Sam VijayaInternational Business Law (distance learning)
Sam graduated from the LLM International Business Law programme in 2019, choosing to study via distance learning.
I found the LLM (distance learning) to be the most suitable programme because of the variety of modules it offered, the experience of the faculty and the flexibility it provided. I decided on how many modules I want to take each semester depending on the time I could commit each week for studying
Sam has more than 25 years of experience in risk management, ethics, controls and compliance. His corporate experience extends from banking to technology corporations to now running an ethics and compliance consultancy.
Running a consultancy business
I’m the Director and Principal of an ethics, compliance and investigation consultancy (https://www.global-oversight.com/). I’m responsible for the management of the consultancy including business development, managing consultants and direct involvement in developing ethics and compliance programmes and conducting confidential investigations, audits and reviews for clients.
Every day is different. Clients, who are usually corporations, engage us for various reasons. Sometimes, it could be for developing programmes for prevention of ethical and compliance breaches. This could include drafting policies, procedures and developing training for their employees. Sometimes, clients engage us to conduct audits, reviews and investigations involving anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering, fraud, harassment violations etc. The work requires travel to regional countries too.
Working with clients
Working with different clients or corporations gives me an opportunity to work within different work environments. For example, one client can be from the technology industry and another can be from the pharmaceutical industry. They operate within different regulatory and business frameworks. So, working with them makes projects interesting and I learn every day.
I also feel good about helping my clients to do business the right way and to protect their reputation. That is, providing them consultancy on how to operate ethically in high risks countries where bribery, corruption and fraud can be prevalent.
In 1989, I graduated with my first-degree, BSc Criminal Justice. Then, when I was a young executive at HSBC, I did an MBA. I always wanted to pursue a law programme but had been putting it off. In 2018, I was starting my own compliance consultancy and thought that it would be good to have some legal skills and decided to do a law programme.
Studying the LLM
I researched programmes and found the LLM in International Business Law at City (via distance learning) to be the most suitable programme because of the variety of modules it offered, the experience of the faculty and the flexibility it provided.
The modules I studied during the course, which included latest trends, technologies and regulations, were relevant to the current business and legal environment. The assignments and research papers I needed to submit gave me opportunities to research new innovative topics or subject matters with the guidance from the faculty. For example, my dissertation topic was Will Blockchain technology reshape arbitration? This is futuristic but I had all the help from my dissertation supervisor to research and complete the dissertation successfully with a distinction.
I also enjoyed the discussions via the Discussion Board with the other students who come from diverse backgrounds in terms of culture, educational and work experience. It was a valuable experience for learning.
Flexibility. Convenience. Whilst working, I can still pursue further education. I decide on how many modules I want to take each semester depending on the time I can commit each week for studying. Even when I travel for work, I can continue with the programme without any disruption as everything is online.
How the LLM helped
The LLM in International Business Law at City broadened my knowledge on business law, which is essential for a consultant like me. For example, understanding Regulation of Information Technology and Intellectual Property, Dispute Resolution in International Commerce, International Corporation Law etc is useful when I provide consultancy to my clients.
Advice for prospective students
Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone and be open to learning new subject matters. City provides a lot of opportunities for that. Make connections with other fellow students and build your network. Have fun!