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Citi seminar prepares students for success

Anti-money laundering expertise might seem like a specialized skill, but for many students in the National & Competitive Intelligence Program, the knowledge they gained from a summer seminar with Citi has helped make them marketable in whatever career fields they choose.

Charles Poliseno speaks to business executives about his experience in the Citi seminar.  Charles Poliseno speaks to business executives about his experience in the Citi seminar.

More than 50 students have been trained by the two-year-old National & Competitive Intelligence Program in the College of Business, organized by business instructor and former diplomat Walter Andrusyszyn. Students from all disciplines in the program learn the writing, presentation, and critical-thinking skills necessary to work in the intelligence field, whether for the government or private companies. The program offers certificates in national and competitive intelligence at the undergraduate and graduate levels through the Center for Academic Excellence.

The program is fully funded by a grant from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the curriculum includes projects with government agencies and private companies to show students how they might use their new abilities in varying situations. In addition, Citi has also partnered with the program the past two years with an anti-money laundering session.

"What employers are looking for is a program that generates people with certain skill sets," Andrusyszyn said. "What Citi gets from this relationship is that the people who come out of this program are people who have good writing and presentation skills and an analytical skill set."

Business economics senior Charles Poliseno says his experience investigating a hypothetical money laundering case for Citi has helped him in areas beyond finance and banking.

"As Walter and my colleagues can certainly attest, we got grilled," he said. "It definitely improved my presentation skills."

Steve Gorlick, director of Tampa operations for Citi's anti-money laundering division, said the company has been impressed by the students, and that he looks forward to other opportunities with USF. Citi will soon be partnering with the College of Business ISDS department on an anti-money laundering bootcamp, a new addition to USF's core business offerings.

"This has served to complement and broaden student experiences with real-world examples of investigative skill requirements in a corporate setting," Gorlick said. "We look for forward to a continued strong partnership in this program."

Andrusyszyn said it is students like Poliseno who make the Citi partnership possible. From Citi to the National Security Agency to the CIA, Andrusyszyn constantly hears that USF students who participate in his program are among the most impressive in the nation. Being able to place these students in Citi's anti-money laundering division or in high-profile government internships makes USF's National Competitive Intelligence Program a unique opportunity for students.

"The benefit to students is a much better professional development program and a much better resume," Andrusyszyn said.

Andrusyszyn said the program is an asset to students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines.

"I tailor the program to the student," he said, noting that the program has something for everyone and is far from one-size-fits-all.

Greg McNealy is one of those students in Andrusyszyn's program -- an aspiring doctor, McNealy is taking pre-med science classes in addition to his finance major. He acknowledged people wonder why a future doctor would want to learn skills for the intelligence industry.

"Today's health care industry has become a market-based system," Greg McNealy said. "The National Competitive Intelligence Program has provided the training for me to become a business professional."