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ALUMNI PROFILE Deirdre Weiss (MJ ’19)

Boosting credentials

Already working in compliance, Deirdre Weiss (MJ ’19) was looking to boost her credentials when she enrolled in Loyola University Chicago’s Master of Jurisprudence (MJ) program in Business Law. She got even more than a degree: Weiss published her master’s thesis in a prestigious journal and became an invited presenter at academic conferences.

SWITZERLAND BASED: When Weiss moved to Zurich with her husband she “had to embark on a new career path because the research and training work I’d done in the U.S. was very domestic-focused,” she says. She landed jobs in legal departments that brought her into compliance projects and enjoyed the field. One boss insisted that she needed a law degree to advance her career in compliance. Weiss began to look for MJ programs. “It was a blessing in disguise,” she says.

 

“The coursework helped me with critical thinking about my day-to-day work.”

THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL: “I saw Loyola’s program and thought it was the right mix of theoretical and practical, but the live course component spooked me because of the time difference,” says Weiss. She decided to go for it and was glad she did. “The coursework helped me with critical thinking about my day-to-day work, and I enjoyed meeting other students, some of whom were already working in compliance,” she says. Another plus: The synchronous classes are recorded, so when Weiss found herself less than alert while attending class late at night, she could review them later.

FINDING FLEXIBILITY: Loyola’s MJ program administrators make it a point to work with busy students for maximum flexibility. Weiss fulfilled her required on-campus immersion weekends by “making it part of vacation when I combined it with visiting my parents in Oklahoma,” she says. She also arranged to attend one semester full time while between jobs, enabling her to finish the program earlier. “Being able to do a little more or a little less, depending on what’s going on in your life, is one of the strengths of the program,” she says.

PUBLISHING HER THESIS: With the encouragement of her advisor, Weiss was “delighted” to have her thesis, Enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Against Foreign Issuers: Helping or Hindering the Global Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Movement? published in the Journal of International Business & Law. Weiss argues that companies that are foreign issuers are disproportionately fined under the FCPA compared to U.S. issuers, and that a new balance is needed between the United States’ aggressive enforcement and other countries’ less robust enforcement.

CONFERENCE PRESENTER: Weiss was invited to present her thesis findings at the ComplianceNet Conference and the 5th Forum of the Interdisciplinary Corruption Research Network, both in June 2021. Since 2019, she’s been the group integrity and compliance operations manager for Adecco Group AG and says that her supervisor supported her presenting her research at conferences. “Loyola’s program was well worth it,” she says. “It has helped me advance in my career and gave me opportunities I didn’t imagine when starting the program, especially being able to publish and present my research.”—Gail Mansfield


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