An Invested Investigator

The path to a career that you love may involve trying on many hats, as was the case for Amanda Hohl (MBA ’04).

First, she intended to become a criminal attorney. However, after earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and sociology, Hohl realized that she wouldn’t feel comfortable defending clients who may actually be guilty. She then considered a career at the FBI and even worked as a special agent at the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. However, her passion for accounting led her to auditing roles with the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and later the North Carolina State Auditor's Office, handling investigations related to fraud, waste and abuse by state agencies, employees and nonprofits.

Today, Hohl is an Anti-Money Laundering Investigations senior associate at PNC in Raleigh, N.C., blending her passion for both criminal justice and finance.

“I never get bored. It’s refreshing to come to work every day.”

The details on her motivation: “I definitely am a planner. And I’ve always been a by-the-rules kind of girl. I knew when I started my undergraduate studies in criminal justice that I wanted to work hard and graduate early, because I was excited to get into my field. Still today, when handling money-laundering cases, I like being focused and getting into the details of the investigation. I may only be given very minimal information early on but I like to dig and figure out what actually happened.”

The surprise about a criminal justice career: “It’s not one of those jobs where you can just leave it at the office; it tends to follow you home. In my past jobs, there were times when I couldn’t go out to dinner because I’d worry about who I might see there. In this field, you see a lot of things that you can’t unsee. The way to get through it is to decompress. Talk to your coworkers. I’m on a fantastic team now, and we’re all like family. Because I can talk to people who are in a similar situation, work is not overwhelming.”

Why her background is a boon: “The criminal justice field is evolving and I want to learn and grow with it. My prior jobs included high-functioning accounting aspects, and my Strayer University MBA was accounting-intensive. Now, I can look at cases and see how they add up. I know what I should be seeing in terms of revenue and when there might be issues. I think having a criminal justice degree and a business degree sets me apart, and I appreciate both. I wouldn’t trade my job: There are so many different cases, and I never get bored. It’s refreshing to come to work every day. I really have a passion for justice.”