do you have any other questions?  
Christine Cabre…:   [00:31:30]Sure, we can take another question here. One of the other questions that came through was with regard to the career advisement and professional support, what’s employment numbers of students graduating from the program? So what are the employment numbers of the students who are graduating from the program? And are there opportunities in maybe career fairs where some of the companies are coming to the program and recruiting the students?  
Suzanne Lynch:Yes. And our career center has a program called… What do they call it? It’s Handshake.  
Christine Cabre…:Yes.  
Suzanne Lynch: [00:32:00]     [00:32:30]And so we have many organizations that come to us. I will tell you that many of our graduates especially are already involved in the field to some degree. But the graduate program… So for instance, we have companies coming to us to do webinars for recruiting, and so Handshake… And I can give you our guys contact number after, Christine. And so you’ll be able to see that you are part of the Utica College family and that there is that career center support. We’re here for your success. So even if you’re employed right now and looking, “Well, I’m getting this degree, what else is out there? We support you in that effort as well.  
Christine Cabre…:Fantastic.  
  [00:33:00]           [00:33:30]So this is a great opportunity to just give students an overview of the admissions requirements. If you are interested in the program and love to get started, you would begin by completing an online application. Once you submit that application, once again you will have a dedicated enrollment counselor who will call you and begin the process. All of your official transcripts will be requested and sent to our transcript processing center. The Admissions Committee is looking for a minimum GPA of 3.0. When there are the circumstances where students are falling just slightly below that threshold, your dedicated enrollment counselor can talk through some of the other options that are available to you in creating that robust application package. That’s going to include a very strong personal statement. So they’ll work alongside you to really think through what will you include in that personal statement. And then of course, be able to read through it and make sure that it’s a cohesive statement before submitting it to the Admissions Committee.  
  [00:34:00]Next, you’ll have two letters of recommendations, which we can request on your behalf. You want folks who are very familiar with your work, very familiar with your suitability to complete the program when you’re asking for these letters of recommendations. So please keep them professional. We highly discourage you from asking your friends, family, or even a pastor at a church.  
    [00:34:30]Finally, your resume, be sure to include… Clean up your resume, and highlight your work experience, your background. What you’re trying to demonstrate here is that level of professionalism and showing the ability that you have in succeeding in the program. Once we have that package together, we’ll present it to the Admissions Committee for review. We accept applications throughout the year, there are three starts. The spring semester begins in January. We have a summer semester in May, and a fall semester, typically the end of August. Okay?  
Suzanne Lynch:Oh, well, that was it. Any questions?  
[00:35:00]       [00:35:30]Actually, one of the questions I did see in the chat was, is there the ability to take other courses instead of the capstone? And that is no. The capstone… And I always laugh that I was in business for so many years, compliance and all that, so in my world now, I have the New York State Board of Education as the compliance and overseer of all our academic programs. And so part of a master’s degree in New York state requires a culminating academic experience. So that’s why the capstone is the key for this particular program, the MS.  
  [00:36:00]         [00:36:30]And on that, I just wanted to announce too, for those of you… because, as we know, writing is key… Grammar… We have to be able to communicate well, that the college is now… We’re migrating that every student will have Grammarly in their ability to write. And actually we, faculty, have tested it. I never thought my grammar was really that bad until Grammarly. It actually wasn’t that bad, but so we’re here to support you with the writing center, with studies, with individual help. So I just want folks to be able to understand that as well. Academically, we’re here for you. And again, this addition of having Grammarly for our graduate students has been huge because I know many of us still struggle with writing skills. And especially in grad school, it’s a lot different than undergrad, whether you’ve been out of undergrad for three years or you’ve been out of undergrad for 20 years. So that’s a huge step forward for us.  
[00:37:00] Christine Cabre…:  For students who’ve jumped in late, or you’d like to engage in this content further, please feel free to reach us at 1-866-295-3106. If you prefer to have the application process shared via email, you can submit your request at  
  [00:37:30]I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for participating in this evening’s virtual open house. We’re delighted you can join us and have such engaging questions in the chat for Su Lynch. Thank you, Su, so much for sharing your background, wealth of knowledge, and we really do appreciate your dedication to the success of our students.  
Suzanne Lynch:Well, thank you, and I really appreciate you folks joining us as well.  

Discover why Utica University’s online Master of Science in Financial Crime and Compliance Management has earned a reputation for excellence. In this virtual open house, you’ll hear program director Suzanne Lynch explain the program’s global perspective toward cybercrime, corruption, money laundering, cryptocurrency, and financial threats.

Request more information about our faculty and programs or call 315.732.2640 or toll-free 866.295.3106. Have a great day.

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