Degree: J.D. with a compliance concentration, Class of 2017

Current position: Senior Regulatory Affairs Specialist at Medtronic

What do you find most fulfilling about your job?
My job has a variety of responsibilities and there is always an opportunity to learn--from summarizing data to attending a class on cardiac concepts. In terms of company culture, I find it fulfilling to work for a mission-driven company where my daily work has a bigger purpose. I know that my contributions in Regulatory Affairs will lead to the manufacture of medical devices that will make a difference for individuals all around the world.

What skills do you feel are most important for someone in your position?
Some of the key competencies that are important include: project management, creating and presenting information and collaborating with others on a program team. The Organizational Ethics & Compliance (OEC) capstone course, Executive Leadership in Compliance, provided helpful practice in those areas. The class gives you a chance to lead and to learn from your peers, which is extremely important in the workplace.

What was your most useful OEC class?
The most practical course was the compliance externship, which gave me a chance to work in a compliance role for an entire semester. I worked as a compliance law clerk at The Toro Company, where I supported the development and maintenance of the company’s compliance initiatives in areas such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and international data privacy laws. My supervisor ended up being a reference when I started looking for a job and she has been a wonderful mentor.

Has your St. Thomas OEC degree distinguished you from others in your industry?
Compliance is a growing field and there are so many different career paths, however, it is rare to go into an interview with a degree that has “compliance” in the title. During interviews, I was able to speak to broad concepts including my understanding of the cost of compliance and the importance of reputation management. I was able to speak to experiences, including working in a compliance externship. The compliance concentration gave me the opportunities I needed to show my employer that I was ready to work for their team.

Did you have any concerns or hesitations prior to starting the program? Once you began taking classes did those concerns still exist?
I had concerns about pursuing a career in compliance instead of taking the traditional attorney path. I was worried that I wouldn’t feel like a real attorney if I worked in a compliance role, that I wouldn’t be ready for the bar exam and that I could miss out on career opportunities. My concerns started to disappear when I found myself enjoying every compliance-related class I took at the law school and the business school. I went on to complete the J.D. program, accept a job offer a week after graduation and pass the bar exam on my first try. I enjoy my current job and I am optimistic about the career opportunities ahead.