Case study

Senior compliance officer — Priya Patel

Priya found her compliance job in the banking industry via her LinkedIn profile. She believes that networking, work experience and industry knowledge are essential to career success

How did you get your job in compliance?

Through a recruiter who saw my profile on LinkedIn. For a young professional, it's very important to have this and network.

What is a typical working day like?

I work in the banking industry. I start with doing my usual day-to-day tasks and then move to whatever project or task I am working on. There will be different projects/tasks throughout the year.

For example, I will prepare for a regular monthly meeting by doing research and preparing the papers I need. At times I will be working on a regulatory project, which needs to be implemented by a certain date to the annual reviews. I carry out a lot of research and analyse data to files.

What do you enjoy most about compliance?

Analysing and researching. Also, the variety of what a day could entail. I am a generalist in compliance so I am not restricted to just monitoring or researching. I get to do all things compliance-related, which if I were working in a massive organisation I wouldn't be able to do.

What are the challenges?

Getting employees to understand what compliance is and what our job entails - we are here to advise and monitor the business.

In what way is your degree relevant?

I have a law degree and studying the subject helped me to develop my analytical and research skills. You have to analyse the judgements of cases in law and argue your point, which is similar in compliance.

Also, reading and interpreting regulations is similar to finding case law or articles to back up your understanding.

How has your career in compliance developed?

I started in a law firm, went on to the legal and compliance department of a bank and then ended up in a senior position. I mainly focused on just pure conduct risk in my previous job, whereas with this role I get to deal with anti-money laundering (AML) and financial crime, which I love.

I want to carry on being a generalist and in a few years I will be looking for managerial responsibilities, but I still have a lot to learn and regulations never stop.

What advice can you give to others wanting to get into compliance?

Get as much work experience as you can. I had to work for free for a few months and then finally found a paid job.

Know your role and the regulations. There is nothing worse than applying for a job when you have no clue on what the current situation is or the industry trends are.

Remember that there are other similar jobs that do not have the word 'compliance' in them.

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