Mindy Mayfield of West Virginia recently became a CFE after attending the CFE Exam Review Course in Austin, TX. Mindy usually enjoys spending her free time traveling, but she recently devoted her time to accomplishing her goal of obtaining the CFE credential. Mindy feels her new credential will be beneficial as she plans and executes internal audits and investigations within her organization. She believes that having her CFE makes gaining individuals’ trust easier and building relationships quicker.
Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential?
Mayfield: I received my CFE credential on November 28, 2017.
Coach: You attended the CFE Exam Review Course in Austin and following the course you sat for the CFE Exam on-site. Please describe your experience of participating in the four-day course and then sitting for the exam immediately after.
Mayfield: For me, the CFE Exam Review Course felt like a mixture of being in the trenches preparing for a battle with my comrades and being on a slip-and-slide that is fast and fun. Sitting in one place for a long period of time was the hardest part, but in the end, it was incredibly worth it. I was confident going into the exams each day, made some awesome new friends, and ate some of the BEST lunches and snacks at any conference I have ever attended. And the best part—there was an unlimited supply of coffee!!!
Coach: What did you like most about the CFE Exam Review Course?
Mayfield: Hands down, my favorite part of the review course was the ACFE faculty and staff. The instructors moved through the material quickly (and there is a lot of it) so that most of the information presented on the exam was covered, all the while providing real-life examples to aid in our understanding. The instructors were funny, engaging, and showed genuine interest in our successful completion of the exam. On the flipside, the staff were patient, kind, and helpful during the registration and grading process each day. When you are a long way from home and stressed over a four-day exam, it is comforting to be pointed in the right direction and to be offered reassurance along the way.
Coach: In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will be beneficial to you in your current profession?
Mayfield: The CFE credential indicates to those I encounter both inside and outside my organization that I possess high moral character, that I will act with professionalism and integrity, and that I have been trained to prevent, detect, and deter fraud. This in itself is beneficial as I plan and execute internal audits and investigations within my organization because gaining individuals’ trust is easier and building relationships is quicker. However, it is not just what the credential represents that is valuable, but the knowledge I gained while studying for the CFE Exam that has allowed me to develop a skill set that is very much needed within my organization and my profession as a whole.
Coach: How did you prepare yourself to sit for the exam on-site? Did you spend any additional time studying after class each day?
Mayfield: To prepare for the on-site CFE Exam, I purchased the online CFE Exam Prep Course and followed the 90-day study plan outlined on the ACFE’s website. I spent about an hour after work studying each day, and I NEVER studied on the weekends. As I moved through the Prep Course, I took notes on the questions I answered incorrectly. This made it easy for me to quickly and easily review those items before each study session. I also made a reference list for acronyms and Latin terms used in the Law section for easy reference. The Prep Course made studying a breeze. I did not need to spend any extra time studying after class while at the review course.
Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?
Mayfield: Yes! Of course! The review course is so much more than just a refresher before taking the exam and a chance to earn CPE credit. The review course fosters a sense of community and provides the opportunity to expand your network, both personally and professionally. Because I attended a review course, I was able to meet members of the ACFE faculty and staff. Being able to put faces with names at the ACFE is priceless and allows me to feel personally connected to the ACFE. And then, there were my classmates. What an exceptional group of people! Because of the diverse industries, experience levels, and geographical locations of the participants, the lunch conversations were never dull and friendships were formed. I am already looking at the ACFE calendar to determine which event to attend next and would most certainly encourage others to do so as well!
Coach: How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
Mayfield: I like treasure hunts and puzzles, especially when they are challenging. At my previous employer, I participated in an engagement involving a small financial institution that allegedly assisted a client with a workers’ compensation fraud scheme and violated the Bank Secrecy Act. I found gathering the financial information, interviewing some of the individuals involved, and pulling the pieces together both interesting and satisfying. I have been hooked ever since!
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?
Mayfield: Travel. Travel. Travel. There is something truly exhilarating about submersing myself in a culture I have never experienced and trying all the new experiences my destination has to offer. The sights, sounds, smells, and flavors . . . ahhh . . . I’m ready! Let’s go!
Coach: Do you have any study tips or suggestions for aspiring CFEs?
Mayfield: Apply yourself!