Brandon Lee of Washington, DC, recently became a CFE after attending the Phoenix CFE Exam Review Course. In his spare time, Brandon enjoys playing sports and traveling. But last April, he put sports aside to accomplish his goal of obtaining the CFE credential. Being a CFE will benefit Brandon’s mission of preventing and detecting fraud, waste, and abuseat the Office of Inspector General, where he plans to apply the knowledge he gained from his studies to his daily job duties.
Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential?
Lee: I received my CFE credential in May of 2014.
Coach: You attended the CFE Exam Review Course in Phoenix and following the course you sat for the CFE Exam on-site. Please describe your experience of participating in the 4-day course and then sitting for the exam immediately after.
Lee: I found the CFE Exam Review Course to be very helpful in my preparation for the exam. The course reinforced topics that are heavily tested on the exam. I was able to gain clarification on my weaker subject areas. Sitting for the exam immediately after each course made it easier for me to recall some of the information. Overall, I thought the course was instrumental in helping me pass each section of the exam.
Coach: What did you like most about the CFE Exam Review Course?
Lee: I thought the course instructors were very knowledgeable about the material. They were able to tie in examples from their past jobs. I felt that their real life examples made the information easier to recall while sitting for the exams. Also, I liked the networking lunches. I thought the lunches provided an opportunity to speak with other professionals in the industry and learn some best practices.
Coach: In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will be beneficial to you in your current profession?
Lee: The CFE credential will be directly beneficial to my career working at a federal agency’s office of inspector general, as part of our mission is preventing and detecting fraud, waste, and abuse. One of the biggest benefits is being able to immediately apply the knowledge gained from the exam to my daily job duties. Having the CFE credential will also demonstrate my skills and abilities not just to my organization, but to those I come in contact with in the industry.
Coach: How did you prepare yourself to sit for the exam on-site? Did you spend any additional time studying after class each day?
Lee: I began my preparation by taking the pre-assessment that is included in the CFE Prep Course. From there, I was able to see which subject areas were my strongest and weakest. I then focused on my weaker sections first (answering review questions and reading the Fraud Examiners Manual) and then studied for my stronger sections. Also, I kept track of topics for which I needed further explanation, so I made sure I paid close attention to those areas during the review course.
Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?
Lee: Yes, I think the course provided useful tools and information to pass the CFE Exam. Additionally, the knowledge gained from the course can be readily used on the job for those in the fraud prevention and detection industry.
Coach: How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
Lee: My interest in fighting fraud started when I began working at an accounting firm providing consulting services to federal agencies. I enjoyed the ability to work with numerous agencies and gain a deep understanding of the different kinds of fraud issues that the agencies investigated. Additionally, I enjoy the opportunity to impact polices that could prevent or deter criminal activities.
Coach: Now that we know what you do professionally, what do you like to do for fun and what do you find enjoyable about it?
Lee: I enjoy relaxing on the beach with a good book--most recently, I took a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. I also like playing sports with my local sports league team.
Coach: Do you have any study tips or suggestions for aspiring CFEs?
Lee: I would recommend taking the pre-assessment test first before studying the materials. I think it highlights sections that the candidate may need to focus on. Also, it helps in developing your study roadmap.
Coach: Thank you for your time and congratulations on your new CFE credential.