"The tools and insights that we gained at the IE Law School have allowed us to work all over the world, assessing and managing the risks of any company in any country."

Ekatherine, Mexico

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Ekatherine Cibrián

About me

I’m a Mexican lawyer who has always been interested in the role of law and ethics in international business. Coming from a legal background, the field of compliance is the ideal intersection of these disciplines. IE Law School introduced me to the world of compliance, providing me with the tools and skills necessary to combine ethics, law and business in any compliance role. As a lawyer now specializing in compliance, I believe that I have an obligation to develop a more ethical society through the practice of the law.
After finishing my internship in Eversheds Sutherland Nicea, I returned to the company I’d been working for since my undergraduate degree. My current position is in the legal audit department, where my duties are based on performing a range of compliance audits.
WHO

Ekatherine Cibrián, Mexico

POSITION

Master's Student

Where did the Master lead you, and where do you think it will take you in the future?

Initially, the Master in Global Corporate Compliance allowed me to work in global law firm Eversheds Sutherland Nicea in Spain. I learned a lot from the company’s global orientation, gaining insights into compliance in transnational companies. I also had the opportunity to witness the importance of compliance in global organizations firsthand, which ranges from avoiding sanctions and reducing costs to helping to build a more ethical world.

Secondly, the Master allowed me to return my previous job. Once I arrived back in Mexico, I had the acumen to achieve a better position within the company, where I’m now involved in the decision-making process for compliance obligations. The Master has undoubtedly given me the tools to be a more competitive and proactive professional in my current role and beyond. I believe I’m on the right path to improving my professional prospects and securing a leadership position in the compliance department of any company.

 

How has the program built upon your background and professional experience?

The Master has given me a global perspective on compliance standards, as well as a real-world understanding of the industry and everything that the discipline involves. I’ve also developed a broader analysis capability, which has enabled me to identify areas of opportunity for the companies I have worked for.

I’d heard about the field of compliance in my own country but it’s unfortunately still a relatively new discipline. That said, an increasing number of companies are now becoming interested in fulfilling their compliance obligations. In this sense, it was useful to study leading examples of how companies should develop and implement compliance programs, even though they were located in countries with different levels of risk.

 

How did the Master alter your perspective on business and law or the sector you work in? How did it influence your career path?

It has, without a doubt, enhanced my perspective regarding both business operations and audit programs. Before the Master, I thought that the “world of compliance” and audit programs were incompatible, but studying compliance has shown me there are more nuances to this. Compliance and audit programs are both considered to be defense lines across multiple departments, or sometimes legal departments and compliance departments are related. This means it is often difficult to audit compliance.

Nonetheless, the Master and my professional internship in Eversheds Sutherland Nicea equipped me with the necessary tools to overcome this challenge and develop audits for company compliance programs. I am currently leading a penal compliance audit in my company and the skills learned at IE Law School, such as risk assessment and risk management, are extremely helpful.

 

What are your thoughts on the importance of compliance in your industry, and in the wider corporate world?

Compliance is as important as any other area of a company, whether legal, finance, human resources, or others. It is commonly seen as a needless extra cost within an organization, or an issue that should only be of concern for major transnational companies. In fact, compliance is a discipline that must be implemented in every company, regardless of scale or reach. When carried out effectively, it will aggregate value that can be transferred to other areas. A good compliance program can reduce costs, avoid unnecessary risks, and produce a better environment within the company.

 

What is your takeaway from IE Law School?

IE Law School opened up an amazing network of compliance professionals who are always happy to share their experience and knowledge with me. With so many different perspectives in the classroom at IE Law School, my main takeaway was that, despite the cultural differences, our home countries face the same issues regarding compliance. For example, the culture of corruption is the same in many countries across the globe—Spain, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Brazil, Dominican Republic, US, Lebanon, Italy, India, Perú and Mexico to name a few. The tools and insights that we gained at the IE Law School have allowed us to work all over the world, assessing and managing the risks of any company in any country.

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