The world of financial crime is moving faster than ever. In UC's Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation program, Parker Smith '17 learned the skills to take on today's sophisticated economic criminals—and land a job in a top bank's financial intelligence unit.
Why UC: In high school, I was interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement. It’s always been something I wanted to do. I looked into schools with the criminal justice major, but I wanted something more specialized --- to give me an edge over someone with a broader skill set. I discovered the economic crime investigation field and was really interested. Utica College is the only school in this area that offers a program in that field, and the professors are extremely knowledgeable.
Game Changer: Financial intelligence is an exciting field right now. With all the advances in technology, fraud has become a bigger issue than ever before. Criminals are finding out new ways to gain access. The basic security measures are not enough anymore, and experts need to stay ahead of the technology.
Money Matters: Earlier this year, I scored an internship with Community Bank in Syracuse. I work in the financial intelligence unit and analyze transactions for possible fraud, money laundering, and other suspicious activity. I file reports for the government. Criminals often use small banks like Community because they think their transactions will go unnoticed, but we’ve detected transactions that are connected to massive drug rings and scams in the Middle East. We’ve been able to catch those before problems occur and send reports to the FBI.
Trained and Ready: When I started my internship, I had already learned about lot of the things I was seeing on the job. My classes at UC were all about applying skills to real-life situations, so I was ahead of the game. I was already familiar with the computer programs the bank used, and I knew how to identify the different types of fraud. It was easy to get started because I required little training.
Head Start: I interned at Community for a few months when I learned that they were expanding the financial intelligence department. Soon I was offered a full-time job, and I start a week after graduation. I was really excited. It’s exactly the kind of work I want to be doing.
Learn more about UC's fraud and financial crime investigation program here.