• Student lays foundation for anti-fraud career at ACFE Conference

    Associate member Cori Burnside is a junior majoring in accounting at Indiana University East in Richmond, Ind. She was one of 11 students who received a scholarship from the ACFE to attend the 23rd Annual ACFE Fraud Conference & Exhibition. Watch the video interview we did with Cori at the Conference (below). Then, read on as we caught up with her recently to learn more about her and to see what she had gained from her experience at the Conference.




    Where were you born and raised?

    I was born and raised in Lewisburg, Ohio, a small village populated with roughly 1,800 people. I still, currently, reside there.

    What were your favorite activities and hobbies growing up? Did any of them foretell your future involvement in accounting?

    Growing up, I was a normal kid that loved to be outside and hang out with friends, but everyone knew who they could come to for math help!

    Why did you choose your major in accounting?

    I always knew that I wanted to be involved with numbers, somehow. I have enjoyed math since I was in grade school and it still shows in my current job as a teller at Eaton National Bank & Trust Company.

    Your campus of Indiana University is the first to offer Forensic Accounting Investigations as a minor. What made you choose this minor?

    As one who loves a challenge and who had enjoyed my introductory course of "The American Criminal Justice System," I knew this minor was just what I was looking for.

    How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?

    As I did more and more research about forensic accounting, it came to a point where I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was so intrigued by the motivation that the fraud fighters had to establish justice and detect each and every bit of evidence.

    How has the ACFE benefitted you?

    Through all the workshop invites through mail, the Fraud Magazine e-newsletters and eager-to-help staff, the ACFE has given me resources that will help me in the near future to jumpstart my career.

    How did you hear that you received the scholarship to attend the ACFE Conference in Orlando this year? How did you feel about getting it?

    On May 4th, Kevin Taparauskas, the ACFE's Marketing Director, informed me through email that I had received the scholarship to attend the ACFE Conference! I was more than ecstatic about it and immediately called my professor, Anita Morgan, who attended the Conference also, to tell her the exciting news! Again, I would sincerely like to thank the ACFE for the amazing opportunity you gave me.

    What did you think of Michael Woodford's speech at the ACFE Conference? Did it help you in your paper? Did you get to meet him? If so, what was he like?

    Michael Woodford’s speech was so intriguing in the fact that what he did is why I want to be in the profession. Although whistleblowers are not always as lucky as him, he knew that there were ‘fishy’ acts going on within his company, and he set his sights on figuring it out. What I learned through Woodford’s speech is a big part of my paper, as it is still in progress, and still cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to hear it with my own ears.

    After his speech, I got to shake his hand, get our picture together and receive a business card to contact him if I had any questions for him regarding my paper. I understand that he is a busy man, so although I did not get more time to chit-chat with him, hearing his speech was enough!

    In your video interview, you mentioned that the Conference was great for networking. Did you meet any notable people? Have you kept in touch with them?

    I talked for a long while with the gentleman at the U.S. Department of Justice: Federal Bureau of Investigations booth about possible careers and collected a whole folder full of information, including contacts, that I will most definitely put to use when looking for employment opportunities.

    Also, Stevenson University offers a Masters in Forensic Studies that caught my eye, and they have since sent me materials about it.

    You mentioned that you would like to work for the FBI. Why?

    I like a challenge and the investigation side of accounting, and in order to pursue a career in a field I am interested in, it seems that the FBI has pulled that all together for me.