Alum draws on Goldman Sachs experience in advice to students

Marina Boyle, Features editor

The Mercyhurst Competitive Intelligence Club, Career Development Center and the Anti-Money Laundering Club joined forces this week to offer a potential job opportunity with Goldman Sachs to Mercyhurst students.

The three groups brought Mercyhurst alum Ryan Turner to the CAE for a presentation to students on Oct. 25, where he discussed his role as the financial crimes compliance officer with Goldman Sachs, a global investment bank and financial services company.

Turner is a 2013 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Intelligence Studies and a business minor. His career path has involved various private sector jobs, particularly with banks, including roles as an anti-money laundering investigator, an officer in the Goldman Sachs global compliance division and a financial investigator for JP Morgan. Students were invited to hear Turner speak and learn from him.

“Having someone come in from Goldman Sachs, especially alumni, helped to put into perspective the opportunities that are available for graduates. Mercyhurst might be small, but has a strong alumni community that gives back and supports its school, and us, the current students,” said Arseniy Sklyarov, a junior Business and Competitive Intelligence Studies major who is part of the Mercyhurst Competitive Intelligence club.

Sklyarov said the parts of Turner’s talk that he found most useful were his presentations on job opportunities in the compliance industries, information on protecting the firm from high-risk customers and explanation of an institution’s responsibilities to the Patriot Act.

Krista Cousins, social media officer for the Competitive Intelligence Club, also felt favorably about having Turner visit. “Goldman Sachs gave students the opportunity to engage and learn about the financial and banking side of intelligence by giving real-life scenarios and interview experience. Bringing back a Mercyhurst Intelligence alum with potential job opportunities was a great addition to our club’s line of speakers,” Cousins said.

Turner also talked at length about how law enforcement and government agencies use information to combat money laundering and its knock-on effect on a multitude of crimes.
He explained the components of suspicious activity reports to the U.S. Department of Treasury and other related documents that intelligence students must be trained to prepare.

The day following his presentation, the Career Development Center arranged for Turner to conduct one-on-one interviews with Mercyhurst students interested in jobs in the financial compliance or anti-money laundering fields. The job interviews could potentially lead to internships and employment offers for students in the Business and Competitive Intelligence program or those considering career paths in related fields.

Shelly Freyn, assistant professor of Competitive Intelligence, felt that this talk was particularly relevant to what the market is looking for today. “This event was eye-opening in showing the overlap of law enforcement intelligence with business. Mr. Turner was able to provide some real-world examples of tracking money that identified human trafficking and other forms of money laundering on an international scale,” Freyn said.

“I think the students were able to acquire insight into a different form of intelligence and how it works in one of the biggest global organizations.”

The interviews included topics such as terrorist financing, human trafficking and smuggling and reviewing of suspicious transactions. Students did not just get to network and put themselves forward for a job, but were also able to get experience interviewing in a formal setting.

Isabella Fragnoli is a sophomore Intelligence Studies major and president of Anti-Money Laundering Club at Mercyhurst.

“Our club is so grateful to have alumni like Mr. Turner who can provide opportunities like this for students,” Fragnoli said. “It is inspiring to see the success that Mr. Turner has had in the industry since his graduation from Mercyhurst only six years ago.”

James Anderson, junior Business and Competitive Intelligence major who took part in the process, explained his enthusiasm for meeting Turner.
He is also the secretary of the Competitive Intelligence Club.

“It was extremely beneficial for current Intelligence students to meet and listen to Ryan Turner discuss his role in Goldman Sachs as an anti-money laundering analyst,” Anderson said. “It gave students an idea of what life could be like after college and where their Intelligence degree can take them. Ryan used the knowledge and methodologies gained here at Mercyhurst to create a great career for himself, and I think this inspired students to keep working hard and stay on the intelligence path, regardless of their focus.”