Q & A with Nichole Rodriguez, CFE

Nichole Rodriguez of Colorado recently became a CFE after preparing with the CFE Exam Prep Course. When Nichole is not working, she enjoys camping, dining out, and going to the dog park with her dog. But this past fall, she put some time aside to focus on accomplishing her goal of obtaining the CFE credential.  Nichole says her new CFE credential has enabled her to better serve her clients. She has been able to implement new internal controls that have helped save her clients’ time and money by reducing their fraud risk.

Coach: What did you like most about the Prep Course?

Rodriguez: There are a lot of items I liked about the CFE Exam Prep Course.

a)    The ability to take and retake practice exams and knowing how I did at the end of each exam
b)    The ability to select questions missed via the practice exams to review later
c)    The checklist, which kept me on the right track and ensured I submitted everything prior to taking the exam
d)    The practice exams, which allowed me to narrow down areas I needed to study
e)    The calendar of achievements and deadlines, which allowed me to set dates of completion for myself

Coach:  How long did it take you to complete the Prep Course and how often did you study?

Rodriguez: To complete the Prep Course in its entirety, it took me roughly two months. I studied every night, while at work, early in the morning, and every weekend for three or more hours. My husband would quiz me on the material daily.

Coach: In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will be beneficial to you in your current profession?

Rodriguez: CFE credential has helped me help my clients better than ever before. It has opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking, as well as new ways fraudsters think. In addition to the ACFE community, I have a wonderful mentor who has helped guide me through my CFE journey.

I’ve been able to implement new internal controls learned through my CFE studies and my mentor. This has helped save my clients time and money by reducing their fraud risk. I look forward to additional doors my CFE credential will open in my career.

Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?

Rodriguez: Absolutely. I will recommend the Prep Course.

Coach: How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?

Rodriguez: There are many reasons I became passionate about fighting fraud, but I’ll provide two.

First, my husband’s identity was stolen three times. In order to protect ourselves, we had to think like a fraudster to help combat the many avenues that could be used to ruin my husband’s life. The research, fact finding, and thrill of catching these people made my heart race with excitement. I loved reading the case files and knowing I prepared a lot of the work that would one day bring these fraudsters to justice.

The second reason is my mentor. I was privileged to assist this individual in a small aspect of a fraud case. The excitement of organizing files, researching information, data entry, and analyzing data was intriguing. My mentor opened my eyes to a whole new world and introduced me to the ACFE. I joined the ACFE shortly after our discussion and decided to pursue my CFE credential. Not once have I regretted my decision to become a CFE and am truly blessed my mentor introduced me to this new world.

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?

Rodriguez: For fun, my husband and I spend time camping, dinning out, and going to the dog park with our dog, Whisper. My husband and I have been together for twenty-three years (high school sweethearts). He is my rock and my biggest supporter. The time we spend together is relaxing and fun.

Our dog keeps us on our toes, for she is a black Weimaraner and needs a lot of attention and love. While camping, we love to gaze up at the stars, looking for falling stars, the Big Dipper, and constellations.

Coach: Do you have any study tips or suggestions for aspiring CFEs?


o    It is OK to fail. We are all human, and life happens. Just get back up, and try again.
o    Budget time to study, and make an outline of what you’d like to study.
o    Take and retake the practice exams until you get a 95% each time.
o    Know the material. I can’t stress this enough.
o    Set deadlines of completion.
o    Ask someone to quiz you on the material studied.
o    Keep telling yourself, “I can do this,” and you will.

Finally, congratulations on your journey to becoming a Certified Fraud Examiner. I wish you well on your future endeavors.