Each semester, students enrolled in the Global Microloan Program will update this site with their weekly program logs. The Spring 2016 student teams include Technology and Communications; Marketing and Fundraising; Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits; and Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment.Marketing and Fund Raising: Savannah Adkins*, Shaylah Brown, Tishanna DeLeon, Kami Findik, Khadija Naqui
Technology and Communications Team: Roxlind James, Anthony Kim, Mate Majstorovic, Jermaine Mbadugha, Ashley Younker*Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team: William Alexander*, John Dziedzic, Tiffany Francisco, Erfana Hossain, Pritesh Shah
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits Team: Kamoy Andrews, Janet Brago, Dominique Jones*, Mina Mustafa, Joshua Ossai
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits
By: Dominique Jones
One of the main reasons I joined GLOBE was to directly instigate change in someone’s life who is in need. I had always participated in small scale community service such as walks and soup kitchens but never felt like I was doing enough. I felt that I was merely dancing around the issue of poverty in my own comfort zone which I think is common in the U.S. and other first world countries. Many fail to realize that a roundtable discussion, a few donated dollars, or listening to a speaker may somewhat help but it does not address the root of the problem. In both of the readings by Muhammad Yunus I was forced to think of poverty in a different light. It was the first time I regarded poverty as a “man- made” issue. Moreover, I never regarded poverty as violation of human rights. I come from a single parent household and struggled growing up. Luckily I was not impoverished, and I did not have to worry about where my next meal was going to come from. However, I went to school with friends who did, where school was the only way they were going to eat that day. I have family members living in poverty, without heat, lights, or a secured next meal, all which are basic human rights. Yunus was right that the financial institutions of a country are responsible for assisting impoverished citizens “widen their economic base” but “Microfinance Handbook” pointed out that there are systems in place to help people, especially in the United States. However, the issue is the way in which they provide assistance. The social and health services are just that, services. They are not tools, they merely help you to sustain at your current level and do not foster advancement. I have seen cycles of poverty in my own neighborhood. Where a parent does not have proper resources and minimal education and because they are simply existing and not thriving they do not advance. Then their children are raised by the same circumstances with a higher cost of living. Each time the cycle continues, it gets worse. I have seen this in the Nation’s Capital, but it is nothing compared to the type of poverty experienced in the countries we operate in and others. Another interesting idea that had also never occurred to me is why local NGO and social welfare programs don’t coordinate. Instances such as this make me question if this is because the importance is not realized or if the matter is purposefully being ignored to continue the cycle of poverty and oppression for certain groups.
“Creating a World Without Poverty” offered some information that was also useful to my team (Entrepreneurial Development). Yunus points out that in order for microfinancing to be successful, especially when the lenders are not natively situated with its borrowers, “you must emphasize potential strengths of the country, not just weaknesses” (p.109). While I obviously was not looking to emphasize the weaknesses it did however force us to look at the strengths of our borrowers. We know they may not understand technical terms regarding finance and business strategy, but the bottom line is they are capable of manufacturing goods, selling them, and have strong connections to their communities. One of their strengths is that they don’t need to spend on things such as marketing, if their entire community/village knows and supports them. Yunus also talks about flexibility which also came up in my first team meeting. We were trying to devise a way to create a business template and make it accessible to our borrowers to help them assemble more coherent proposals. Quickly thinking in terms of our own world, we had the great idea of putting the document on the cloud as a shareable document. Then we realized, these are developing countries, there is barely clean water sometimes, let alone computers, and access to a cloud! So we flexed. We instead, decided to create one syllabus and have it translated in to the necessary languages depending on which country it was. We then would send one document to the Daughters of Charity there, for them to teach. We also decided to assemble small laminated fact sheets for topics such as financial literacy, and health. We had to step out of our world and think in terms of their daily lives and limitations because as Yunus said, poverty looks very different depending where you are in the world. We felt this would be a helpful as they are already business owners. We are not trying to teach them an entirely new skill, but sharpen their assets. While in the U.S., a six month fast track certificate program may be advantageous, if you are in Bangladesh, you don’t have six months, you need to feed yourself tonight! We must think in terms of life and death when we assess the needs of our borrowers because that is the life that many of them are living.
Lastly I wanted to note that I had always agreed that people without collateral or credit were not ideal borrowers. I feel I may have thought this because that’s is how I was taught to think about loans. My parents always told me you need equity, and good credit, and if you don’t it tells banks you aren’t reliable. Yunus made a simple but strong statement asserting that these small loans are the difference between life and death and that providing someone with their only chance at escaping poverty “is the best type of insurance”. I was dumbfounded reading this, wondering how I grew up seeing destitution daily, and never thought of it this way. I was almost embarrassed. Many of our readings have a way of simplifying many of the aspects around banking, loaning, and living that we were told were complex. Yunus poses simple questions and simple solutions to problems that seem too difficult to have such simple solutions. In my opinion, it is a testament that if you do business in terms of humanity instead of profit, that you see the world differently.Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team
Log # 1
By: John Dziedzic
Ever since the first day of our program/class of G.L.O.B.E two weeks ago, I have only seen special things in our group. I look around the room and see talent in our teams and a great representation of the university. Coming into the program, I was certain that my views on the world would be shifted for the better in the right direction. Being a Vincentian University, we thrive on the value of Truth, Love, Respect, Opportunity, Excellence, and most of all Service. It is our duty to get out in the world to help those who are not as fortunate as some of us. The G.L.O.B.E program allows this.
Being apart of the Finance and Risk team, I get the chance to use my major to better the lives of people that are less fortunate in our world. The theory of microfinance puts aside the thought of loans only being used by big banks for people who deem worthy for these large borrowings. Not only does it put a smile on client’s faces but also makes me feel better about life. I’ve never had such a great opportunity to use my knowledge and understanding to assess people in need. If I were in need of a small loan to perform for my family I would be at a loss for words if my loan were fulfilled. You just can’t put words to the feeling of the opportunity that we give to these fellow humans in poverty.
Coming into the program, my team and I quickly got together and gained a connection. We are in sync in every meeting and are ready to get out on our job. We are already ready to present 3 loans to the steering committee in the week following. With the time coming up, we are ready to fulfill many more loans. This will be life changing to many around the world in our participating countries. We should feel blessed to be in contact with these countries and the fact that we can improve their life by contributing to their duties and families is a story in itself.
Though we have a huge contribution in the larger aspect of the program as a whole we cannot do this alone. It is a group effort for all teams to fulfill their duties to create many success stories. We all need to stay in close contact because we are now a family. Each year the program brings students in because of their qualifications and resources they will bring to the table. We know what our duty is this semester and we cannot slack one bit.
Microfinance is a tough subject but once applied it is able to be interpreted and understood. Through the Daughters of Charity and all the work they put in, in their participating countries, we allow ourselves to put trust in these developing entrepreneurs to expand their lifestyle and lessen their hardships.
Finishing up, we are here to alleviate individuals and societies out of these hard times that they are in as much as possible. After realizing what past G.L.O.B.E teams have performed, it gives me more motivation to be great in all aspects as a team. In this time of the world we are evolving everyday. One needs to expand the mind and realize that other people in the world need you even if they do not know who you are. That one-day when they do find out whom you are their lives may be changed forever. This is what I think is the best part about the program. It will leave a powerful impact on my life and I am confident that my team will act accordingly and strive for greatness.
Marketing and Fundraising Team
Log # 1
By: Savannah Adkins
I had read so much about poverty and development, knowing poverty alleviation was something that I wanted to do after I got done with school. I thought that I had an idea of what it was. There are so many statistics out there: 1.2 billion people living on less than a $1.25 a day, only half of these people have access to electricity, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. These numbers are striking, and yet they resonate so much more when you get to see the stories of the actual people behind these statistics.
GLOBE has allowed me to see what these people experience and gain a deeper understanding of the lives of people living in poverty. What has particularly touched me is the optimism that our borrowers possess, and the impact that just a small loan can make to a person who is struggling. Several borrowers have significantly improved their lives, and even continue to take out loans to expand their business. Even though there is no actual evidence to show that microfinance has improved people’s lives, based on what I have seen in GLOBE just this week, we are well on our way to positively affecting people’s lives and continuing the tradition of giving people a leg up to help themselves.
There is one thing especially that we spoke about on the first day that I keep think about. Dr. Sama stated that she had spoken with a woman who had insisted on not being called poor. She said that she was not poor because she was rich in so many other thinks like happiness and family. She was merely living in poverty. I think this really connects to the optimism of our borrowers. Granted they have very little, but they see this chance to improve their lives, and that of their children and their family. If anything, I think that we could stand to follow from their example and be more content with what we have. Though these people appreciate what they do have, GLOBE, and microfinance as a whole, provides people with the chance to break the cycle of poverty. But more than that, as one of our borrowers Maria from Nicaragua stated, her loan and the expansion of her business has actually brought her family closer together. As Mohammed Yunis discovered, creating an avenue for entrepreneurs to create these small businesses breaks the cycle of poverty, improves the quality of their life, and provides more hope for their children. It is these small impacts (micro-impacts, if you will) that make me sure that this is actually the field that I want to go into.Technology and Communications Team
Log # 1
By: Ashley Younker
Upon first hearing about the GLOBE program during my freshman year, I was immediately intrigued by it. Not only did I feel as it would provide me with an opportunity to get involved on campus and gain some new experience in the business field, but most importantly it appealed to my yearning to make a positive change in the lives of others. Sure, I didn’t exactly anticipate how much work it would require of me, but I also did not feel threatened by it. Instead, I felt indifferent to the challenges ahead and was determined to move forward with my decision to apply to the program because I was certain that it was something that I wished to pursue.
I am not exaggerating when I say that being accepted into the program was an absolute honor for me. Since first hearing about the program two years prior, my desire to join never wavered. I was extremely excited (and still am) to be a member of such a great program. I must admit that I was nervous for the first class and worried about how exactly I might feel about it. However, after attending the first class and meeting my fellow GLOBE managers I can truly say that that worry disappeared. Before, I felt a drive to make a difference from within myself. Now, I feel empowered not only by myself, but by those around me who also strive to make a difference as much as I do.
One of the toughest challenges that I am facing now is being a team liaison. While I am delighted to be in such an important position, I understand the responsibility that it entails. I have never formally been in such a leadership position before and I am very happy to be a leader in making a difference through this program.
Thus far, I am extremely excited about this program. I feel motivated to drive GLOBE forward and make a very real impact on the lives of those in need. Regardless of what is thrown our way on this journey, I am sure that we will fight through it and have a very successful semester. Making our borrowers happy is our main concern and I am happy to do whatever is necessary to make that happen.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits
By: Kamoy Andrews
This week I learned about the importance of culture immersion for micro-financial institutions. It is extremely important, because a MFI’s success is dependent on its ability to create the right type of loans for borrowers while taking cultural factors into consideration. It is important for borrowers to see the MFI as a part of their community. If the community views the MFI as a foreign institution there can be a negative effect on repayment and the willingness to take risk.
The importance of culture immersion can also be seen in Dr Muhammad Yunus’ book, “Banker to Poor.” In the novel Dr. Yunus describes the life of the people in the village of Jobra. There were three sections in the village of Jobra. The village was divided among Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. Each section of the village has different cultural characteristics. To ensure that the individuals felt comfortable during their conversations he brought a student who was a native of the Buddhist section. This caused the people of the Buddhist section to feel more at ease when the spoke with them, and they were more likely to divulge more information. Dr. Yunus also had to consider the role of gender in the society. He had to show respect to cultural norms of Jobra.
My team was also extremely productive this week. My teammates and I also focused on the execution of our goals. The first goal was innovative, because it had never been done before in GLOBE. We came up with the idea of a pre-goal assessment. This assessment will not affect our colleagues’ audit grade. The point of the pre-goal audit is to provide the teams with direction, while helping the audit team gain an overview of the other team's’ objectives before they begin.
This week we also created an audit schedule. We believe the earlier we begin our audits the better. We found that it would be extremely effective if we created a Google Form to schedule our audit dates. We plan on emailing the forms to each team as soon as this week. Each team will select a date, and they will be held accountable for being present during our audit. During these audits we will incorporate the knowledge we learned from the pre-goal survey. This knowledge will help us to analyze each team’s progress. We will also measure the teams’ expectation versus their current achievements.
Lastly I also got the opportunity to learn more about what goes into the underwriting process. A few managers on the finance team gave me some insight on what is expected of them. As a finance major I found it motivating to learn about the different opportunities that GLOBE provides to the different borrowers. We are making a difference one borrower at a time. I enjoy the cross-organizational interaction that GLOBE offers, because it provides the opportunity to look at our micro-credit program through different perspectives.Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team
Log # 2
By: William Alexander
Allow me to introduce you to a few members of our global village. Meet Nguyen Thi Lan, a student longing for an opportunity to purchase a laptop so that she can complete her studies and provide for her family. Oh how she would love to attend a school that offers free laptops to students! How about Rufina Quite, the married mother of six children with a burning desire to uplift her family and her community. Each day she plans to toil in the fields, raising cows so that we can have milk and her children can have an education. Thinking about an early retirement? That is a luxury that Mr.Tran Phi Long would love to enjoy. At 60 years strong, all he wants is to repair his motorbike so that he could get back to business as usual. This past week I have had the privilege of getting to know these individuals a little better. Although we may be thousands of miles apart, each name tells a story – represents a unique fight for a better life.
Fortunately, the introductions didn’t end there. This week was a trip down memory lane and a peek into the future. The fight against poverty is one that requires a united effort and the last session called for the meeting of GLOBE Managers, past and present. Hearing the success stories of past GLOBE Managers gave us all a renewed sense of appreciation for the roles we are assuming. Their reflections emphasized the long term benefits of GLOBE, both for borrowers and lenders. The borrowers are given the tools to rid themselves and their communities of poverty and the managers enjoy lasting benefits, with some of them pursuing microfinance initiatives long after their tenure. They even shared their insights and advice for us and highlighted some of the challenges we may encounter.
Further exploration of microfinance literature reminded me of a nonetheless worrisome fact; less than 5% of those who desire microfinance are given access to it. What about the other 95%? Who is there to give them some of the lifelines that we are working so hard to develop and distribute? As microloan providers, we have a responsibility to bring banks to the “unbankable”. We can help contribute to this is by having as many loans approved as possible. This includes shortening the time it takes between the receipt of a loan and its final approval. Also, for any business to grow and reap long term rewards, it must be sustainable. The agenda for the upcoming week begins with our first formal fundraiser – a bake sale! We intend to continue to increase the funds available for the benefit of borrowers worldwide.
In most of the developing world, to be an entrepreneur is to take a bold step. It involves having the courage to take the road less travelled and risk it all in pursuit of making a dream a reality. Micro loans tend to favor those who need funds to either establish or expand a business venture. However, millions of individuals living in poverty may not have the courage or skills necessary to be successful entrepreneurs. What about those living in poverty that may not have the fortitude to start their own business? It is my hope that Microfinance Institutions worldwide pay more attention to educate potential borrowers and increase their appetite for entrepreneurship.Marketing and Fundraising Team
Log # 2
By: Khadija Naqui
As our journey in GLOBE continues, I am excited for many of the things ahead of us. This week previous GLOBE managers came to our class to share their experiences and give us some great insight. Some of the advice that definitely resonated with me is that GLOBE is a family. There will be times where our team disagrees or has an issue with another team member. But, in order to make it work we must communicate with one another to try and understand and compromise with the other members of our team. The only way we will have a successful semester is if we all work together. Another piece of advice that was really helpful to me was explaining how we shouldn’t overwhelm ourselves with too many events, instead we should host a couple of really well thought out and organized ones to generate both awareness and funds.
We also had the opportunity to meet Scott Van Deusen, who works in the University Center and helped us get a better understanding of which objectives we should focus on as opposed to others. With his previous experience, he also helped us condense those objectives and helped us expand our ideas into becoming more successful. Many of the questions we had were answered and overall after leaving that meeting I was more excited to focus on our plans for this semester. Now, we have finally revised our objectives and are ready to present at the steering committee next Tuesday, February 16th. Kami (my teammate) and I are preparing to present for the steering committee meeting and are excited to receive feedback on our goals for this semester.
Another exciting even coming up is the Black History Month Bake Sale also known as “GLOBE Cares.” I took the initiative to type up two lists before class, one that included all the baked goods we’d like from the class and then another that included the shift timings of when GLOBE managers would like to volunteer their time and sell the baked goods. Unfortunately, the first time we passed around the list most of the spots were left empty. My personality has never been the type to be a leader or “make” certain people do things forcefully. But, Dr. Sama told me it would be best to “get mean” to some extent and try to push the urgency of volunteers. Then, she silenced the class as I stood in front of everyone and made a short somewhat aggressive speech trying to urge the managers to participate in our bake sale. I hadn’t figured how hard it would be to get the others involves, thankfully the speech did work and most students decided to sign up to either bring a baked good or volunteer some of their time.
Overall this week has been very eye opening. I’ve learned more about my team members, as we get closer, forming our little family within our GLOBE unit. I also am taking initiatives to make lists, plan events, and divide work accordingly between each of us. I’ve also learned that if we would like to get something done, we are going to have to be a bit aggressive at times in order to put our word across. Along with that I am eager to see how our bake sale goes especially because it is our first ever GLOBE event and there is a lot to live up to. Nonetheless, I believe in our GLOBE family and we will manage to succeed one way or another.
Technology and Communications Team
Log # 2
By: Roxlind James
I’m learning that a lot of the work I do outside of GLOBE can be used with my homework and group assignments. I made flyer for our upcoming bake sale in less than ten minutes because I’m used to making them for my Newsletter Editor position in my fraternity. Members from the Marketing Team originally made the flyer and I just edited it so it would be more appealing to anyone walking through campus.
Outside of that small task my group has been putting together the objectives that will make GLOBE raise more money, awareness and prospective members. We are well aware of how much of a difference social media can make when you are trying to create a campaign for an organization. What we’re trying to do now is make our efforts more visual rather than text-based. Instead of sticking with the usual hashtags and catch phrases, we’re trying to get people on campus involved with an on-spot questionnaire about micro-finance. Luckily, GLOBE has had some great exposure because of the previous classes’ efforts, like last semester’s IT team used a Drone to capture amazing video angles. Unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of equipment so we have to make our next move speak volumes in addition to prior message.
Being able to meet managers from previous classes was great not only because we got advice based on their experiences but also we got to explain our new objectives to them and see how they’d respond. We want to start a Snap Chat account for GLOBE so we can document what’s going on in the moment. Last semester’s class strayed away from Snap Chat because they wanted to focus on more things the Drone could do. But like I said before, we have to improvise and build off of what they did to make a difference so we’re now using Snap Chat.
I’ve been telling my roommates about GLOBE because they’ve see the work IT has been doing to enhance GLOBE. I was explaining to one of my roommates about how micro-financing with loans to build credit is a domino effect for improvements within a community. Not only does credit stimulate people to want to work but it has additional effects like bettering health care and education because people no longer have to worry about affording it.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits
By: Joshua Ossai
The school is starting to warm up as students are just back from spring break and activity is just starting to pick back up. Of course, GLOBE has a lot of activities coming up in the next week or two, one of which is the Information session, which I promptly signed up for because it is always fun to be on the other side of the table spreading the GLOBE gospel to prospective managers.
More importantly, over the spring break, I was doing some research about Microfinance in Nigeria, which also happens to be my term paper topic, and some of the things I realized from my research blew my mind. I realized that, at least with Nigeria, the problem is that people do not understand the concept and workings of micro finance. So what they end up doing is creating a bank, operating as a normal commercial bank (maybe with a few tweaks here and there), and just tag it as microfinance for the sake of it. The real problem can be one of two things; they either do not understand the microfinance model, or they do not frankly care too much for the model and would create another, more suitable/profitable one for themselves.
Listed below are a few of the problems, Mohammad Yunus himself pointed out, about the Nigerian model of MFI’s. Nigerian MFI’s tend to direct their loans towards small-scale businessmen looking to expand and make more money as opposed to the poorest of the poor. The MFI’s have big luxurious offices in urban areas of the country, hence the less approachable they are for the people they are intended for. The capital base required to even open an MFI in Nigeria is ridiculously high in the first place, therefore when big businessmen muster the courage to risk that kind of money on an investment, they intend to make profit, and this is why Nigeria gets it wrong from the start. These and many other reasons is what led Mohammad Yunus to call Nigerian MFI’s Micro Commercial Banks and from the looks of it, he is not wrong. I completely agree with him.Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits
Log # 3
By: Dominique Jones
This week was extremely busy in terms of GLOBE but I know that it was the first of many. I attended the first Steering Committee meeting on Tuesday the 16th, this was the same day as the bake sale, but I had a class so I could not help. None of my other group members were available so I presented our objectives for the semester to the committee. In addition, my team introduced pre and post goal assessments in class for the first time ever! The goal is for us to ensure that all members understand their team’s goals as well as the objectives of other teams, as this is vital to our success. We have also begun scheduling our first audit with each team. Over spring break we plan to look over the internal audits again and make any necessary changes. I got a great deal of useful feedback from them. One member said that she would be able to help us with translating some of these documents for the borrowers. Not only did the other teams present their objectives but I was afforded the opportunity to see how the Steering Committee goes about approving loans. This not only a learning experience for me, and more of a critical point of change.
One loan in particular stood out. I don’t think that it stood out to the Steering Committee as much as they are used to various types of loans. However, a woman was requesting a loan so that she could purchase cows, and start raising them. Her plan was to sell one, and use the other for breeding. She has six children, one of whom works elsewhere in the Philippines and sends money home to her. But it was not her family size or the type of business plan that I found captivating. The finance team notified us that other than the money her son sends her, she has no income whatsoever. The committee discussed an array of circumstances and asked many questions. The finance team had done their research and knew that many others had successfully began breeding cows and that the land on which she lives complements her business. Committee members asked about how the process worked, and how her repayment schedule would work. Since she was breeding cows, a significant amount of time would pass before she could begin making a profit, and start repayment. Failure was also discussed in terms of what it would look like financially for her and for us, if anything were to go wrong with either of the two cows she wanted to purchase.
There were many risks but at this point I knew that that was the case with many borrowers. They technically are all a risk because they lack credit. However, coming into the program I understood that we would be a part of the group of people that takes chances on “the unbankable” when no one else will. After much deliberation all members moved to approve her loan; this was where I was shocked. Throughout their deliberations, I sorely wanted to discuss the fact that unlike many of the borrowers (whose loan application I had read), this woman had no income other than what she relied from her son whom was miles away. I started to interject but I decided to sit back and listen to the committee. I also thought that it was not necessarily my place to interrupt as I am not on the Steering Committee and I do not make any final decisions regarding loans. Moreover, I did not know if the committee had approved loans to borrowers without an income before. In retrospect, I feel that was the smartest thing for me to do.
One of the Steering Committee members whom is also a Daughter of Charity said that if she could raise six children in the destitute conditions of a third world country then she was fully capable of raising two cows. Her application was also unique as she wanted to start her business so that she could employ others in the community. This completely changed my thought process. I realized how conditioned I was to view the process of loans and repayments. I had to stop thinking like Sallie Mae and start thinking as if she was my mother. I thought about how strong and determined my own mother is and how her credit, bank account, or annual salary does not provide an accurate depiction of her abilities. This practice of measuring people based on dollar amounts is what forced Yunus to start the Grameen Bank. I had not realized how jaded my judgment and thought process was even after the readings we had already done. It was almost automatic now that I think of it. I almost stopped listening to everything and everyone else, fixated on all the wrong details. The fact that she wanted to start her own business just so that she could employ and help other women, says that she embodies our mission to create self-sustaining individuals and communities.
I was internally embarrassed, and externally relieved that I did not say anything. Sometimes it is better to listen and learn. I have no idea what cow breeding is like here in the U.S. let alone in Manila, Philippines. I also have not the slightest inkling as to what that woman is capable of. I was doing to her what universities, banks, Sallie Mae, realtors, car salesman, and many others do to people; I was judging her based on a factor that was ignorant to her character, work ethic, and/or circumstances. While I did not want to call it this because it obviously makes me look bad, it was true however unintentional it may have been. For as open minded, understanding, and down to earth as I thought I was, I was ashamed that once I heard she had no income of her own I immediately decided against approval of her loan. The one thing I learned this past week was that I have so much more to learn, and while I am intelligent and know a lot, I also do not know very much at all outside of my own experiences.
The next teachable moment of the week came in class that night. We had a visitor who led us through a workshop. We played the Blue/Green game. The winner was determined by which team had the most number of points at the end. We could not communicate with the other team until the fourth round where only one team member could speak to another outside of the room. There were four teams for our four groups. The game was fun, and it was a good team building exercise on a small and large scale. On a small scale we worked closely with our teams to form a strategy of how to win the game. However, we lost site of the larger lesson during the game. While we were split up according to our assigned teams we forgot about the organizational chart that showed that we were all working for the same company, which in reality we are. We did not think about or know that our individual profits/gains would be added together to form one score which was a reflection of our overall success as an organization, not as an individual team. Not only did this teach us to value each member of each team (as each person is working toward the same goals as everyone else), but that communication is a necessity. Since we were unable to communicate it caused tensions to rise, and even caused frustration within some of the individual teams.
After the game we realized we were so driven by winning and competition that we ignored an entire page in our instructions packet which had the organizational chart on it. I feel this exercise was vital not only in terms of team building, but it also forced us to alter our mindsets. We live in a society where competition is inevitable and often times we are taught that in order it get ahead it often times comes at the expense of someone else- it does not have to be that way. With communication, compassion, and teamwork it is possible for all to benefit. There is also a perception (especially in the business realm) that in order to ‘win’ you must gain/take as much as you possibly can and give as little as possible. If all teams were willing to sacrifice scoring as many points as possible and work to ensure that each team benefits equally our overall score would have been better. Overall, it was my favorite class so far and I am excited for what is to come. There is much to be done but I seem to leave class feeling optimistic about the work ahead each time. I know that I experienced some personal growth this past week, but I also feel that after that workshop we grew collectively once we saw the errors in our thought processes.
Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team
Log # 3
By: Erfana Hossain
This week we had our first Steering Committee. I was really nervous because not only were we addressing our objectives like every other team, we were going to present our first three loan recommendations, two from Vietnam and one from the Philippines. Having the previous recommendations to look through was extremely helpful in getting these loans done as quickly as possible. We’ve been working on these loans for the past two weeks so far and thankfully the meeting didn’t go so badly and we got our three loans approved! It’s exciting to know that we are on the right track and hopefully we can perform just as well for our next batch of loans lined up for us. One of our main objectives is completing these loans as quickly as we can, not because our main priority is to top last semesters record but to ensure these borrowers can receive their loan amounts as quickly as possible. The longer we take to assess the loans and present them in front of the Steering Committee, the longer someone has to wait and that could potentially be damaging to their current economic situation. There have been instances in the past where people do arrange to get money from other sources and it’s possible that these other sources are loan sharks, which is a true tragedy.
Not only did we have to present our loan recommendations this week but we presented chapter 1 of Joanna Ledgerwood’s Microfinance Handbook: An Institutional and Financial Perspective. Our chapter focused on Country Context, which is highly relevant to our entire loans assessment and recommendation procedure. When looking at a country to start a Microfinance Institution (MFI), it’s important to look at many factors including the financial sector policies, legal environment, interest rate restrictions, government mandates, financial contract enforcement, financial sector regulation and supervision, economic policies, and social policies. All of these factors can not only negatively impact the MFI’s ability to operate as an organization providing public services but also impact the ability of the micro-entrepreneurs ability to conduct their businesses. For our own loan assessments, we mostly looked into the social and economic climate of the country such as the current exchange rate. But when we do start creating risk profiles on the current six countries we have operations in and any possible countries, these are all important factors to look for and keep detailed information in. This will not only help determine the success of future loans but ensure that when making future loans we account for any and all risks we have the means to forecast.Marketing and Fundraising Team
Log # 3
By: Kami Findik
Last session, in GLOBE, was one of the most interesting classes I ever had. We had a guest professor who had us play a game. In this game, we got separated into four different groups. We, as a group, were supposed to send other groups either blue or green cards, without the group that we are sending the card knowing which color we are sending them. If both groups sent each other blue cards, both groups would get points. If one group sent green and one group sent blue, only the group that sent the green card would get points. And finally if both groups sent each other green cards, both groups would lose points.
The game was really interesting to me because when we started the game I thought to myself, how I could play this game that would benefit my team the most. And I believed that if we as a group sent all green cards to the other team, we would benefit the most without being vulnerable to the other team. However, the mistake that I made was that I did not think about the bigger picture, which was to try to get all groups to benefit from the cards that we were sending. Not being able to communicate between groups made us not trust one and other and caused the class to suffer from it.
I think that I have learned a really valuable lesson from last classes experiment which was, even if we cannot communicate we should trust one and other and should not only consider our team only. There is a greater purpose in what we do and thinking if there is some team worse than us, it means we did good is not the right mind set.
Additionally, last class was really challenging to me because we were supposed to finish up on our preparations for the GiveCampus page and also discuss our upcoming events. We had some difficulties getting the video done but we are planning the launch the GiveCampus page launch by March 4th for the 44 women borrowers that we have for the purpose of Women’s Month with the goal of raising $4400.
Our next event is on March 7th, which is to have a Breakfast fundraiser. We are planning to sell muffins, bagels and coffee to help the purposes and goals of GLOBE.
Having all these tasks for GLOBE seems like a lot of work at first however, as I go along the semester, I get used to the amount of work I have to put in. It is really challenging to have to work, take other classes and try to accomplish what we have planned for GLOBE. However, it adds a lot to me as a person and helps me manage my time more efficiently.Technology and Communications Team
Log # 3
By: Mate Majstorovic
Although we did not have class this past Tuesday, I still spent much of my break actively assisting in editing our video footage and conducting research for my paper on agricultural microfinance. As mentioned in class multiple times, I have been exposed to live microcredit programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, which focused primarily on agriculture. Ever since, I have not been able to get the idea out of my head. I have truly fallen in love with the idea of agricultural finance and seek to pursue this as a lifelong career. While conducting my research, I learned much more about the political side of constructing loans. This was an area in which I was only lightly exposed to during my internship, as it was a more senior deal making task. I was unaware of how adversely government subsidies can affect the microfinance programs in the developing world. One would think that such subsidies could only benefit poverty alleviation, which is partially true. However, in regard to microfinance it creates a poor psychological effect on the potential market which in turn makes it difficult to administer successful loans, (I will delve into this topic more thoroughly for my paper).
While my research was intriguing, I also enjoyed helping edit the video footage our group put together. Since I had no prior experience with editing footage, it was difficult getting acclimated to the various options and criteria for making a smooth running video. Anthony helped walk me through the basic steps of cutting and merging raw footage, and finally we worked together to fine tune the sound and image quality. We are truly proud of our footage even though there are minor changes that need to be made.
For next class I would like to focus on improving my presentation skills, more specifically in regard to constructing the slides, and making concise points. While I do feel confident about my current presentation skills, I always like to find room for improvement.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits
By: Mina Mustafa
Last week was Spring Break, but that did not mean we had a break from GLOBE. The activities of GLOBE are never-ending, and I could not wait to return to class this week. There was so much to catch up on.
To begin, the Enterprise Team performed the first round of audits for the term, examining the progress of the other teams. Aside from that, the Enterprise team learned a lot about where everyone was at in this point of the semester. There is a division of labor in GLOBE, but everything requires the help of another team. Setbacks in one team become a setback for the other team. Despite the fallings, I was reminded that the end-all goal for this course is to do what is best for GLOBE. GLOBE is most inevitably an interdependent course that requires the full participation of everyone involved, whether that is the students, the faculty, the borrowers, or the donors. If a task requires help from others, no one should be shy to ask for assistance.
Aside from that, I was overwhelmed with all the upcoming events for GLOBE, all in the month of March. There will be informational sessions to recruit students for the next term. The Breakfast of Champions will require the participation of all GLOBE students to make it a success and to raise more money for borrowers. There is an upcoming Business Plan competition where GLOBE will set up a table. And hopefully, the GLOBE Give Campaign will soon launch. The events are overwhelming for all the GLOBE teams, but all of us can get it done together.
There are many reasons I decided to join GLOBE, such as having the hands-on experience to help people fight poverty. It is the most hands-on thing I have done in all my four years of college, and it has been the most rewarding experience thus far. I look at all the positive impacts of GLOBE, but I learned in class this week about the hindering hands of microfinance. Some of the cons can be: the ignoring of the poorest of the poor, the potential of increasing inequality, and also the use of high interest rates. GLOBE hopes to avoid the cons and focus on the positive. There is always a flip side to everything, even to something as noble of a cause as GLOBE. But with the right tools and right motives, microfinance can lend its hand instead of withdrawing it.
Our mutual GLOBE effort gives us the positive effort to execute all that we want to accomplish in class this term. After all, “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” There are not many days left of GLOBE for this semester, how time goes by so fast, but I know we are all on the right track to bring about the change we want to see in the world.Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team
Log # 4
By: Tiffany Francisco
With every passing week of the semester I feel that my team and I become more and more invested in our role within GLOBE and the mission as a whole. I think this is because we’ve really gotten into the swing of things. We are still floating on cloud nine from our first three approved loans, which we were able to churn out in the matter of two to three weeks. Teamwork has definitely improved as we have been communicating with the other teams as well.
We have also decided that with the remaining 11 loans it’d be better to divide and conquer. As such we have separated the loans amongst ourselves and devised a system of check and balances. Each of us will be in charge of writing recommendations for our assigned loans. When everyone is finished we will all sit down with printed copies of the loans. Each of us will review all of the loans and make the necessary comments and changes. Then we will make these changes on our master documents and submit them to the liaison. The liaison will then submit them to Dr. Sama for review. We have established this system because initially we were unorganized in our revisions on our loan recommendations and we were only reviewing 3 then! With these recommendations we want to show the steering committee and Dr. Sama that we are capable and dedicated to helping our borrowers.
I am currently reviewing and assessing my assigned loans and am eager to get started because they are from Pasay City and the borrowers appear to be homeless. Before this class I, as a business student, would never have dreamed about providing a financial service to someone that is homeless, not because I do not feel compassion for them, but because a traditional financial institution would not provide a service to a homeless person due to their being “unbankable”. This is exactly what is so great about GLOBE. We do have the option to explore different payment structures and methods of lending, to a diverse borrower group. Amongst our group and in class we have discussed the option of interest free loans. How many other organizations could say that they do this? It does not surprise me however, that GLOBE would embrace changing the interest rate to zero, because GLOBE is all about helping people succeed and support themselves. If not charging interest will allow a borrower to be successful and repay a loan, then I’d definitely work that into their loan recommendation and happily rally for their loan approval from the steering committee. We have a ton of work coming up as Dr. Sama would like us to have outlines for all 11 loans within the next week, in addition to our midterm assessment, midterm review, and our weekly logs, but the work is fulfilling and my classmates are amazing to work with.
Our research paper is also looming on the horizon but Dr. Sama has given us free reign as to the choice of topic. I would like to do a holistic analysis of the impact that microfinance has had in the Dominican Republic. Recently, the Finance team was in charge of reading an article on the impact of Microfinance on Nigeria. It was perfect timing because I was able to pick up a lot of information about Nigeria, one of the country’s to which we provide loans, as well as some topics of discussion. One particular topic of discussion I would like to focus on is the socio-geographic climate of the Dominican Republic. The article of Nigeria discussed how poverty in Nigeria was a mostly Northern phenomenon mostly because many micro-financing institutions were not based in the North but in the South, and this in turn was because the North is where the biggest concentration of Muslims live. Now this wouldn’t have connected for me if I had not learned that Islamic tradition does not allow institutions to charge interest, which as we know micro-financing institutions do. Similarly, I must examine the poverty factors within the Dominican Republic to truly identify how microfinance has worked in the country. The author of Microfinance in Nigeria was able to find these answers through asking “why?” every time he seemed to find an answer. I’ll have to keep asking “why?” in my research on the Dominican Republic, or risk only touching the surface of the impacts and effects that microfinance has made to not only individual borrowers, but communities, as well as the culture, the economic environment, the political environment, and every other facet of the country.Marketing and Fundraising Team
Log # 4
By: Shaylah Brown
Embracing women’s history month, I feel empowered as a woman knowing, the large amount of women GLOBE has been able to help and are currently assisting. GLOBE assists in breaking the chains of living in poverty that has shackled these women and men for so long. I am inspired because despite all the titles that are attached to women living in poverty as being un bankable, dependent, and inadequate they continue to contradict these accusations. Doing so by being successful with the loans they receive, building businesses, becoming entrepreneurs, and making a future for their children while giving back to their communities. Studies do prove that females are in fact the best target market to provide micro loans to. I realize that as people, as a woman we have the opportunity to be light, emanating light throughout the world. I want my legacy to solely be, how me walking in my purpose I positively affected the world. In my perspective who I affect will be the measure of my success. Maya Angelou said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, people will never forget how you made them feel”. I wholeheartedly believe this statement. I believe that GLOBE makes people feel empowered specifically women as well as the people who are receiving the loans and those who are vetting the loans.
I think of my mother and the deep love I have her, how hard she works and diligently tries to make me and my siblings the best people we can be. I can only imagine this is similar to the sentiments of most mothers, specifically mothers living in extreme poverty. My mind drifts to the prayers that must have vibrated off their lips each night, fervently praying for a miracle and hopes for a brighter future. Maybe it is my own understanding of how seriously and deeply you can desire something, so much that it causes this visceral reaction. In result causing you to do and give everything you are capable of to achieve that dream. I understand why women are so determined to be successful and achieve the goals they set forth because they are yearning for redemption, yearning to assert their power in society, yearning to be free from living in poverty. I am grateful to be a part of an experience like GLOBE and I am motivated to continue to work hard to have a successful semester.Technology and Communications Team
Log # 4
By: Anthony Kim
This past week, GLOBE officially launched its video for our Give Campus campaign. The video highlights some of the key points that our class is looking to accomplish this semester. In honor of Women’s History Month, we are asking our fellow peers to help us raise $4400 in honor of our 44 women borrowers. The video goes into detail about one of our women borrowers, Sonya, who took out a loan with GLOBE to expand her business selling ice cream, footwear, and clothing. She repaid her first loan and took out another loan in order to expand her business further. Sonya is just one of our amazing women borrowers, and all of them have unique stories to share. So far, GLOBE has raised $495 of the $4400 goal that we set out to achieve, and although we are off to a good start, our goal will not be met unless everyone in our class contributes to the campaign by sharing it on their social media platforms and e-mailing it to people that they know.
For our reading assignment, the Technology and Communications team was responsible for reading Chapter 10 of Muhammad Yunus’ Creating a World Without Poverty. In this chapter, we learned that Bangladesh is going through a phenomenon beyond their control. It is safe to say that global warming is not something we should take so light-heartedly. Scientists report that the sea level in the Bay of Bengal is rising at between three and eight millimeters a year. Although this does not seem like very much, already 20 percent of Bangladesh lies three feet or less above sea level. This means that over thirty million people are in danger of their nation being flooded indefinitely.
We also learned that growth in the economy creates major problems. Nonrenewable resources are rapidly becoming depleted as the demand for them increases exponentially. Fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal, industrial metals and minerals, hardwoods, fish, potable water, and many other essential commodities are also becoming increasingly scarce. This goes to show the unhealthy relationship between the environment and economic growth. “The bigger the world economy, the bigger the threat to planet Earth–and, in the long runs, to the survival of our species.”
But with the help of GLOBE, we can raise money and provide to our borrowers, so that they can stimulate the economy of the villages that they live in, and hopefully aid the community in escaping from poverty. I believe that our efforts will have a lasting impact on the communities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Vietnam, and the Philippines. GLOBE cares about our borrowers, and so should the rest of the world.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits
By: Mina Mustafa
This week in class, we discussed why GLOBE focuses on microloan programs outside of the United States. What makes microfinance different in a developing country when compared to America? One difference that stood out to me was that the face of poverty is different half a world away when compared to poverty here in America. It got me thinking about how people may have the same type of struggles, but we endure them in different ways depending on our resources and capabilities. Yes poverty is poverty, but what we define as poverty in America isn't how I would define it for my home country, Bangladesh. Here, there is no way I could live on less than two dollars a day. It's inconceivable as to how I would handle this situation in Bangladesh. Poverty cannot be generalized. It just goes to show how we may try to run the same distances in life, but we overcome different hurdles along the way.
This is why I'm proud to be a part of GLOBE, because I know the money we raise in class will make all the difference to our borrowers, than it would make a difference here. A small loan of just $50 does the world for a borrower in Vietnam like in the case of our borrower Pham Thi Men, who sought $81 dollars for her vegetable vendor business. Pham Thi Men wanted to make a difference in her financial circumstances and in doing so, tried to help her family attain a higher standard of living. This is why GLOBE, and other microfinance institutions alike, is important, because the social impact leads to greater and better global impact.
Not only that, but impact on women cannot be forgotten. It is Women's History Month and last class was also International Women's Day. Not to sound too feministic, which is the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes, but this past week has made me feel empowered. The Enterprise Team has begun working on its lifestyle pamphlets for our borrowers. We decided to each tackle a country and create a pamphlet regarding health, business, and personal finances. I am tasked with the Philippines and have already drafted these pamphlets. Through these literacy tools, we hope to significantly help our GLOBE borrowers, especially our women borrowers. “Women empowerment is not just for all the women in our lives, but also for the ones who do not have the means yet.”Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team
Log # 5
By: John Dziedzic
Half way through the semester already! I cannot believe we already have our midterm assessment and review coming up this upcoming Tuesday March 15th. I feel as if the semester just started! I remember Dr. Sama saying that the time was going to go by fast, but I wasn’t aware that it would feel this fast. Also I feel that it didn’t settle well that the semester was going by this fast. Dr. Sama gave a really nice and strong speech on this past Tuesday’s class on March 8th. Getting us back to realize how hard we have to work and how slacking can really hurt our program as a whole at this time.
On a personal level, GLOBE doesn’t leave my head. I try to make it my first priority when it comes to responsibility. We are reaching a crucial time in the program where a lot of important tasks are on the table. Right now, the finance team is working with 12 loan applications. This is not easy. Balancing with all my other schoolwork, I have been a little stressed trying not to fall behind. I believe stress is only a mental issue however that is very easy to deal with. I think its incredible how a little meditation and yoga before bed can really help to forget the stress in your life. Getting back to a positive topic, it is our job as a finance team to complete as many loans as we can within the period of our program. We are on good track but as Dr. Sama has said now would be the worst time to start slacking. Going into Tuesday’s class ill be complete with my portion of the loan recommendations. The team is scheduled for a meeting with Dr. Sama on Wednesday March 16th. I believe that this meeting is going to go very well considering our teamwork and progress. We have been in great contact still over these past days and I am glad that we are not fading as a team. Sometimes teams strive at the beginning but then begin to lose connection and break apart. Not the case with my Finance team.
One thing that has really impressed me these past few weeks has been our group’s ability to complete such prompt and informative presentations during class. I wont lie these readings in our books are dense, in which we have to create a brief presentation together as a team for class every week. Some who think of this as a burden only get nothing out of it. These assignments are not just here to make us work, however should be viewed as skill building exercises for our own good. One can build in many different skills along these weeks. This includes team building, which allows you to contribute your knowledge of the readings with your team members, so you can come together and create the presentation. Also one can build on their presentation skills and also their strategic thinking skills. You have to have knowledge of what you are speaking about when up presenting in front of a group. These presentations prepare us every week so it can become second nature for us. I have already earned tremendous insight from what and what not to do when presenting. It is a great feeling to be able to cooperate with a team and deliver a top-notch presentation.
One disappointment of this week was our audit results however that is not bringing my team down. Our master score for our audit was not what I was expecting, but the only thing we can do is move up from here. I am aware that we are still working on some our goals and are improving, so that will increase our score. My team and I are ready to step it up a notch! We will not disappointMarketing and Fundraising Team
Log # 5
By: Shaylah Brown
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
It is my dream to move to Washington to D.C. complete graduate school and become a journalist, traveling the world writing about social issues and arts and culture. I want to be able to speak to people through my writing I want to captivate a demographic with writing. It is my belief that God is present in every situation every moment of our lives. There are times God sends us a message, his words echo through other people or emanate through an action. It was in class this past Tuesday when I viewed the Ashoka video, an organization in which people are able to combine their passion of social mission and business. That simple moment inside the class room to me represented God’s confirmation not only of my dreams but also the place I am at in my life. Everything happens for a reason, I had no prior knowledge of Ashoka, had I not been in GLOBE I would have not heard about it in the context I did. The organization represents everything I want to do and it is based in D.C. I found that class to be reassuring and it gave me the determination to push harder toward my dreams. Reaching my arms out until my dreams are touchable and within my grasp and I will not stop until I achieve them. The loans that GLOBE provides are someone’s answered prayers, are God’s form of confirmation in someone’s life. For that alone I realize this is no longer just a class but to me it is a privilege to be used by God to help someone. These loans are giving someone the push to make their dreams a reality. Each day a dream is deferred because of circumstances or loss of faith and motivation. GLOBE allows dreams to unfold, but the success of one persons dream becomes a catalyst for the dreams of others to come to fruition. “What happens to a dream deferred”, may that be a question people do not have to answer any longer. A question that becomes a challenge, a challenge that motivates us to do greater to push beyond the confines or our fatigue , the barriers of our fear and reach out into an arena that has limitless opportunity.Technology and Communications Team
Log # 5
By: Jermaine Mbadugha
Midterm week is approaching so it should be really fun and interesting, we didn’t have any readings due for the class this week but that doesn’t mean that we do not have work to do. We as Technology team set 5 main objectives for us and this week, we will talk about and listen to the other objectives set by the remaining team and see how far along they’ve achieved their certain objectives. The business plan is also approaching and I’m excited to work the event, I was a part of the business plan completion but I did not make it the final stages, never the less I t would be interesting to see what others have in mind.
The very first object we had was to launch the #GLOBEcares4women campaign with the video, that has been achieved because the campaign is up and running, even though we have not reached our goal, it is projected that we would get to where we need to be as long as the whole class all puts in effort. I feel the one thing holding us back is that we make tasks into a group only or person only thing, it should be the whole class, 20 heads in definitely better than 1 head. The second objective we set in place was to launch an informational video for the upcoming Fall 2016 class, which we have set a deadline for the 15th of April; it would be very ideal for them to have something to watch to get some insight about GLOBE. The 3rd object was to set up a Skype session, which Mate has been working really hard, to accomplish. Fourth and fifth objective both pertains to our social media accounts. Objective four was to set up a snapchat account, which has been accomplished, we had a couple of setbacks but everything was well sorted out. Last but not the least object was to increase followers in our 3 leading social media which is Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we have not accomplished our goal but an increase has been made and little increase is always better than no increase.
Working on this midterm assessment and evaluating ourselves has brought us closer together as a team and that is very important. People rely on us and we have to teach others unity and show them how working together is so very important. I had an issue with one of my teammate in the beginning but it was literally settled that same day, that’s how things should be and GLOBE is a perfect example of teaching how that. Like the game we played about 2 weeks ago, we have to always stick together so that things can flow easier, we should always have it at the back of our minds that people literally depend on us for their future, its in our hands and we cannot afford to mess that up. I look forward to the midterm and the business plan competition; it should be a very eventful week ahead of us.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits
By: Kamoy Andrews
The Give Campus campaign is midway and we are not doing as well as we hoped. This is our largest fundraising opportunity, and seemed to be the simplest way for us get others to donate to not only our campaign, but also our cause. In order to persuade people to donate and get involved managers have to recall what made them want to be apart of the program. So, this week I focused on the original reasons why I became a GLOBE manager, and pondered why the campaign “GLOBEcares4women” means something to me.
I joined GLOBE because I had witnessed first hand the impacts a micro loan can have on a family. The Give Campus campaign is important to me, because I come from a matriarchal family. I have seen a women create a business, while managing a household. My household was similar to many households in my community, but once we stepped out of that small community she faced the patriarchal guidelines of the world outside her home. This often left her at a disadvantage, although she already proved her business acumen.
I have witnessed also a woman’s words of negotiation become fruitless as soon as they leave her lips, but regain authority when validated by her husband’s agreement. The only difference between her words and her husband’s is gender of the speaker. The patriarchal society inadvertently made male validation a law, although the woman has proven her intelligence. I might write about one woman but this is a common occurrence for women all over the world, especially in the countries that GLOBE currently operates.
GLOBE provides women with a sense of empowerment. They can make changes within their community, and households. GLOBE loans also provide women with social and political empowerment. They can make changes in their communities and household through the income we helped them to establish.
Our loans have the ability to break the cycle of poverty, and can also implement social and political justice for women. Women are less likely to be abused by their husband’s, because they share in the household income. They share in the responsibility of sending their children to school. The family’s daughters are now viewed as and equal to sons, because there are new opportunities in their path.
These are the changes I like to see in the world. I want a woman’s word and presence to have the same value as a man’s. I know that it will take time for such changes to happen in the world, but I also understand that our work in GLOBE is helping to facilitate these changes.
This is what I thought about as I told my friends about the Give Campus campaign. I appreciated their donations. I also valued every time they shared our campaign on their social media pages, because it showed that they believed in our program. I exceeded my personal goal of $220, all thanks to the individuals who share our vision. As a class we still have to fulfill 33% of our goal, but I believe its achievable if we all remember why we joined GLOBE. Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team
Log # 6
By: Pritesh Shah
As I write and save the file titling it “ShahLog6”, everything seems to almost sink in – I’ve come past the halfway point of this GLOBE class, and I still cannot believe it. It seems as though just last week was the second class where the former GLOBE managers came to us and supplied us with information we would need for the upcoming semester. It was with this information however, that I was able to successfully accomplish writing up more loan recommendations. As I sat here earlier today, and used the Excel spreadsheet to plug in numbers to finalize a payment schedule for our borrowers, I began to wonder what life on the other end of this entire process might seem like. As students / GLOBE Managers, we tend to overlook some of the little details of what goes through our borrowers minds. For us, we work with the papers we receive, and the information we can research – but for the borrowers, for individuals such as Marivic Sevilla, who want to start a hog raising / rice selling business, we are almost like a lifeline to them. To them, we are the ones that they put their hope and faith in; we are the ones that have the opportunity for a domino effect to take place. In this instance, the domino effect being that she would be requesting money, and we, as student managers would do all in our power to assist her in the process of acquiring this money, her receiving it, effectively using it, and then using the profits to help her children pursue their studies. As I read her notes and goals for the business that stated that she would use the profits to help her students pursue their studies, I knew immediately that this is a loan that is going to a good cause. Although I may be a bit biased on this subject, being that ever since I was a child, my parents would stress the importance of education on me, the concept that I have the opportunity to help an individual expand their knowledge and pursue their studies is simply jaw dropping. Then came the individual Ms. Lilibeth Racines, who really showed how big of a heart she really had in such a simple statement. As I read through the notes and file on her loan request, Ms. Racines explained the ways loans work in her part of Philippines. She said “there are people in our community who lend money but charge very high interest! When I would have enough money I will help other start business.” This was a bit shocking to me, someone who is literally requesting money in order to expand a business and profit for her and her family, from the get-go is explaining that if everything falls into place and becomes successful, she hopes to help even more people. Although this seems like something small to be surprised about, the manner in which I looked at it is why I believe that I was astonished by it. Essentially, in such a great country as America, so many people do not even think in the way that she did. Everyone nowadays has become so selfish and tends to care primarily for him or herself, but someone across the world, who doesn’t even have much, wants to help as many as she can. This is something that I thought was simply amazing, and seemed to be a gentle reminder that GLOBE allows you to witness the fact that there are still great people in this world, and your faith in humanity can be restored.Marketing and Fundraising Team
Log # 6
By: Khadija Naqui
It’s so hard to believe that we have just about reached the halfway point in the semester. The time has flown by so quickly considering yesterday we completed our midterm assessments, which helped give us an insight to where we are now in the semester. It was amazing to see the progression in presentations from the beginning to now, all of us as a group have become more confident and get straight to the point. When we first started, it was difficult learning how to plan times to create presentations but as a team we’ve developed a strategy that works for us and we adjust it a bit as the weeks progress.
I personally found the team assessments to be very beneficial because it gave us all the opportunity to reflect on what we have accomplished and learned so far, and some of the other things that are coming up in the semester. Not only did it give us an insight into our own teams standing, but also everyone else in the class. Another important factor of GLOBE I learned is the importance of having a role in my team in order to accomplish the task at hand. For example, we are currently planning for the mixer, which is April 6th, and my team has unanimously decided that we will divide up who should be in charge of what task and if any issues arise we will handle them together as a team. This process of delegating tasks creates a more efficient team and a better end result. At this point in the semester, it has become very apparent that each team member has different strengths and weaknesses; this is how we decide how to delegate tasks to ensure maximum quality is accomplished.
Additional, GLOBE has taught me how to step up and take control, even learn how to do certain things that are outside my comfort zone. Whether that includes emailing everyone I know about our Give Campus campaign or walking up to students during our bake sale trying to encourage them to buy a baked good. Overall GLOBE has placed a new level of responsibility on me that is often times quite hectic but a great representation of what the world will really be like once we graduate and move ahead. GLOBE has taught me to always be positive because there will always be bumps along the road, but the important thing is to just try and reach our end goal. This week we also have a lot more to look forward to including the Business Plan Competition where we will be hosting a table, the Ladies of Charity event, the Mixer, and the launch of IT team’s efforts for a GLOBE Snapchat account. It is amazing to see the way teams have gotten closer and can work together as a family to solve our issues. GLOBE is much more to me than just a course in college, it’s the ability to not only give someone a chance to get out of poverty but also learn more about myself in the process.Technology and Communications Team
Log # 6
By: Ashley Younker
This week our team presented our Midterm Progress reports to the rest of the class. While we are pleased that our presentation went well, it was also a wake-up call. Taking the time to evaluate our objectives and to see how far we have come along made us realize how quickly time has flown by and how much more work we have to do to realize our goals. Out of our five objectives, thankfully we have completed two of them and hopefully within the next few weeks will have completed one-hundred percent of them.
Back in the beginning of the month, our team completed (after several attempts), our class’s Give Campus video to help spread the word about our campaign and provide information about it to the general public. We also were able to (after some planning and discussion) create a Snapchat account for GLOBE. With this account, our class and future GLOBE managers will be able to give its followers an inside look at our events and provide them with a more intimate look at the inner workings of GLOBE and our students.
The first of our objectives to be completed is to set up a Skype session with a poverty/microfinance specialist who can help supplement the class on our understanding of the microfinance industry and the impact that microfinance institutions like GLOBE can have on our society. We plan to get this session going the class following our Easter break from school. Secondly, we are beginning to work on second video for our GLOBE class. This will be an informational video that will market GLOBE to other students who are interested in finding out more about the program and who may wish to apply in the future. We hope that the process of making this video will run more smoothly through constant communication not only with each of our team members, but also with Dr. Sama and Scott. Our last objective which is to increase GLOBE’s online reach through social media is definitely in the works. In the beginning of the semester we quickly realized that just making posts to each of the sites was not nearly enough. In order to really get people to take actions on our pages, we needed to spread the word not only to each of our friends and family, but also connect with other people online who shared an interest in what GLOBE is all about such as accounts centered on topics like poverty, microfinance, and activism to name a few.
In the coming weeks, we plan to dedicate ourselves to making sure we meet all of our objectives in a timely manner and to make our Give Campus campaign a success. However, we really cannot stress enough the importance of a team effort. It is only with all of our managers best efforts, that it will be possible to make this class another great semester for GLOBE.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits
Log # 7
By: Mina Mustafa
Although GLOBE is such a good cause, it is hard convincing my peers to donate to our GiveCampus campaign. Most of the people I have convinced are close friends and family members, but I had a hard time asking people to donate on the St. John’s campus. Personal pleas about our course mission and the purpose of our campaign are reasons enough to get people to part away with just a $1 or $20. But I feel like our generation does not care. They really cannot the fathom the conditions our borrowers are in and therefore do not feel obliged to help. As a GLOBE student, I understand how important our microfinance program is. But when I try to convince others, they always ask the same few questions and I always give the same few answers.
Q: Why do you let them borrow the money and not just give it to them?
A: Giving out handouts to those in poverty does not help break the cycle of poverty for them. It would be best to give them an opportunity to let them help themselves break out of the cycle. That way they can actually stand on their own two feet without donations from charity.
Q: Why is GLOBE only supporting women borrowers? What about male borrowers?
A: Our campaign is in honor of Women’s History Month and our campaign is just geared towards women empowerment in support of this month. GLOBE does not discriminate against male borrowers. It’s just that most of our borrowers are women who are statistically better borrowers. They are better at making repayments, less likely to default on loans, and more likely to break the cycle of poverty for not just themselves, but also for their families and communities.
Q: Will the money raised actually go to GLOBE borrowers?
A: Of course it does. No one is trying to profit off of this social business run and managed by the students of GLOBE. 95% of our funds go to our borrowers, which is higher than the percentages held by major microfinance organizations.
Q: How does helping GLOBE raise money for its borrowers help me?
That last question I had no answer for because it was, in my opinion, such a selfish question. I feel like most people just do not feel like donating because they do not actually ‘see’ the benefits it would reap. This is why I am so fortunate to actually be in GLOBE because not everything is about personal impact, but about a potential social impact. You do not need to see the change to actually believe there will be change. Changes do not happen overnight. GLOBE is not aiming to alleviate poverty in the span of a semester, but hopes to establish and enact the necessary structural changes that will eventually end poverty.
This last point brings me back to a quote by Muhammad Yunus that we have previously discussed in class: “Once poverty is gone, we’ll need to build museums to display its horrors to future generations. They’ll wonder why poverty continued so long in human society – how a few people could live in luxury while billions dwelt in misery, deprivation, and despair.” Looking at the bigger picture will allow people to understand that the grand scheme of things is also important. If we are so capable of dreaming big for ourselves, why can’t we dream of a better place for the future versions of ourselves and everybody else?
Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team
Log # 7
By: Erfana Hossain
It’s scary how close to the end we’re reaching. We’re hoping to finish all of our current loans on hand and present them by the next steering committee meeting in April. One of our major goals as the Finance, Budgets, and Risks team has been to shorten the time between receiving loan requests and creating loan recommendations and loan recommendation approvals. This has been a priority for us especially considering the gap between the Spring and Fall Semester spans over four months. In that gap, many borrowers could have moved onto other means of financing this loan, which can include loan sharks that charge exuberant rates. Our purpose here is to ensure that people can achieve their dreams and goals and improve their lives. We want to help as many people as possible, so getting as many loans done as possible is key to that. Now that we’re nearing the end this goal has become more important and hanging more over our heads. Once we get these loans done and hopefully they are all approved, we have another batch of loans to tackle. Hopefully, fingers crossed, we can have those done just as quickly and approved before the semester is over. If we can’t get all these loan recommendations done in time for another steering committee, I hope we complete as much as possible and set them up in a way that the following class team is able to quickly roll them out.
Now in class this week, guest lecturer, Dr. Brenton, came in to talk about “Poverty Mapping”. I read through the articles and essential a global poverty map is produced using a poverty index calculated by dividing the population count by the brightness of satellite observed lighting. Essentially, a poverty map is a visually pleasing way to look at the rates of poverty across the world. Images like maps are effective in displaying important information to the general public. People are more likely to feel more concerned and compassionate once data is displayed in a way that grabs their attention as opposed to reading lengthy articles and papers. It’s interesting that the lecture was on poverty mapping, because as an Environmental Studies major I’m currently learning how to create maps like the global poverty maps to show large amounts of data in a more interactive manner. I would love to be able to create a map like this for GLOBE that displays all the countries we work in and allows viewers to see the various loans we have approved in each country!
Marketing and Fundraising Team
Log # 7
By: Khadija Naqui
It’s bewildering to think about how fast these past weeks have gone, we only have 10 days of our Give Campus campaign left and still more than $1,000 to raise. My team has begun planning for the mixer in less than two weeks and has been trying to think of creative ways to entice people to come to it. We came up with an idea during one of our meetings to hold a competition, this way we can be interactive with the people who come the mixer and it will create a fun atmosphere. The competition we came up with consist of individuals taking photos and posting them to their Instagram with the hash tag #GLOBECARES4FUN, whichever person gets the most like on their photo gets 5 free raffle tickets and the option to be featured on our GLOBE social media sites. Next Tuesday before my class, as a team we are taking a trip to party city in order to find some inspirations and items we can use as photo props for the mixer. I think it’s a great idea that we’ve decided to go as a team because this will ensure that we are all on the same page.
It’s been a tough journey trying to tackle each problem that comes our way but we are slowly taking it one day at a time. In the beginning of the semester after developing our objectives, I had volunteered to create some ideas to develop a new GLOBE poster. After several weeks of finally thinking, I went on one of the ideas our guest speaker, Dr. Barrett Brenton had spoken about Tuesday night. He had developed an amazing presentation on the importance of maps especially when it comes to poverty. While I was sitting in class during the presentation, I decided to make one of the poster options a map of the different percentages of poverty around the world. This way with even just a glance of an eye, anyone walking by will know that by donating to GLOBE they are helping people climb out of poverty and changing those percentages one loan at a time. There are still three other poster options as well, which I have sent my team for opinions so this way it is a group effort and they can make any changes they would like.
In addition, I have learned how hard life would be if I didn’t have my team o fall back on. Its unimaginable how close we have gotten in the past 7 weeks. Walking into GLOBE, the only person I knew was Ashley but we had decided to not join the same tieam in order to build our own connections. I have finally hit the point in the semester where GLOBE truly is my big family. Even if I have an issue that is non-GLOBE related there are several people in the class that I would contact. It hasn’t been the easiest journey, but it has definitely been worth it. Now, the focus will be mainly on our Give Campus campaign, selling raffle tickets, and creating an unforgettable mixer.
Technology and Communications Team
Log # 7
By: Anthony Kim
This past week, GLOBE had a guest speaker who came in to present his ideas of microfinance to the class. Dr. Barrett Brenton, a professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Global Development and Graduate Program in Global Development and Social Justice at St. John’s University, shared his understanding of poverty mapping to the class. Dr. Brenton has an extensive knowledge in the area of food security and sustainable food systems, and has included fieldwork with indigenous communities in North America, South America, and Sub-Saharan Africa, and with both rural and urban U.S. communities. It was really interesting to hear about the levels of poverty around the world through the use of collecting data and generating statistics.
At the end of class, St. John’s University was officially on Easter Break. Although I did not get to go anywhere over the break, due to having to work, I had a lot of time to reflect on my life, and started realizing how lucky I am to be part of an organization that cares so much about those who are less fortunate than us. Oftentimes we are so consumed by our personal lives that we forget about the tragedies going on around the world. On Tuesday, March 22, members of ISIS bombed Brussels, and the entire world decided to pay their tributes to the beloved country of Belgium. But what about the Easter bombing in Pakistan that killed 72 people and injured over 341 people? Nobody seems to care or talk about the bombings that occur so often in the Middle East.
GLOBE stands for Global Loan Opportunities for Budding Entrepreneurs, but its acronym is globe, which in its most simple term is defined as “the earth.” What if one of these days, our entire globe could have world peace and that there would no longer be any attacks, bombings, killings, or hatred towards one another? As long as we have people who are bitter towards another person, community, organization, or religion, there is always going to be war. My hope is that one of these days, we could have peace among nations and that our society may be able to function as a whole.
But for now, my short-term goal is to continue to spread the awareness of GLOBE to my family members, my peers, my professors, my co-workers, and anyone I may encounter along the way. So far, our GiveCampus campaign has raised $3,120 of $4,400, which is exactly 70% of our total goal. Although this has been a slower campaign then previous semesters, I am fully confident that my peers and I will be able to reach our goal within the next five days.
As for the GLOBE Information Session on March 31, I really hope that as many potential GLOBE managers show up to the session to learn more about this unique program offered through St. John’s University. Lastly, I am looking forward to the guest speaker that will be presenting tomorrow evening.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits
Log # 8
By: Joshua Ossai
Our class campaign (Give Campus Campaign) is officially over and it was successful. We collectively made a substantial amount of money, enough to make a sizeable impact on the lives of our borrowers.
On to the educational section of this week’s work, Christine Goffredo from structures to success had a very engaging presentation about the strategy the used to form their analysis for the need of a certain facility or business, in a society the company chooses, with the goal of alleviating poverty to a certain measured point. A point where the organization can decide to leave the community with an assurance that the community can keep itself up and running without their help, regardless of if they think they are capable or not. Their verdict eventually leave is also partly because the rest of their resources can be channeled to building up another community.
This hints at a very important issue with MFIs. Impact is not clearly measured partly because a donation to an MFI from a company or an individual is considered as social responsibility in and of itself, whereas the entire idea is to ensure that the organization does what it has set out to do so that there is visible change and poverty alleviation. The above point and a host of other arguments made in her presentation, highlights to me, the importance of the Enterprise Development and Impact Audit team. GLOBE has been careful to ensure that there are smart, achievable goals set (hence internal audits), and the money we lend out is used for businesses that would potentially generate profits that boost the income of our borrowers, as opposed to using the loans to fulfill obligations (hence external audits).
My slight concern about Christine’s presentation is how long it takes to break the ice in those communities and figure out what is a need versus what they just want in the community. The process was about a year long, as she mentioned and I believe there has to be a more efficient way to extract that information without spending an entire year with them; not to avoid spending time with them but if the sole purpose for the year is to extract that information, I believe there is an easier way in asking the right question and collecting a large enough sample group to analyze from. Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team
Log # 8
By: William Alexander
“As foundations are poured and blocks are laid we work together towards a common goal. Through that shared experience we learn about ourselves and learn from one another as well.” – Bridges to Community.
We may not be building houses or laying down foundations, but we certainly share a common goal; to alleviate poverty by providing poor individuals with the tools they need to change their lives. This week we had a chance to learn from guest speaker, Christine Goffredo, from Bridges to Community, a nonprofit organization devoted towards long term development of poor communities. With our common goal in mind, we explored a possible collaboration between GLOBE and Bridges to Community. What was really interesting to note was that they also coordinate microfinance activities within Nicaragua, where we also serve those living in poverty – we’re practically neighbors! Hopefully, we may be able to establish a lasting partnership with this thriving organization. In this way, we can work together in battling poverty and future generations of students can learn tremendously from the diversified experience.
This week, we focused on the importance of maintaining transparency for microfinance institutions. At first, this seemed like something that should be implied. Why wouldn’t a social business be transparent to the public about its procedures? I soon realized that this is not always the case. Like any other form of business, microfinance is susceptible to a lack of transparency when greed and other negative motives are added to the equation. Since modern microfinance is still in its young stages, regulations have not been developed as extensively as they should be. Hence, certain microfinance institutions may be allowed to misrepresent their interest rates, operations or general objectives. Not only are we equipped with an Enterprise Development team to constantly ensure we are functioning in the way we should be, this program is highly transparent, giving those on the outside a clear picture of what we are working toward and the ways we achieve our goals.
Additionally, we explored the need for designing loan products within microfinance. At the beginning of this course, we initially explored the possibility of designing customized loan products for our borrowers. As we progressed through the semester with our numerous loan applications from those seeking to establish and invigorate agricultural enterprises, I realized just how practical this is in microfinance. Several borrowers even made requests to have their payment schedules designed in order to accommodate the seasonal nature of harvest periods and their cash flows. Aside from getting to know our borrowers and learning of their struggle, we were able to take heed to their requests and create loans best suited to their unique needs. In light of this, I am reminded that micro credit is by no means a ‘one size fits all’ solution to poverty – it involves a unique approach to each individual.
We have achieved a lot during our time as GLOBE Managers, but we also encountered a few stumbling blocks along the way. Despite our persistent efforts, our crowd funding campaign concluded with an amount just below our expected target. However, our borrowers can smile nonetheless with over $3,000 in new funds just waiting to be converted into sustainable micro-enterprises. With eleven loans from the Philippines outstanding and seven from Nicaragua on the way, we anxiously await the opportunity to have our borrowers’ voices heard and their loans approved. Although we made some mistakes along the way, we must remember the saying that failure is not fatal and success is not final. Looking ahead, it is my hope that we learn from our mistakes and make even better decisions. In order to be successful social entrepreneurs and ignite positive change, we must be persistent; we will be ready.Marketing and Fundraising Team
Log # 8
By: Tishanna DeLeon
GLOBE has shown me along with all of the managers that I have the opportunity to share a classroom with, that sky is the limit. Anything is possible once you have fully invested yourself and time. Over the past month I learned the importance of working in a team and how teamwork can impact GLOBE’s success. My marketing has been invested from day one, making sure that we come up with new ways to capture the attention of students and faculty. GLOBEcare was the best idea that we came up with because a lot of people are able to identify themselves to our campaign. We do not just raise money to help developing countries because it is the ethical thing to do; we do it because we genuinely care.
My personal experience with this class is a very informative one. I have learned so much about the impact that microfinance has on these people in need. It has really shaped my understanding of poverty and how significant a dollar can be to others in developing countries. Coming into this, I thought I had an idea of what poverty looked like without realizing it has many forms. GLOBE has had a real open opening effect on me that no other program here at St. John’s has. I would really love to see the expansion of this program to other colleges or programs similar to it.
We actually had a great offer from an organization called Bridges to community who would like to collaborate with us in efforts to expand their business. They are a company operating in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic specializing in developing building structures within poor communities. They want GLOBE managers to possibly collaborate with them on educating these communities on business related skills. Some of those skills are money management, how to start successful business, and also provide them with ways to innovate their sustainable living.
This opportunity has shown how GLOBE has been impactful thus far since they have been operating. GLOBE to me means new beginnings because of the multitude of outcomes that it provides not only for the borrowers but also for the students and faculty that are connected to the program. I will forever be grateful for this experience and I am excited to end my semester off with a bang!Technology and Communications Team
Log # 8
By: Mate Majstrovic
This past week has been quite hectic, between finalizing some of our team objectives and working with the other teams to spread word about upcoming GLOBE events, such as the mixer. In addition to this, our Give Campus campaign has come to an end, and unfortunately we were unable to meet our ambitious goal. I can say that I put great effort in reaching out to family and friends who were willing to donate, and was able to squeeze the last of my contacts to make a final contribution before the campaign ended. While we were unable to reach our goal, I am still proud of the whole GLOBE team because I know how much effort we put forth to try and meet our goal. This was a great learning experience as it taught me how to politely and effectively pitch ideas to other people in a concise manner. In the business world, that is a simple yet highly regarded quality, which I am glad to have practiced while promoting GLOBE.
While writing this log, it has dawned on me that we are in our final weeks, with two more logs to go. I find it astonishing how quickly the semester has passed, and how much I have developed as a result of GLOBE. This new prospective of social business has truly changed the way I look at the typical for-profit business model. It is comforting to see our goals materialize and slowly but surely alleviate poverty. At the beginning of the semester, I was unsure of the impact our efforts would have on alleviating poverty, but week after week this mentality slowly diminished as I was beginning to see how it all connected. I think that a majority of the people in our society want to do something to help those in poverty, but just cannot seem to understand the methods we implement. If we could raise greater awareness about social business to combat the hard headed mentality that capitalism instills in us, we might be able to dramatically increase the efforts of microfinance worldwide. People are quick to assume that these loans are ineffective because they have never seen the impact it has on the lives of the borrowers. The microfinance industry needs to dedicate greater efforts in educating the developing world on what poverty is, and how to properly combat it. Surely, these efforts would yield positive results, and more people would begin to realize that contribution to microfinance will not be in vain. I am proud to be part of GLOBE knowing that we are doing exactly that. While the impact we make is not significant compared to the industry as a whole, we as students are helping pave the way for the future of microfinance.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits
Log # 9
By: Mina Mustafa
Last Tuesday, the Enterprise team performed its second round of audits for most of the other GLOBE teams. All teams have made significant progress in accomplishing their objectives. The Marketing team has almost reached its monetary goals, being only $1000 short of reaching its goal. The whole class has to step up in selling raffle tickets to reach the goal. Personally, I have convinced some of my cousin’s friends, who are sophomores, to partake in the raffle. I would try to convince them to join GLOBE as well, but they are all Pharmacy majors. Moving on, the IT team has already created a skit for its informational video on GLOBE. Filming for it has started and we cannot wait to see it at final presentation. All GLOBE managers have been asked to be a part of the video, so that all teams will be represented. We have not conducted an audit for the Finance team, but we know that they have made significant progress since the first audit. As for our own audit, most of our objectives have been finalized and we will be done come final presentation.
Last Wednesday, we finally had the GLOBE mixer, the event all of us have been looking forward to since the first day of class. Everyone really enjoyed himself or herself as the theme for the evening was: #GLOBEcares4fun. There was a lot of interaction among classmates and friends of GLOBE. On most days, I only speak to other members of the Enterprise team. But on this occasion, there was more mingling between teams, which we only really get to do during class sessions. At the mixer, we were able to be more relaxed and focus on having a good time. Speaking on behalf of the whole class, it was a very pleasant evening. We raised $599, which adds to Marketing team’s goal.
Towards the end of the evening, there was a group photo taken of the current GLOBE class. I was in the bathroom when I heard all the commotion. When I came back, I found out the group photo was taken without me. It was very funny to me even though I posed this inconvenience. Thankfully, we retook the photo with me in it because GLOBE is a family and nobody gets left behind (or gets left out of a group photo). The photos were even better the second time around because the GLOBE group picture was complete, if I may say so myself, with all its current managers.
This minor event reminded me how GLOBE is always teaching me some sort of life lesson one way or another, implicitly or explicitly. With just one instance, GLOBE has taught me to be on time, even though you would not expect this to be the moral of my little anecdote. Time is such a fickle matter, and I have to be aware of how much time is left to accomplish my tasks. The event also reminded me that time is almost running out for this semester and some of my fellow GLOBE members will be graduating along beside me. I might not be here next semester to see the upcoming seniors. Hopefully, in the next three weeks of GLOBE, our class can spend more time together. GLOBE has really become my family and I am not ready to say goodbye. Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team
Log # 9
By: Pritesh Shah
$1.90 a day. One dollar, and ninety cents a day, imagine living a day with only that in your pockets. In our most recent GLOBE class, my group and I discussed the large amount of people suffering poverty that do in fact live on right under two dollars a day. When we initially began to work on this presentation, being that we had chose to use the article I had picked, I didn’t think it would affect us as much as it did. Essentially, when I first completed the article reading, and began the PowerPoint presentation, I did not think much of it as I continued writing on the slides, until I came to the numbers. Once I saw that the amount of people in poverty has lessened from 1.9 billion in 1990, to now about 700 million, things really began to sink in. Although the fact that the amount has lessened is a good sign, the fact that it is still so high, is nothing to be proud of. However, groups and organizations such as the BRAC are making strong attempts to help lessen this number. My group and I in part of our presentation began to discuss the program that the BRAC does. Summed up, one of the major things they do in their program is assist those in poverty with a cow, or a few goats along with a small stipend to help with the cost of food, and living, and for the next two years have a field worker visit and teach and educate the recipients. The main reason this stuck out to my group and I was because of our continued belief and views of microfinance. We all believe that to help the poor with microfinance, you are assisting them to build, not simply giving them the end result. By giving them the cow or a few goats, you are giving them the seed for a tree, instead of the end result and simply giving them a tree.
Furthermore, this past week as a class we also had the great opportunity to successfully hold our annual mixer. As I walked around and discussed things with my fellow classmates, and former GLOBE managers, we were all able to agree on one thing: how relevant GLOBE becomes in daily conversation and how much of an impact it holds on you once you have taken the class. GLOBE does more than just allow you to get hands on experience and almost work as though you are apart of a not-for-profit organization. Being a manager for GLOBE makes you want to learn and do so much more for everyone in countries that you may never thought you would be holding an influence in, and in turn hold such a great influence that you are assisting in changing someone’s life forever.Marketing and Fundraising Team
Log # 9
By: Savannah Adkins
One of the best things about this week was seeing our goals become a realization. At the beginning of the semester, the Marketing Team had set out to raise $5,500 and to plan the Friends of GLOBE Mixer, trying to bring in at least 50 people. While we have not yet reached our monetary goal, thanks to everyone’s help with Give Campus, the mixer, and the ongoing raffle, we are getting very close to the goal. In regards to the mixer, we did reach our goal, making almost $600 and getting to connect with many old GLOBE managers.
Working on the paper for the semester has been very revelatory for me. I decided to write my paper on how microfinance prevents against forced labor. I chose this topic because forced labor is a topic that I am highly interested in, and particularly its alleviation. My interest in it was expanded upon by Dr. Clark, with whom I worked on a research project. The project was aimed at detecting the supply chain originating in forced labor. Naturally, with my career goal being to go into Economic Development, I recognized the potential that microfinance has in aiding with this international issue. I have come to know the main causes of forced labor well, and one of the most prevalent types of forced labor is debt bondage, a phenomenon which Dr. Yunus encountered, as described in his book. This type of forced labor is incredible to me because it is so easy to prevent against and yet it happens everywhere. People borrow a small amount of money, sometimes as small as mere cents, and then the debt compounds upon itself, sometimes leading to intergenerational slavery. Access to microcredit is such a simple way to prevent against it because it offers people to option, when used effectively, to borrow small amounts at low interest rates with flexible terms. They then do not slip into this debt bondage and also create an income generating business in the process. I understand that microfinance cannot cure everything, but when one sees evil in the world like debt bondage and forced labor, it’s not hard to see how microfinance offers a very viable solution to this problem.
It may sound extremely cliché, but it is truly bitter sweet to see the semester coming to a close. I have made so many friends out of my teammates, and I cannot imagine better people to have worked with throughout the semester. Now that we only have a month left in the class, and less to accomplish our goals, I makes me really with for more time. Dr. Sama told us that the semester would fly by before our eyes, and yet I did not quite believe her until now. I am extremely proud of what the Marketing Team, and the entirety of GLOBE for that matter, has accomplished in only the three months that we’ve been working together.Technology and Communications Team
Log # 9
By: Mate Majstorovic
I want to begin this log by thanking all GLOBE members for helping put together such an amazing mixer last Wednesday. I had a phenomenal time catching up with my classmates, and meeting former GLOBE managers. If only we could have had a similar event at the beginning of the semester to help build a stronger group dynamic. It was motivating to see how excited some of the former managers were to be there and share their experiences. It goes to show how much of an impact GLOBE has had on their lives, which I now completely understand. While writing my penultimate log, I have come to realize the impact GLOBE has had on my experience at St. John’s, and I can proudly say that it will definitely be the highlight of my collegiate career. The camaraderie built throughout the tenure of this course is what truly stood out to me as I have never seen group of people grow so close in such a short period of time. While many of us come from very different backgrounds, I think that it is safe to say we all share a very common passion. This common passion for helping people is what slowly, but surely, brought us all together.
At the beginning of the semester I had always logged about our accomplishments, and not until recently have I begun to reflect upon how GLOBE has had an impact on me and my classmates. I have learned and practiced dozens of vital interpersonal skills, which I know have been important building blocks to my character. More importantly, I have learned what life is like for a majority of the developing world. I will never forget our first class lecture when Dr. Sama made clear the difference between being poor and living in poverty. Our borrowers are rich in spirit, and have so much to offer their communities, but a majority of society fails to see that, ultimately perceiving them as valueless. I am glad to have learned of the true value that lies beneath the tints of poverty, and ultimately hope to leverage this knowledge in the future to help social business programs around the world.
I look forward to these last few weeks, as the semester comes to a close. I will encourage all of my classmates to finish strong, and leave an everlasting impression on the GLOBE program. While we still have much to accomplish until then, I am confident that we will do so, and cannot wait to see all that we have achieved during our final presentation!
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits
Log # 10
By: Dominique Jones
I cannot believe how quickly this semester has gone by. It seems that we were just starting class and still very lost about what our objectives and roles would be. While this semester has been difficult, I feel that the majority of our class has worked very hard. While I did acquire a few new skills such as creating measurements, I feel that Globe has forced me to critically hone in on existing skills that are pertinent to all areas of life, not just the professional realm. The structure of Globe has allowed me to create more ways to adapt to my colleagues’ work styles while still completing our tasks. Since the structure of Globe is less of a class and more of a business/practicum my team and I did not turn to Dr. Sama for every issue we incurred, as is the norm with most other classes. I (and my other teammates I’m sure) have become much more equipped to work through hardships and manufacture different options that work around problems such as scheduling, availability, communication, and preparation etc. I usually work alone and although I have worked in groups before, I have never worked in a group for the entire semester with little interference form the instructor. This was difficult and at times quite stressful but it provided me with valuable life experience and also forced me to leave behind my former habit of needing to place blame. Instead of concentrating on who did or did not do something, I became more goal oriented and just worked to achieve our objectives. This semester allowed me to see that while focusing on blame (especially when grades are involved) may make a person feel better, but it does not accomplish goal. In terms of business and professionalism, completing the goal is what matters and blaming is unproductive and childish.
In addition, working in groups has also helped with problem solving under pressure. There were certain times where last minute decisions had to be made in order for my group (or the entire class) to accomplish a task. In those moments I had to think and act quickly not just on my own, but in cohesion with the rest of the group to make adjustments. During this semester I saw myself and many other students adopt the “No Excuses” motto in terms of completing objectives. I would say that this, in large part, is due to the theory of leading by example. Many of us were shocked to discover all of the different responsibilities Dr. Sama has (and that is just in regards to her work life), yet she manages to stay on top of EVERYTHING! After a while, we felt that if she could juggle all of her roles then there was no reason why even the busiest student could not do what was required. My personal limits were pushed this semester as I also had 6 other classes, but this was excellent practice for juggling tasks in the workplace as I too hope to own my own business in the far future.
Today, we are auditing the Finance team for the second time. Kamoy, myself, and a few other managers are assisting the finance team with the Nicaraguan loan applications. I am happy to see other managers helping as we are all preparing for finals, trying to finish our own objectives, and creating the final presentation. This reminds me of the beginning of the semester when we played the blue card/ green card game except now we aren’t out for self. We are all contributing to each team’s success as we are all working for one organization with one goal and we are only as strong as our weakest link. This weekend, my team is meeting Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for three hours each to finish off our objective and start the presentation. Most of what we need to do is editing and creating uniformity amongst our pamphlets. We are also compiling all of our work into one folder to pass on to the next class. The last team did that for us and it helped 100%, we feel we should keep that tradition going. I personally feel it should be mandatory. One of the issues we identified in the beginning of the semester is that in the past, new groups aren’t completely abreast of where the previous team stopped and each semester it is as if the new team is starting from scratch. If we continue to pass on ALL information, Globe will evolve at a much quicker pace and uniformity will be achieved sooner. I am excited about the final presentation and for us to finish the pamphlets for our borrowers.Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team
Log # 10
By: William Alexander
“To overcome poverty and the flaws of the economic crisis in our society, we need to envision our social life. We have to free our mind, imagine what has never happened before and write social fiction. We need to imagine things to make them happen. If you don't imagine, it will never happen.” – Muhammad Yunus
Imagine with me; deep within the financial capital of the world, a boiling pot of people, culture and activity. There sits a student in his first year of college, eager to take the world by storm. It’s been a long day. He’s witnessed a wide array of opportunities this University has to offer. Everything is moving at a much faster pace than he’s used to. Pause. Listen to the woman in the fancy business suit. She has something to say about this program offered by the business school. It’s called “Global Loan Opportunities for Budding Entrepreneurs – but you can call it GLOBE.” Look up. Go sign up! Sorry, you have to be at least in your junior year to participate. Patience is truly a virtue. Long story short; here I am at the end of my time as a GLOBE Manager, writing my final log. This has been a truly memorable experience and I must mention that it was well worth the wait!
Picture this: all the way in the Philippines is a married mother of five, working hard and selling food so that her children can have an education. Her son just graduated from high school, but he is still unable to do serious work. He wants to help his mother succeed, so he helps her apply for a loan from some kind American benefactors. A group of students in a bustling metropolis review the application and realize that there may be something wrong in the application, so they ask questions. They should be proud to know that they are truly changing lives. Someone should remind them of the significance of their hard work. Someone just told them that, “The loan applicants are excited and very eager to welcome them and listen to their ‘American idols’.” Wipe the tear off your cheek and realize that when these students say they’re changing the world one loan at a time – they mean it.
Class is in session. This week we looked into Impact Investing. In short, this involves attracting investors to solve social and environmental problems. However, there is a high emphasis on short term results. It’s much more attractive for an investor to witness rapid returns and gain the satisfaction that they are making a difference. Let’s face it – it’s much less appealing to know that your investment will fetch great rewards in some distant time period when you may not be able to enjoy it. Impact investing initiatives range from agriculture to healthcare and the expectations are usually quite high. However, in attracting investments, microfinance institutions particularly need to be transparent and be truthful about their operations. Mission drift is real and alive; organizations must keep their promises and honor the people they serve.
Remove the veil of life in the developing world and consider the entire economic system of a developing nation. They possess an abundance of natural and human resources. The only problem is that there is no way to unlock that productive potential. It reminds me of the words of Economist, Adam Smith that “No society can be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.” Looking at the potential impact of microfinance on economic growth and development, it becomes clearer that there is no need for this phenomenon called poverty. Imagine the wealth of opportunities that these people can take advantage of, if only they could. Think about what their lives would be like, once they are given the means to escape the poverty trap. Muhammad Yunus, the father of modern microfinance, has taught us a lot during this semester. Imagine the world he envisions; where our children can look at poverty in the museums and wonder “how a few people could live in luxury while billions dwelt in misery, deprivation and despair.”Marketing and Fundraising Team
Log # 10
By: Khadija Naqui
This past week in GLOBE, we watched a video from Ted Talk of Jacqueline Novogratz, an American entrepreneur and author who founded Acumen. From the past ten weeks this was by far my favorite video we’ve watched in class. As I sat watching this seven-minute video several thoughts were flowing through my mind as tears streamed down my cheeks. Novogratz discussed a story of a woman she met when she visited the slums in Kenya. The woman she met was named Jane Ngoiri who is now a single mother who grew up in a slum, and was forced to drop out of school because her mother didn’t have enough money to afford her education. As a young girl Jane had two dreams, the first was to become a doctor and the second was to have a husband, to her dismay, neither came true. Instead, she was forced into prostitution, found her way out through Jami Bora and was given the opportunity to create her own business. Being HIV positive didn’t stop her from designing dresses, even though it ended up changing some of her goals around. At the end of the video Novogratz discussed how Jane had told her that her first dream had changed because she realized all she wanted to do was help people and she can do that without going to school and becoming a doctor. Now, she helps her community twice a week by offering support and hope to other HIV patients who are going through a similar situation as her. While her second dream was just to have a family, such as her children whom she loves so much.
After hearing Jane’s story, my heart filled up with so many emotions. The first thought that crossed my mind was that sometimes my friends tell me that they are having a bad day and keeping saying, “my life is over.” Last year, I lost a friend to suicide because she couldn’t handle it anymore; the mixture of stress from all different angles finally caused her to an endpoint. It’s absolutely admirable to me that Jane, raised in poverty, has more hope than most of us who live in much better circumstances with clean roads, enough food, and homes that are more sustainable than her tin house. It’s sad to think that these individuals, just like our borrowers have more hope than most of us combined. Even after reading the conclusion in “How to Change the World Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas” by David Bornstein, I wish that one day I can become a social entrepreneur. I’d like to put myself out there and use profit from a business I create to reinvest into poverty and make a difference. The only way this world will change is if we use our resources to do so.
Another reason Jane’s story stood out to me was because my family is from Pakistan and though many of my family members are well off and live in large homes, I do have a small number of cousins who live in the slums and huts of Karachi. Last December, my cousin who grew up studying in a small room with no light in the slums finally got into a medical program and she’s only 16. Jane’s story reminded me of my cousins because everyone always assumes that once a family is in the slums, they will remain there. But, that is no longer the case nor should it ever be. Individuals living in these slums have such an inspirational amount of motivation to grow, prosper, and create a successful life for themselves and their families. When I called my cousin to congratulate her all she could say was, “how will I pay for it? There is no scholarship here. I don’t know Khadija, we can’t afford it.” That is when I decided to invest in her and get my family involved in her situation. She has the potential to grow and fulfill any dream she would like, similarly to how I feel about each and every single one of our borrowers. All they need is chance.
After sitting in the GLOBE classroom for 10 weeks, I have changed my own dreams similar to Jane. I don’t want to grow up and work in the corporate world at any business that does not use their money for the right reasons. I want to grow and become the best version of myself and if that means traveling to impoverished areas, I will certainly do so. I’m going to Pakistan this coming August, and I plan on going to visit the slums and my goal is to make a difference in at least one persons life. My dream is to change lives because that is genuinely the only thing that will make me happy. I do not want a lavish mansion if I can live in a decent sized home and feed my family, I will use my money wisely. GLOBE has changed the way I view life and hopefully I will read “The Blue Sweater” by Jacqueline Novogratz on the plane ride to Pakistan and feel even more inspired.Technology and Communications Team
Log # 10
By: Anthony Kim
As I sit down and write this final chapter of my memories and experiences throughout this past semester, I cannot help but feel nostalgic. Through GLOBE, I have established life-long friendships with peers who I may have never encountered had I not signed up for this thriving microfinance course. Not only is GLOBE a vessel among those living in poverty, but it is also a gateway to something far greater than one could possibly imagine. Since its conception in the spring of 2009, GLOBE has helped thousands of borrowers to pursue their aspirations, dreams, and goals, and has aided so many communities in flourishing. My team of twenty managers, along with the assistance, guidance, and knowledge of Dr. Sama, has raised $3,659 through our GiveCampus campaign, $599 from door proceeds and selling raffle tickets at the annual mixer, $272 from our waffle breakfast sale, and $302 from our first bake sale of the semester, totaling just about $4,832. This is a major accomplishment that we should all be very proud of. I know every single one of us worked as hard as we possibly could to raise a sufficient amount of money for our borrowers.
GLOBE continues to remind me every day of the life-changing experience I had in Masinga, a rural village about four hours outside of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The ten days that I spent there consisted of supplying food, water, medicine, clothes and shoes to the rural slums, providing medical aid to the sick and elderly, teaching English to the children and helping them read books, as well as door-to-door evangelism and learning more about the Christian gospel. Although I did not personally experience the Kibera slums, I was still a first-hand witness of the poverty levels spread throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. For several months after I returned to the United States, it was difficult for me to fall asleep at night knowing that 20 percent of the world’s population, approximately 1.2 billion people, live on less than $1 a day.
Although my time as an undergraduate student is coming to an end, GLOBE will always be a part of my life and the experience I have had at St. John’s University. I hope to give back to the community well after I graduate and pursue my career as a banker. I know that I will certainly be attending future GLOBE mixers to stay up to date with the program’s accomplishments, getting to know the future GLOBE managers, and of course giving Dr. Sama a warm and welcoming hug. These last few weeks as a senior are going to be some of the most important moments in my life, and I am excited to deliver a powerful final presentation to our current GLOBE managers, our future GLOBE managers, the steering committee, and anyone else who may be interested in learning more about GLOBE and what the program has to offer. This is not a “goodbye,” but a “see you later.”
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits
By: Janet Brago
From the first day you walk into the classroom you knew that you were taking action to make the world a better place. G.L.O.B.E is a microfinance program that provides micro loans to entrepreneurs living in developing countries. The world of microfinance has for the past 10 years or so gained popularity as more and more institutions incorporate it into their business. Obviously we live a globalized society and as it continues to become more globalized economics is playing a significant part on everyone’s agenda. Microfinance has demonstrated that poor people can in fact take an active role in their economies. Microfinance provides them with tools to help jump start their business or to grow their business which in turn helps them to take a more active role in their economies.
Not only has microfinance allowed individuals to take active roles in their economies and to take financial risk but it has empowered women to become leaders of their communities. Microfinance has paved the way for women to develop courage in taking leadership positions, and has indirectly help to impact the political and social issues affecting their country. In G.L.O.B.E we learned that women are more suited to take loans because they tend to use the money on their businesses and to invest in their families and communities, in other words women are more responsible than men. It was slightly, oh no, refreshingly surprising to learn about that.
G.L.O.B.E has completely changed the way in which I view the poor and their capacity to get involved in their economies. Looking back one major thing that I have taken away from all of this is that the fight against poverty is not over. In class we learned that microfinance has its downfalls and I believe it is up to the next group of bright-eyed individuals to assess those challenges. There is simply in my own honest opinion, no other way to fight poverty without giving people the opportunity to compete in their economies.
Lastly I would like to thank G.L.O.B.E’s spring class of 2016 for the tremendous work and professor Sama for her enthusiasm an encouragement throughout the semester. I’m truly excited for what the future holds with microfinance and fighting poverty.
Marketing and Fund Raising
By: Shaylah L. Brown
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that frightens us most” (Marianne Williamson). When I recited these words at the final presentation my voice shook in my throat as the words vibrated off my tongue, only later realizing how much this quote truly impacted me. During my time in GLOBE I believe I grew as a person, on the first day of GLOBE I wasn’t sure I would be that much of an asset to my group with not much experience in microfinance and being a Legal Studies major. By challenging myself I pushed myself to new limits, exploring new capabilities. That trickled over into my life outside of GLOBE as well. Applying to things that are outside of just what I normally do, not being discouraged by lack of experience. Recognizing that I will be equipped with the skills and qualities needed to do the job. I thought back to the borrowers when applying for loans and creating their own businesses, did they fear inadequacy? Did they fear not having enough skills, and failure? Rather, did they believe that their faith and their passion would drive their success? I realized they must have let the belief in their potential supersede the power of their fears. This revelation is something I will remember for the rest of my life.
On the eve of my last final I walked outside, the evening was calm, clear and breezy. In hopes of alleviating stress, I walked slowly fully experiencing the night air. I looked up and I saw the stars and the moon. I said a prayer. I closed my eyes. The smell of summer was in the air and I became very nostalgic, remembering summers past, and nights spent hanging outside until very late and abundant amounts of laughter. Catching fireflies and the sound of cicadas in the night. The memory of these moments and the anticipation of new memories was the relief. As I walked back I thought everyone goes through rough periods, stressful times such is a part of living. Moments are what our relief is, what motivates us. It is these moments’ bursts of joy, laughter that fulfills us. These moments that makes us rich. It is the reason why despite it all people living in poverty can still smile, laugh, live. As I get ready to end my college career I will always remember how GLOBE became one of my moments. An experience that I will look back on that will cause me to smile, reminiscing on the memories, on the laughs, on the growth and how simultaneously in helping myself I was able to help others.Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team
By: Erfana Hossain
I can’t believe how quickly this semester just flew by. The first lesson we were taught in the beginning of the semester was not to be too ambitious with our goals and to think modestly. I think we didn’t quite heed that and got a little too carried away. We had big dreams of completing and having so many loan recommendations approved, to create all these different risk profiles, to make complete and full assessments of the class budget, and analyze the progress of all the pass loans. But, I think we got a little to in over our heads. I’m proud of the work that we were able to do. We did get through quite a few loans and working on the various batch loans for the different countries really did help us make assessments on the countries that we worked with. We may not have gotten around to cover all six borrowing countries, but we did get an individualized and personal focus on the Philippines, Vietnam, and Nicaragua. Our game plan was to divide up the loans amongst the five of us and then reconvenes to go over them. Being assigned to specific borrowers let us each truly connect with our borrowers and become experts on them. Thanks to Benie Sepato’s borrower application, I know so much about poultry raising and how it’s a growing industry in the Philippines!
If I had any advice for the future semesters, I would tell them to truly enrich themselves in this class and make sure to not take for granted experience or opportunity they are given. From the events, to the loans, to the readings, to the lecturers, to the lectures, and to even your fellow classmates there is just so much you can learn and take away from this class. First and foremost, you may think you know microfinance or maybe you don’t know it all but there are so many different levels to it that can be entire classes on their own. I went into this class only knowing a very raw, general basis on microfinance and what it meant to Bangladesh. It seemed like this magical tool that can fix the world and alleviate poverty. Microfinance can do wonders, but it’s only just one tool in a toolbox that requires support from the public, from the government, and organizations alike. Alleviating poverty, especially the most extreme levels of poverty is a priority and this class makes you realize not only the harsh realities, but gives you hope that this is an achievable priority. Most classes disparage you from thinking a difference can be made, but consistently and constantly after each class you’re encourage that no matter how small you may think your impact is on the world, it does make an impact and any good impact is better than nothing at all. We are actually making a real difference in the world, whether you feel it or not. Our borrowers, who are able to run their poultry businesses and their sari sari stories and continue to inspire their families and their communities, are real people who are able to achieve their dreams because of the work we put into this class. The difference we make doesn’t stop after we leave the class.
One specific lesson that stuck with the most was Professor Brenton’s lecture on poverty mapping; it got me into thinking how can we better visualize the work we do in GLOBE. As an Environmental Studies major, I’ve been given the opportunity to actually learn the basics of story mapping and creating visual and interactive user-friendly maps. The potential for GLOBE and web mapping is actually endless. To not only market our efforts better but also educate the public on our borrowers and their loans, we can create an interactive graph that displays every single borrower across the six countries that we are reaching. Hopefully, this is a project is a goal that can be reached soon, maybe not in my semester but in the future semesters. GLOBE has truly been a life changing experience.
￼￼Technology and Communications Team
By: Ashley Younker
As I look back at this past semester with GLOBE, I really am amazed at the progress that I have made and all that we as a class have accomplished. Even though each of our teams have had our ups and downs, difficulties and frustrations, we have come out of this victorious with achievements that we can all be proud of.
From the very beginning of this semester, my team and I faced our own share of struggles when we were faced with establishing a posting schedule that we could stick to and finding ways to divide the work amongst ourselves. With each of our members having other classes as well as jobs outside of school to worry about, it was very difficult as a team leader to try to coordinate each of our schedules so that we could all work together to get our GLOBE tasks done. We especially faced a lot of difficulties with the production of our Give Campus video when we ended up making three different versions due to the need for revisions. While this was frustrating, we found an approach that worked for us given our limited camera equipment and quality. By far our most difficult objective to complete was our fifth goal to reach a targeted increase in likes for each of our existing social media accounts. I believe that there were two major reasons that this objective was not reached (even though we did come close for our Twitter account). The first is that there was a lack of participation not just from my own, but also from the rest of our GLOBE class in spreading the word about our social media pages throughout the semester. The second is that this objective, while measurable, is still ultimately not something that we as a team have full control over.
Personally, I have found that the one skill that I have made the most progress on this semester is my comfortableness with public speaking. While at the beginning of the semester I had been a good speaker, I still sometimes struggled with severe nervousness (to the point of shaking) whenever I had to go up in front of a group of people and talk. As we have been busy throughout the semester trying to balance our social lives with work, school and GLOBE work, I have not had much time to really sit down and reflect on much else. Now as I sit here and write this I realize that each time I have presented throughout this semester I have been less and less nervous and getting more and more better and articulately saying what I want to without over-thinking the message I am trying to deliver or worrying about how I am being perceived. In other words, my confidence has grown.
Finally the greatest gain that I believe each of us GLOBE managers will take with us once this class is officially over is all of the friendships that we have made with each other. There is something about working together, struggling together, and laughing together that has bonded us together and made us a family. No matter where life takes each of us in future, we will always have our experience at GLOBE to connect us to one another.