A Professional "Playing to Win"
As an executive at a leading financial firm, Melissa Sanchez, J.D., is constantly in touch with a variety of colleagues and clients. Occasionally, someone asks a question she has come to expect: how did such a young person achieve so much success?
“I take it as a compliment,” said Ms. Sanchez, who is Vice President of the Global Financial Crimes Division of MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.). With headquarters in Tokyo, the firm has more than 2,300 offices throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific. Supervising a staff of 40 professionals, Ms. Sanchez ensures that employees and clients at all branches follow internal financial policies and government regulations.
Ms. Sanchez’s parents, Victor and Ana, immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic. Raised in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, Ms. Sanchez worked by day while commuting to the University’s Queens, NY, campus for evening classes. In 2007, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice through the College of Professional Studies (CPS). “St. John’s was my first choice,” she said. “The Criminal Justice program has a great reputation, and there is a sense of community you feel the minute you step on campus.”
Ms. Sanchez earned her J.D. degree in 2011 at the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, where she was named Best Oral Advocate in Moot Court, made the Touro International Law Review, and participated in a variety of clubs. She began her career ascent after graduation: Judicial Clerk for Hon. Conrad Singer, Judge, Nassau County Family Court; Personal Injury Associate at Foley Griffin, LLP; Assistant Vice President at JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Senior Associate at Deloitte; and her current role at MUFG.
Through it all, Ms. Sanchez remains dedicated to St. John’s. A member of the CPS Advisory Board, she coordinated an on-campus panel discussion in October 2017 entitled, “Changing the Game: Women Who Play to Win.” Ms. Sanchez received the University’s Distinguished Young Alumna Award in 2018. “I am looking forward to returning to campus for other activities,” she said. “I want future alumnae to benefit from the insights that I and so many women have gained in our fields.”