Written by: Michael Song
I’m a third year finance and economics major in the honors cohort program. This summer I will be interning with Hope International, a non-profit microfinance firm www.hopeinternational.org, as the sole finance and accounting summer analyst. The Firm is based out of Lancaster, Pa (Amish Country… anyone?) and has funds in 14 different countries.
I found out about this opportunity as somewhat of a coincidence. I was visiting home for Thanksgiving break catching up with an old friend and was introduced to Hope International when asked about my intentions after graduation.
Just as a caveat, I have been hyper-focused solely on opportunities that have offered traditional valuation experience due to my previous internships in investment banking. Honestly, I hadn’t thought of this particular industry as a possibility for a career path directly out of undergrad until learning more about microfinance.
Hope International is a niche based microfinance firm that seeks opportunities in “hard places,” which directly translates to countries most major funds in the industry avoid. That being said, the fund is not extremely large. I will be working directly with the sole finance manager and analyst in assessing and improving efficiency of their funds while assisting in fund operations. Due to the small team, I’m looking to get a vast amount of responsibility and an opportunity to add value immediately.
There are three things I am very excited about with this opportunity: making a social impact in trying to alleviate poverty through business, receiving more exposure to the field of microfinance, and experiencing the impact of my work first hand in the Dominican Republic. As part of the internship the firm allows the opportunity for interns to visit a country in which one of the funds operate.
In regards to blogging, The Firm actually encourages interns to blog so that experience can be shared amongst the intern class. I believe the hindsight analysis of blogging will help me in clarifying my goals for the summer as well hopefully give some of (you) insight into the field of microfinance and general summer internships.
As a side note: If there is anything (you) would be interested in hearing about specifically, feel free to leave a comment and I will try to include it in my next blog.
-Michael C. Song
Background From Nicholasville, KY
Consultant, Lazard Capital Markets (Columbus, OH & New York, NY)
IBD Summer Analyst, KeyBanc Capital Markets (Cleveland, OH & New York, NY)
Marketing Summer Analyst, Limited Brands (Columbus, OH)
(More about microfinance)
Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus
Creating a World without Poverty by Muhammad Yunus