I have a background in corporate and investment banking and I am passionate about making a career move into microfinance or another financial development related field. After working in Corporate America for the last ten years (including college internships), I realized that I was only being fulfilled in one way: financially. Given the amount of time that we spend at work, I decided that life is too short to not spend it doing something that I am truly passionate about. After reflecting on the times in my life when I felt the happiest and the most fulfilled, and assessing my strengths, I decided that microfinance or development finance was the best career move for me. It would combine my finance and banking background with my love for helping people, international travel, and being immersed in other cultures. In late-2008, I took on an unpaid internship as a Research Analyst with MicroCapital.org, while managing my full-time investment banking position, in order increase my knowledge of the industry. I hope that by serving as a Kiva Fellow, I will gain valuable microfinance and overseas experience that would increase my marketability to potential employers.
I have traveled to over 15 countries for education, volunteerism, and tourism. In 2002 I traveled outside of the USA for the first time as a participant on Semester at Sea, an interactive study abroad program. In my research, I found that Kiva’s founders are Semester at Sea alumni. We circled the globe on a ship while taking college courses centered around the countries that we were visiting. These were my first experiences with the developing world and they had a profound impact on me. After graduating with my MBA in 2003, I traveled to Ghana where I volunteered with an NGO for two months. During this time, I taught math and English at a shelter for abused children. I continue to have a relationship with this shelter today, visiting them on a subsequent trip to Ghana and sending toys and books for the children a few times a year. I also traveled with the NGO to rural villages where we taught basic financial literacy principles and the benefits of pooling their resources. It was through these and other experiences that I developed a love of traveling in developing countries and giving my time and talents to the people that I met along the way.