In Class News

October 25, 2016 at 10:36 am

Alumni Talk about Careers as Anti-Money Laundering Investigators

OHIO alumni Michael Richard ’12 (Sociology and Mathematics), ‘13M (Sociology) and Ryan Knight ’06 (Philosophy) visited Dr. Nicole Kaufman’s criminology classes in October to talk about their jobs as anti-money laundering investigators with Discover Financial Services.

Their work involves quite a few skills taught in the sociology-criminology field, such as extensive writing, data analysis, critical thinking, trend finding, knowledge of both normal consumer behavior, as well as potential abnormalities.

A Relatively New Field

“This is a relatively new and not yet talked about field, and it is looking for people with the skills taught in sociology and criminology specifically,” Richard said.

Michael Richard

Michael Richard

“When I stumbled into the field of AML, one of my first thoughts was ‘Wow, I wish I had known this was a career path when I was in college.’ I really wanted to come back and share a potential opportunity with the school that gave me so much.”

What Are You Going to Do with that Degree?

As a Philosophy major, Knight remembers being frequently asked: “What are you going to do with that degree?”

“With our presentation about Anti-Money Laundering,” he said, “we were hoping to show Arts & Sciences students a non-traditional job/career opportunity. AML requires writing skills and an ability to think critically. I honed both of these skills at Ohio University.”

Ryan Knight

Ryan Knight

Both alumni enjoyed being back in Athens and said that the part that surprised them in the classes was how engaged a number of students were in the information they presented.

Think Like the Bad Guys

“One student kept trying to poke holes in one of the legal requirements,” Knight said, “I found that interesting because the student was focusing on the content and applying it in real-time, rather than sitting back and just listening to a presentation.”

“The most interesting part was easily the students trying to work around regulations on the fly,” agreed Richard. “One of the key traits desired in AML is being able to think like the bad guys, and there were students in both classes who were doing that on the spot. It was great.”

A Career to Consider

“It was a pleasure to have them visit our class and for them to give us real life examples of what they do for a living,” said Sociology-Criminology major Steven Fearnow ’19. “It was interesting to see what they have learned from Ohio University and how they applied it to their careers. Now that I know more about that field, it may be something I look in to as a career for myself.”

Richard talked more about his job as an Anti-Money Laundering Investigator in an A&S Forum Alumni Spotlight earlier this year.

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