Summer Internships 2015

Sun-soaked postcards from Bryn Mawr students

A Postcard From: Vito Mkandawire ’17


snapshot_20131230Name: Vito Mkandawire

Class Year: 2017

Internship Placement: I will be interning at FINCA Malawi, a nonprofit micro-finance organization that gives loans to small-scaled entrepreneurs, as well as big business owners. I hope to learn how to deal with finance issues among low-income individuals in developing countries like Malawi.

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

This summer I had the opportunity to intern at FINCA Malawi as the assistant loan officer. My primary responsibilities were to provide customer services to clients and assist the loan officer with analyzing and assessing individuals if they were eligible for the loan.

FINCA Malawi is part of FINCA International (Foundation for International Community Assistance), a nonprofit micro-finance institution that seeks to “alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people build assets, create jobs, and raise their standards of living.” FINCA Malawi provides access to socially responsible financial services to enable low-income individuals and communities to invest in their future.

Working at FINCA Malawi, gave me the opportunity to have first hand experience and appreciate some of the economic challenges that people face in developing countries. I was able to collaborate with individuals who are already developing and improving themselves through doing small-scale businesses. And this gave me the platform to augment their work and help to train and build their level of capacities so that they can run and operate their businesses efficiently.

Working as the assistant loan officer was very rewarding and valuable since I was part of the committee that decides whether to approve, defer, decline, or reduce the loan amount that an individual is requesting. Being part of the decision making team, helped me to straighten my critical thinking skills, since I learned to look at a problem from multiple perspectives. Also, I acquired new strategies of small business analysis and assessment required to determine if a client is eligible for a loan. In addition, I had the opportunity to analyze how some of the economical theories I learned in my Public Finance and Economic Development courses comes into play in the real world. With this internship I straightened my critical thinking, time management, organizational, quantitative, as well as interpersonal skills.

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