Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, KPMG, Philadelphia, PA
- Thomas A. Edison High School, Fairfax County Public Schools
- CTE studies: Accounting; Economics and Personal Finance; Principles of Business and Marketing
- Additional studies: Master of Public Administration, Old Dominion University; Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Old Dominion University; Certified Anti- Money Laundering Specialist
Building banking relationships
by Jessica Sabbath
Katherine Dolan is fighting the bad guys with logic.
Katherine is an anti-money laundering specialist at KPMG, where she’s tasked with spotting potential illegal or fraudulent activity within the financial banking system. She works with banks of all sizes that want to make sure they’re combatting money laundering and terrorist financing.
“This definitely became a bigger issue after 9/11, in which we found some of the terrorists that hijacked the planes were receiving money through banks here in the U.S.,” explains Katherine.
Although Katherine didn’t know it at the time, she began laying the foundation for her career at Thomas A. Edison High School where she took accounting, finance, business, and marketing courses, which helped her gain knowledge she still applies to her job today.
“In accounting, we went through regulation and government policies of the accounting industry,” she says. “I certainly remember realizing that accounting was more than balancing a checkbook.”
In high school, she also gained real-life experience by participating in cooperative education with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was part of DECA, an organization that prepares students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. “Being a part of [DECA] was major for me, because it brought together the idea that there’s a bigger world out there than Virginia,” she says. These experiences, she stated, allowed her to travel to different U.S. cities and work with students from across the nation.
Katherine’s current job continues to allow her to travel, which she cites as one of her favorite aspects of her career. Her ultimate career goal is to work for a government agency that is more directly involved with catching criminals. “F.B.I. is the dream,” she says.
Acquisitions Specialist, Defense Logistics Agency, Richmond
- Atlee High School, Hanover County Public Schools
- CTE studies: Principles of Business and Marketing; Marketing; Sports, Entertainment, and Recreation Marketing
- Additional studies: Bachelor of Science in Marketing, Virginia Commonwealth University; Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Level 2 certification
Supplying the military
by Jessica Sabbath
John Henley has been helping the government buy military supplies since his first summer in college.
John applied for an internship with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which was seeking interns among students who planned to major in business. The DLA buys and stocks items that the military needs, including everything from vehicle and aircraft parts to weapons systems.
That summer, John learned the basics of procurement and worked for the agency throughout his three years of college at Virginia Commonwealth University. He worked full time in the summer and about 24 hours a week during the school year in addition to handling his courses.
After graduation, he started a two-year, post-graduate program with the agency and now works full time. John plans to stay with the agency— his dad has enjoyed working there for 32 years—and eventually wants to earn his Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance.
As an acquisitions specialist, he is in charge of creating solicitations for items needed by the military. Once companies bid on the contract, John evaluates the con-tractors based on price and previous task performance of the company. He also tries to work with contractors to get the best price for the government.
John sees a lot of value in helping the military. “I kind of feel like I have a direct impact on helping out the guys in the military,” says John. “If I do my job well and get a con-tract awarded for an item the military members need…I can have a direct impact on getting that helicopter back up the in air,” he says.
Aaron S. Van Allen
District Representative/Service Academy Coordinator, Congressman Bob Goodlatte (VA-6), Lynchburg
- Tunstall High School, Pittsylvania County Public Schools
- CTE studies: Marketing; DECA
- Additional studies: Bachelor’s in Political Science and Government with a minor in public service, Hampden-Sydney College; Pursuing a Master of Public Policy in Public Administration at Liberty University, Lynchburg
Executing public policy
by Veronica Garabelli
Aaron S. Van Allen credits his alma mater, Hampden-Sydney College, with leading him to his current career path. “I think that’s where I really began my appreciation for public service, and Hampden- Sydney really showed me the direction that I wanted to go in my life,” says Aaron, now a district representative and service academy coordinator for U.S. Congressman Bob Goodlatte (VA-6).
In his present role, Aaron handles casework, questions, and concerns that constituents in his district have with the federal government. For example, if a veteran in his district applies for disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, hasn’t heard back, and wants to receive an update on the claim, he or she can contact Goodlatte’s office for help.
He also processes applications for constituents in his district who are seeking a congressional nomination to attend one of the four service academies in the U.S. (Applicants must receive a nomination from their congressman, the president, or the vice president when applying to The U.S. Military Academy at West Point; Naval Academy in Maryland; Merchant Marine Academy in New York; and the Air Force Academy in Colorado).
Aaron’s favorite part about his job is having his “boots on the ground,” so to speak. “I am going out into the communities, and I’m having those one-on-one conversations with constituents and hearing the concerns that they have, and I thoroughly enjoy doing that,” he says.
Aaron has been serving as a liaison since high school, when he was a Western Area vice president and then president of Virginia DECA, where his responsibilities included connecting with students and administrators in the organization to make sure it was running smoothly. Aaron participated in the student organization, which helps students launch careers in marketing, management, hospitality, and finance, while taking marketing courses at Tunstall High School. Participation in those activities helped him pick up networking, communication, and organizational skills he still uses today.
While Aaron doesn’t plan to run for public office, he says he would enjoy being a chief of staff for a member of congress. Next year, he expects to graduate from Liberty University with a Master of Public Policy.
The Career Clusters logo and its extensions are the property of the National Career Technical Foundation, as managed by NASDCTEc. Some content on this page is from the publication, R U College & Career Ready? - 2017 Edition; and is used here with permission from the Virginia Business Publications LLC and Trailblazers in the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.