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Each of us has our own unique motivating story in life; mine was when my father died in 2010. The vacuum that had filled my mother’s life in terms of economic vulnerability was more unsettling than the loss as such. We were fortunate enough to have me working to take upon the responsibility of my mother. But I was not sure how I could ensure continued support in the midst of my plans to quit working for my higher education. I wanted to figure out a way that could give financial independence to my mother. This was the triggering point that made me start thinking about economically deprived women from my village who had limited access to resources unlike my mother. It was then that I learnt more about how micro finance has had success with different groups of women across the country. Spurred by this thought process and the fact that I was looking to pursue a MBA to work as a positive catalyst in the development of a more entrepreneurial India, microfinance was embedded in my passion for addressing social needs using business and market driven approaches in order to maximize impact and sustainability.

In order to further my knowledge on the subject I attended a 6-week Microfinance Simulcast lecture course from Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in the months of October through December in 2011. The course learnings reaffirmed my belief that microfinance has the power to break the cycle of poverty and to empower individuals with increased access to credit. I enjoyed learning listening to various microfinance experts as guest speakers and Mr. Premal Shah was one of them. It was then that I learned about Kiva and was quite intrigued by the business model. The non traditional approach of integrating technology into the traditional approach was quite fascinating to learn of. My conversation with Mr.Jacob Schultz at the Global MBA career conference at Georgetown University provided me with a deeper understanding of the organization and the fellows program in specific.

I am certain that the Kiva Fellow Program will provide me with a rich and interesting experience offering real life cases for work. A fellow being the only source on field for Kiva I believe makes the program an intense learning experience from operational, financial to strategy aspects of a microfinance institute making it very valuable to some one like me who is looking for a transition from the corporate sector to the social enterprise sector. Unlike other micro finance intern programs I see an opportunity to contribute my specific technology skills apart from my project management experience and look forward to making a difference to the Kiva experience for me as well as the customers.

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