Michael Song @ Hope International

n12927696_36671474_3556I’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
Past Internships:
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

5 thoughts on “Michael Song @ Hope International”

  1. Michael: – I read Banker to the Poor and found it fascinating how small loans to the right people could make a huge difference in their lives, especially women’s lives.

    What motivated you to take or seek out an internship with a microfinance institution?

  2. Mark,

    You know… I never really thought about seeking out Microfinance as an internship, I had the luxury of it coming to me. That being said, I found the idea of microfinance so fascinating, just like I’m sure you did as well as many others who have read a little about it, that I kept telling myself it could be a possibility in the future. (I just didnt realize how soon!) The idea of a career that not only benefits you in building skillsets, but also providing for a social cause is one that I think is taken for granted too often. I saw this benefit and jumped on it when I had the chance.

    Hope that somewhat answers your question, Mark.

  3. Michael,
    Hi! I’m a program manager and doctoral student in the College of Public Health at OSU. I’m interested in the connection between microfinance and health, and found your blog while searching Fisher’s website for resources related to microfinance. I’m particularly interested in your perspective on the opportunities for applying microfinance models here in the US with populations living in intergenerational poverty. Perhaps we can chat when you return in the fall?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *