Janel Thompson of San Diego received her CFE credential this past August after attending a CFE Exam Review Course. Thompson enjoys spending time with her family and running 5K races. Thompson conducts fraud, waste, and abuse investigations, as well as internal audits, and feels that the information she learned while preparing for the CFE Exam will be invaluable in her current position.
Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential?
Thompson: I received my credential in August 2019.
Coach: You attended the CFE Exam Review Course in Denver, Colorado, 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 afterward.
Thompson: It was intense! It made for really long days, but I’m glad that I sat for the exams after each section of the course. The exams were difficult, but taking them on-site, as opposed to online, enabled me to focus on the tests and not be distracted by my normal work responsibilities.
Coach: What did you like most about the CFE Exam Review Course?
Thompson: The instructors! The breadth and depth of their knowledge were impressive. Plus, they explained the course material in a way that made sense to me and kept things interesting. It was a ton of information to cram into a four-day course, but they did a great job.
Coach: In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will be beneficial to you in your current profession?
Thompson: I believe the information I learned will be invaluable in my current job. I conduct fraud, waste, and abuse investigations, as well as internal audits. Everything we covered in the CFE Exam Prep Course—from the Fraud Triangle to fraud risk identification and deterrence—will be helpful when I review documents, conduct interviews, and make recommendations to strengthen internal controls.
Coach: How did you prepare yourself to sit for the exam on-site? Did you spend any additional time studying after class each day?
Thompson: I reviewed my notes and the slides from each day for about an hour after class. I was also mindful to take my time during the exam. I tried to ignore the other people that finished before me and just focused on taking the test and selecting the correct answers.
Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?
Thompson: Without a doubt, I would highly recommend this course!
Coach: How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
Thompson: There have been many examples throughout my career that have proven to me that efforts deterring fraud are not wasted. From recovery of funds to deterring future deceptions, I am rewarded every day by knowing I helped ensure that our tax dollars are spent for their intended purpose. Continuing education is extremely important as we strive to stay one step ahead of potential fraudsters!
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?
Thompson: I love spending time with my family. I have two sons that keep my husband and me pretty active. We enjoy running 5Ks together, and there are specifically two that we run annually because they are very meaningful to us. I am always the last one in the family to finish, but my family is there cheering for me as I drag myself across the finish line. What a great way to spend a morning!
Coach: Do you have any study tips or suggestions for aspiring CFEs?
Thompson: Follow Mom’s advice: Get a good night’s sleep and eat your breakfast! But, seriously, there is so much information that is reviewed, and you need to be on top of your game to listen and learn all day and be able to take a one-hundred-question test afterward.