From his start in economics to a career federal law enforcement, Wayne credits Lafayette's skilled faculty and diverse academic experiences for a satisfying career investigating white-collar crimes in the FBI Twitter
By Bryan Hay
As a student settling into the economics program at Lafayette, Bruce Wayne ’04 had his eyes set on a career in the business world. But it was just the beginning of a road that would lead him to the FBI.
He says Lafayette’s liberal arts foundation and the diverse academic experiences in the economics program prepare students for any business venture, even government service.
How did your Lafayette economics degree prepare you for your unique career path?
My economics degree from Lafayette was the beginning of a chain of events that lead me to my current position as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Upon entering Lafayette, a career in law enforcement was in the back of my mind and so I spent the first few semesters as a Government & Law major.
After taking a few classes in the Economics Department, I thought a career in the “business world” would be much more practical than law enforcement…and quite frankly, more lucrative. My newfound business aspirations took yet another turn after taking Prof. Rosie Bukics’ Financial Theory class.
I developed a strong interest in analyzing financial data and understanding how companies’ operational activities were reflected in their financial statements. Prof. Bukics became a mentor to me and introduced me to the idea of a career in public accounting, as well as to a fellow Leopard Gioia Pisano ’90 who worked in recruiting at Ernst & Young LLP (EY). From there, I was accepted into a work-study program through EY that led to my earning a masters degree in accounting from the University of Virginia and licensure as a Certified Public Accountant.
How did you find your way to the FBI?
After working approximately five years in EY’s New York Auditing and Risk Advisory practices, my aspirations to work in law enforcement returned. I thought the FBI would be a great place for me to utilize my skills in finance and accounting to help the FBI achieve its critical mission of protecting the American people.
I am currently in my 12th year as a special agent in the FBI’s New York Division. I am currently assigned to a squad that investigates white-collar crime, and over the course of my career have also been involved in federal investigations pertaining to narcotics distribution and national security matters.
What gives you the most satisfaction working for the FBI?
The best part of my job is the sense of service to our country and the ability to work with a diverse group of highly skilled men and women, many of whom left much higher paying jobs in support of the FBI’s mission. I also enjoy how my work responsibilities change on a daily basis. Some days are spent in the office analyzing financial records, writing reports, and putting together investigative pieces. Other days I am out in the public interviewing witnesses, executing search warrants, making arrests, or testifying before a federal grand jury.
If you had a chance to talk to students considering majoring in economics at Lafayette, what would you say to them?
I’ve long felt that the beauty of a liberal arts college such as Lafayette is students’ ability to gain exposure over a wide range of study areas. This is no different in the Economics Department. Econ majors are exposed to a variety of courses that introduce strong fundamentals in such areas as accounting, finance, and economics to name a few.
These diverse academic experiences, in conjunction with a dedicated and highly skilled faculty, help prepare students for a career in almost any facet of business…. or in my case, government service!