It is not uncommon for students in the FCCM program to come with a career background that focuses on one or more aspects of the financial crime and compliance field—including experience in economics, law and criminal justice, accounting and finance, data analysis, risk management, and other areas. Just as they may have strong foundational or practical knowledge in one or two fields, it is also entirely possible that graduate students may be confronted with new topics. I've found that I learned from my fellow graduate students and found them to be great resources in their particular fields as much as the instructors. Thus, the challenge is learning new related material, and the reward is not only passing the class, but possibly excelling in it, learning how to apply new knowledge in the real world, and getting that much closer to capstone and graduation.
Sprint versus Marathon
The distinction between undergraduate and graduate education deserves mentioning, as both are challenging and rewarding. Graduate education is no less assignment-driven than undergraduate education, but the quality of work demanded and the relative absence of breaks between semesters could be best compared to a marathon, while an undergraduate education can be seen as a series of sprints. It often seems like there is always another class to take, but in fact, there is a real halfway point where a grad student will begin to see the remaining classes in the program dwindle until the capstone's finish line is in sight. The challenge is to remain motivated through the highs and lows in classwork because you enjoy the subject. The reward is the diploma you'll receive as evidence that your hard work has paid off.
Best of luck in your future studies!
About the Author
Scott Hibbard is a Utica College ECM Grad Student (ABT) working complete his Masters in Economic Crime Management thesis.