The English-language CCO course: experiences of 2 alumni and their professor

In our 3-part series ‘Experiences with the Certified Compliance Officer (CCO) course,’ professionals share their insights. All interviewees took part in the incompany training program Rabobank offers its employees. In this article, former students Chuojia Mo, Lusine Shahmuradyan, and Professor Coby-Wilma van Essen-Meijers share their experiences. Now that the first group has completed the English-language CCO course, they reflect on memorable moments and offer tips to new students. 

PS: Want to learn more about Chuojia, Lusine, and Coby-Wilma first? Scroll down! 

No more language barrier with the course now taught in English 

The Rabobank hosts a mix of ambitious national and international professionals. Coby-Wilma previously taught the Dutch-language CCO course. However, she noticed that the material was challenging for some international students with only basic Dutch language skills. Thus, the English variant was developed. With the introduction of the English-language CCO course, Chuojia's wish was granted. ‘I wanted to take the course three years ago,’ she says, ‘but language was always a barrier.’ 

The same applied to Lusine. She started the course but quickly found the language barrier to be challenging. 'Especially the technical aspects such as reading the laws, were very difficult. If Coby-Wilma hadn't been so helpful, I wouldn't have made it through. She puts in so much effort to help you. When you study law at university, you learn to read the law correctly, but you can't make certain specific connections yet. At the academic level, it's not about compliance either. The CCO course fills the gap between general information about Dutch regulations and compliance regulation in Europe.’ 

Tailored information delivery to the students' knowledge level 

Lusine and Chuojia were part of the first group of the English-language CCO course. Together in a group of half English-speaking students and Dutch-speaking students. ‘Within the curriculum, we noticed that we sometimes needed to adjust our approach,’ says Coby-Wilma. ‘In module 3, we focus on Dutch products. With the English group, the tax techniques behind certain products raised many questions. It's a topic you have to start from scratch and build upon. Otherwise, the students can't complete their assignment. So, I had to approach it differently than with the Dutch variant. The English-language version fully meets all DSI certification requirements but isn’t a complete carbon copy of the Dutch-language course.’ 

Making time for the course and scheduling meetings 

Lusine and Chuojia's advice is to allocate enough time for the course. ‘Start reading the study materials and review the assignments from day one,’ Lusine suggests. ‘If you procrastinate, it really piles up.’ Chuojia also offers important advice to new students. ‘Put all meetings in your agenda because you must attend them physically. Consider this when planning a vacation to see family or friends.’ You're allowed to miss only two sessions during the course. And according to Coby-Wilma, you don't really want to miss the meetings. ‘You meet colleagues from different departments, each with their own perspective on the subject matter. It's a great way for more interaction amongst colleagues and excellent for acquiring new insights and asking questions.’ 

Building connections with colleagues from different departments 

‘What I find special is that we became a very close group in a short amount of time. Within the group, we could be open, and it felt safe. The bonding is the most beautiful thing I take away from this group,’ says Coby-Wilma, smiling. Chuojia adds, ‘Everyone has a different background, and we shared a lot with each other.’ Lusine also experienced this. ‘Every meeting is memorable for me, but one meeting stands out. There was unrest in my home country, and I was struggling. When we discussed the situation during the meeting, I received tremendous support from everyone.’ 

Completing the course: putting the puzzle pieces together 

‘Completing the course means not only an end but also a new beginning for me. Because now I can apply what I've learned in my work. I use not only the hard skills but also the useful soft skills in everyday life,’ says Chuojia reflecting back. 

Lusine is also very pleased that she took the course. ‘I now understand why the course is necessary. Certain modules were directly applicable in my work life. I was working on SIRA at my job, which was simultaneously covered in the course. That was very convenient. When I completed the course, everything fell into place. I realized that the puzzle is now complete.’ 

About Lusine 

Lusine, born in Armenia, came to the Netherlands where she obtained her Master's degree in law. She was offered a job at a bank, thus beginning her compliance journey. For the past 2 years, she has worked as a Compliance Operating Officer in the Core Compliance team at Rabobank. Her main task is to monitor risks and communication within compliance. She is also responsible for the organization and communication of Rabobank's incompany CCO training program. She is the essential link between her colleagues and her contacts at NIBE-SVV. As a proud ambassador of the course, she encourages her colleagues to enroll. 

About Chuojia 

Chuojia came to the Netherlands from China in 2015 for her studies. She studied Arbitration and Business Law in Rotterdam. Although she didn't intend to stay in the Netherlands, she fell in love with a Dutchman and decided to stay. After obtaining her Master's, she seized the opportunity to work for the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. There, she began her compliance career as a trainee. She moved to Rabobank 3 years ago, and for the past 1.5 years, she has been working in the Financial Crime Compliance department. As a Financial Crime Compliance Officer, she provides compliance advice on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing. 

About Coby-Wilma 

Coby-Wilma is an entrepreneur and has been collaborating with NIBE-SVV since 1999 to impart her knowledge to students. For the past 1.5 years, she has been closely working with Chuojia on a major project at Rabobank. As a dedicated professor, she teaches the CCO course and hosts all classes. Students really appreciate all of her efforts to make the material understandable for all. She has always taught the CCO course in Dutch and now also in English. She continuously works to improve the course, making it more accessible for English speakers. 

Want to read more? 

Would you like to read parts 1, 2, and 3 of our 3-part series? In part 1, Lusine shares her own experience with the collaboration with NIBE-SVV and the professors. In part 2, you'll read about the experiences of former students José Oord and Dewi Mohan. In part 3, Coby-Wilma and colleague professor Sebastiaan provide tips, tricks and a behind-the-scenes look. 

Overview of English-language compliance courses: 

Contact us for more information! 

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Are you an L&D manager within your organization and interested in incompany solutions for your colleagues? Contact our account managers at 035 – 7 506 157 or

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