Testimonials – BU Law Certification

Student Testimonials

Hear from current and former students about how the Certificate in Financial Services Compliance has positively impacted their professional career.

Sonia Desai

As the Head of Compliance for International Offices at Charles Schwab in San Francisco, CA, Sonia Desai is often required to do a high level of interpretation of law. In order to better meet these growing demands of her position, she knew she needed to pursue a professional credential that would provide her with knowledge of and insight to legal foundations surrounding financial services. She found exactly what she was searching for in the online Financial Services Compliance certificate program from BU Law.

“From banking compliance to financial services structures, I have really appreciated the foundation behind what I have learned in the program,” says Desai. “Even though I have been in the field a long time, it’s still enlightening for me to have the understanding of the law and policy behind the work I do. By the professors directing us to review specific legal cases and regulations and to then utilize them to direct our own work, I now have valuable information and strategies that have caused me to view my role in compliance in a whole new light. It has shifted my view from just the business side of things to now include the legal side.”

Desai is confident the program will make her a stronger compliance officer and increase her impact and value in her current position because of the pertinent knowledge she has gained specific to the regulation and law of financial services compliance. “I can leverage what I have learned in the program, such as investment advisors, anti-money laundering, and pooled funds, and directly apply it to my job, as well as the products and services my company provides,” says Desai. “The certificate is a perfect complement to my previous education and my experience as a compliance officer, and it will help me to better protect my firm, which is exactly what my responsibility is.”

Additionally, Desai has found the transition to the online program to balance smoothly with her worklife and her homelife. Whether she is traveling for work or managing her commitments with her family at home, she has found the flexibility and convenience of the virtual classroom a welcome benefit. She also acknowledges that the workload of the online Financial Services Compliance certificate program does not overwhelm even a very busy professional like herself. She shares, “From watching the video lectures to participating in virtual discussions and real-time office hours, I can complete the coursework when it is convenient for me and still keep my commitments to my full-time job and to my family.”

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David Lamorte

David M. Lamorte has had a long tenure in financial services and currently serves as the Assistant Vice President, Life Operations for AAA/Auto Club Group at their main office in Dearborn, MI. As he sought to expand the horizon of his professional future, he discovered the online Financial Services Compliance certificate program from BU Law offered a rewarding opportunity to refine existing skills while gaining critical new skills and insight to broaden his career potential.

Now, as a graduate of the program, he confidently credits the content and faculty of the program for making himself more effective and marketable. “The program provided the most up-to-date information in regulatory compliance,” says Lamorte. “I was able to take advantage of the practical application of the content immediately in my day-to-day work. Because of the high quality of the courses, I have become a strong contributor in compliance-based issues in my current employment.”

The diversity of topics covered by the program afforded Lamorte the opportunity to explore new areas of financial service and compliance previously unavailable to him. Even with his previous experience in the insurance industry, Lamorte was pleasantly surprised by the vast amount of knowledge he gained in regulatory compliance in this focus area. In other segments of the financial services field that he had no prior experience, such as banking, Lamorte increased his professional exposure and skillset that can apply to new opportunities. “Having successfully completed the certificate program,” says Lamorte, “I can seek employment in regulatory compliance, or I can journey into areas of employment that I would not have otherwise traveled.”

Lamorte also found great value in the flexible virtual classroom experience. He was able to complete the requirements of the program while balancing the commitments of his full-time career. “The online technology allows you to view video lectures without having to physically attend in a classroom. Viewing the videos and interacting with classmates was like being there,” says Lamorte. “Faculty were available to me anytime via email and phone, the expectations were time appropriate, and the workload was balanced across the courses.”

Lamorte believes the online Financial Services Compliance certificate program can benefit professionals early in their careers, as well as those looking to advance and or change their career. Additionally, he notes that earning a professional credential from Boston University School of Law will help set graduates apart from their peers. He concludes, “It is a very prestigious institution of learning, and holding a certificate or degree from BU Law will make you feel honored and confident, and be more marketable.”

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Tracey L. Johnson-Kidd

Having worked at various financial institutions for the past 17 years, Tracey L. Johnson-Kidd has seen that compliance professionals must be able to adapt quickly to the changing landscape. Johnson-Kidd, Vice President of Compliance & Legal Operations at Sottile & Barile in Cincinnati, OH decided to pursue the Certificate in Financial Services Compliance because the industry is constantly changing and she was looking for an opportunity to show her dedication to the study of compliance and help expand her diverse skillset.

As a recent graduate of the program, Johnson-Kidd has received positive response to earning the 100% online professional credential. “Since I added the program to my professional network, I receive regular contact from companies and recruiters from across the country regarding compliance roles,” she says. “Employers are impressed and want to hear more about the program.” Johnson-Kidd believes that the program can provide valuable insight into the greater compliance industry for both those starting out in the field as well as for professionals looking to advance. “The program allows you to learn about other career pathways that perhaps you had not considered,” she says.

Additionally, the diversity of topics offered in the program allowed Johnson-Kidd to see how the compliance universe applies much of the same principles across focus areas. She continues, “You take classes not only about compliance, but also investments and insurance — to name a few. Taking these different courses really aids in your ability to be well-rounded in the field of compliance.” Beyond the high caliber of the content, Johnson-Kidd acknowledges the engagement with faculty and classmates as being a significant benefit to the program. She quickly created strong relationships with course instructors and credits their “virtual” availability and commitment to communication with each student as being an important factor in her success. “BU Law has placed industry experts at your fingertips,” she says. “You are learning from the best of the best.”

Similarly, the rewarding interaction with her classmates, including through online discussion boards, provided a welcomed exposure to colleagues across the industry serving in different professional roles. “I have been able to make many connections with classmates from very diverse backgrounds,” she says. “I have even reached out to some of them as resources in my professional role.”

Johnson-Kidd is proud to have earned a professional credential from one of the nation’s top law schools — something she considers as priceless for her career. “The biggest take away from the Certificate in Financial Services Compliance program at BU Law,” says Johnson-Kidd, “is that it has shown me that I am ready to address anything that the compliance world throws at me.”

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