The Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime
The Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime
Author: Irina Kovaykina

As a winner of the case study competition organized by Pearl Initiative, I had the opportunity to attend the Thirty-Second International Symposium on Economic Crime at Jesus College in the University of Cambridge. While writing the case on anti-money laundering program at Al Fardan Exchange, I developed a keen interest in this field. Even though I wanted to learn more about economic crime investigation and prevention, I still was not sure whether I wanted to build my career in this field after graduation. But after attending the symposium and having the opportunity to expand my knowledge about economic crimes, I can certainly say that this is the right path for me.

I had the pleasure of meeting inspiring people and attending wonderful workshops and lectures. One of these workshops was carried by Mr. Robert Mazur, a US federal agent, who was embedded in a drug cartel for 5 years. Mr. Mazur shared his experience working as an undercover agent and talked about various schemes used by drug dealers to launder money. I also had the chance to talk to people working in this field for 10 and more years that kindly shared with me their practical experience in this area. In addition to gaining career advice, I was also able to exchange ideas, participate in debates, and take advantage of networking opportunities. I even got the opportunity to do my second internship in the compliance department at Thomson Reuters.

I believe that one of the greatest benefits of attending the symposium for me was the opportunities to increase my awareness of new trends happening in the anti-money laundering and compliance field from regulatory and private sector perspectives. I could explore the leading edges of the field such as whistleblowers protection and money laundering in trade finance outside of the textbooks and reports. Since this field is relatively new, very dynamic and constantly evolving, it is very important to be exposed to as many new ideas and opinions as possible. Through understanding that economic crime prevention requires a cooperative action, all the delegates were excited to promote their ideas and share new solutions on how to combat economic crimes. This allowed me to identify a few areas that I would like to study in details in the future.

Even though it might be scary at first to attend symposiums and conferences, I believe that every undergraduate student should take advantage of such opportunities because it is a vital component of everyone’s professional development. These events allow us to expand our knowledge about a particular area and develop friendships with people from all over the world.

As for myself, I am definitely planning to increase my conference participation not only by attending, but by presenting and volunteering as well. If everything goes well, I will be a part of a secretariat team in the next symposium on economic crime in Cambridge next September. See you there.

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