Melissa Ann Sicat

May 14, 2021

“I traveled halfway across the globe, away from my family, to study at CEU, and it was not easy […] but the experience enriched me in so many ways that I can say it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life,” says Melissa Ann Sicat – a graduate of the LL.M. in International Business Law program at CEU.

Melissa is currently working at the international fintech company ‘Wise’ (previously ‘Transferwise’) as a member of their compliance team. She coordinates with various regulatory and law enforcement agencies worldwide to ensure that the company adheres to its AML and due diligence obligations as a financial institution. “CEU exposed me to different fields such as US and European company and IP laws, and financial regulatory compliance, among others. I find all such fields relevant and useful in my career,” says Melissa.

Although she found the CEU experience to be challenging at first, she also found it incredibly enriching, causing her to realize that in life, learning opportunities are boundless. “One should not be afraid to step out of his/her comfort zone to pursue his/her dreams,” she says.

Before coming to CEU, Melissa was an in-house lawyer for a major retailer in the Philippines, but her studies widened her horizons and led her to a completely different field - financial regulatory compliance. “I enjoyed all of my classes […] but I particularly found capital markets, securities regulations, and corporate finance (taught by Professor Tajti) fascinating. Its intricacies affect people's lives in many ways, from financing a business to providing investment opportunities, and ultimately, feeding an economy. I also enjoyed international economic migration policies and environmental laws (taught by Professor Lawrence) as they hit close to home and felt very relevant during these times,” says Melissa.

When asked what advise she would give to current and prospective students, she replies: “Just enjoy the ride.  Learn as much as you can, travel if possible and make many friends. Take your classes seriously as this is a once in a lifetime learning opportunity, but more importantly, just enjoy the experience as it will not last long.”