For those of you who are based in a country where we offer workshops as part of your course, here are a few hints and tips on how you can maximise your workshop experience.
- The workshop pre-reading. This should be outlined in your course information pack. Students who attempt the pre-reading will invariably get more out of the workshops. The workshops are there to support the independent study of our students, not to replace it, as we cannot cover the materials in their entirety during the workshops. So crack open those course materials and get reading. Remember – you will need to do some revision for the exam anyway so you may as well start reading now and use the workshops as an opportunity to consolidate knowledge.
- Keep up to date with topical events. As AML, Financial Crime Prevention or Compliance practitioners in some form or another, what is going on in the world shapes what we have to deal with at work and how we deal with it. Workshops will usually include a section on ‘hot topics’. Come prepared with a few to share with the tutor and the rest of the class. (This also forms a very important part of preparing for assignments and the examination as the use of examples demonstrates application of knowledge). Read the ICT Blogs and join us on LinkedIn for an idea of topical issues.
- Be prepared to interact with the other students. It might seem quite daunting the first time you walk into the room but in my experience, the AML/FCP/Compliance world is generally a friendly place. One of the brilliant things about the workshop programme is your opportunity to network, and I still do this shamelessly myself. So take advantage and introduce yourself to at least three people in each workshop and keep in touch using the Q&A forum on the Learning Platform. You never know where you might be in the future and it’s good to have a network.
- Ask questions, share stories (sanitised please) and join in group discussions – show off a little – the workshops and the tutors are there to encourage debate and critical thinking about the challenges that face us as practitioners. We don’t have too stick rigidly to the slides – they are there as a guide. My favourite workshops are those where we get a good discussion or debate going around some of the topics.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance on assignments and exam prep. Whilst we cannot do these for you we can certainly share hints and tips about how to approach these very important assessments so make sure you seek help where appropriate.
And one more, I think. I know it says ‘5’ in the title….ENJOY YOURSELF (if nothing else, it makes the day go more quickly….).
So a few tips from me on how to get the most out of workshops and I hope to see some of you soon.