Each semester, students enrolled in the Global Microloan Program will update this site with their bi-weekly program logs. The Spring 2022 student teams include Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits; Finance and Risk Assessment; Marketing and Fundraising; and Technology and Communications.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits Team Grace Bagdon, Eryn Banton, Nahndi Chiumya, Tiffany Dominic, Hajra Ilyas*
Finance and Risk Assessment Team Juan Arrieta, Alana Cooper, Gianna Flora*, Evan Naumann, Caroline O’Hara
Marketing and Fundraising Team Abbey Ahamed, Caitlin D'Amico, Angel Morinigo*, Brian Zheng
Technology and Communications Team Anthony Evangelou, Amira Hassan, Lauren Huseman, McKenzie Jennette, Emily Miller*
Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team
By: Evan Naumann
It is crazy to think that the first two GLOBE classes have already passed. I do not feel like we are already three weeks into the semester, yet here we are. I was nervous to start the class as a younger student. I did not know if I would fit in with the rest of the group, but that could not be further from the truth. The finance team has been so welcoming, and I feel like we work really well together. I am looking forward to a very productive semester. This class is absolutely the highlight of my week, and I am waiting for each class as soon as the previous one finishes. I will say the work has been steady and to be frank, quite a lot. The readings are numerous but as soon as I get into them it is difficult to put the books down. The information I am learning is so applicable right away and the oral presentations last class really showed me just how much each reading can be applied to every group.
I am a bit disappointed we do not have any applications to work on yet, but I am hoping that we will get one quite soon. After finishing our group objectives, it really gave me a clear direction and vision for the semester- one I share with my team. I feel like I would be leaving out an important aspect of the class if I did not mention the task I am so excited to work on, which is the risk assessment model. My passion of environmental protection has a place within GLOBE, merging two of my heaviest academic interests. I have been telling just about anybody who will listen about how excited I am to work with the model and improve it. This class does such a wonderful job getting me engaged and active, but also, I am already looking at how I can use this semester to benefit all the future GLOBE managers. I think the other goal I am most excited to accomplish is the revision of the tracking sheet, because it will be beneficial not only for our team but also for the marketing team. I think getting to work with another team will be a wonderful opportunity to see a different side of GLOBE than what I was expecting. I am looking forward to next class already and getting to see what my team and I can do next to further our impact as well as our education.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits Team
By: Grace Bagdon
When I decided to join GLOBE, I did not know what to expect. I had heard positive things from my roommate, but as a non-business major, I was interested in the terms social business and microfinance, just not yet familiar with them. In the first three classes, I feel like I have at least developed a basic understanding of microfinance along with some of the goals and practices associated with it. Being able to read Muhammad Yunus’s writings that detail his outlook on microlending, in addition to many other texts prior to the first class, also helped to kickstart this understanding. My group and I presented on a chapter in David Bornstein’s book, How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas. Within the chapter, I learned about why a person may be a good fit to work within a social business model and how everyone has different skillsets to bring to the table. These topics were very applicable to GLOBE because we come from so many different majors and have different skills. I think this diversity in backgrounds is a major asset to GLOBE because it means we can collaborate on problems and create solutions from many different perspectives.
Being able to meet with former GLOBE managers in our third week was also a very useful introduction to GLOBE. Hearing their advice both for GLOBE as a whole and the EDA team specifically was very beneficial, and it helped our team to further solidify our objectives for the upcoming semester. They provided very useful feedback on accomplishing internal and external audits, as well as producing any educational materials that may need to be translated for our borrowers. Furthermore, seeing how invested former GLOBE students are in ensuring the success of current GLOBE students helps to both create sustainability within the program and create a stronger GLOBE family for semesters to come.
Overall, it has been an exciting and fascinating first three weeks of GLOBE and I am excited and hopeful for the semester ahead!
Marketing and Fundraising Team
By: Brian Zheng
The first two weeks of GLOBE were very eye-opening in terms of learning what the class mission is by the teams that were formed. I realize that in order for the class to become successful by the end of the semester, every team needs to do their part as each team will be contributing in a way that’s different from one another. Before the first class, I did not know what to expect in terms of my role as a part of the marketing team but after the first class, I found some clarity. The team’s agenda provided insight on how we are able to work together as a class to achieve our goals for the semester. The class has opened my eyes and made me realize how fortunate most of us are compared to some people around the world. It has already motivated me to try to contribute to society in order to make this world a better place. Although it may seem that we can only help a couple of people this semester, it is the mindset that counts and if everyone else in the world can do their tiny part, then we will definitely see a big difference.
My team and I just finished reading the assignment on Chapter 3 of the book Banker to The Poor. This chapter covered a lot of issues that are being discussed in the class regarding why there is poverty going on around the world. Reading and learning about different cultures definitely opens your eyes up to what is really going on in the world. Sometimes we might be caught up in our own problems, resulting in tunnel vision, not knowing that some people in the world are way less fortunate than us. I always gravitate toward learning about different people from different cultures, as I believe being enlightened can help us better understand one another. We could definitely draw some parallels between cultural awareness and what Yunus was doing in helping out the farmers that were struggling. By trying to help the farmers out, he was willing to take the risk that they would eventually pay back the loans. This is what we are trying to do in GLOBE.
I believe this class will not only teach me how to become a better entrepreneur, but also help me in terms of applying and practicing some skillsets that will be important for me to have in my future endeavors. One of the most important skillsets to have, in my opinion, is great communication. In this class, that means staying in touch at all times with the team and the professor, as there might be sudden changes to the plan. I am looking forward to seeing what this class will continue to teach me when it comes to building teams where our goals align, and everyone contributes in their own way.
Technology and Communications Team
By: Amira Hassan
I have always been an advocate for the power of team collaboration; GLOBE demonstrates just that! Since the first class, I was amazed by how my fellow classmates and colleagues have worldly experiences during a global pandemic. Hearing their stories seriously intrigued me and I grew more excited about working with every individual to achieve our goals relative to our borrowers.
Within the first couple weeks, our Technology and Communications team discussed the plan of action for the goals set in extending social media outreach. I was happy to see that each and every one of us generated some creative content on what to post on all of our platforms. Initially, this generation of ideas presented a daunting challenge, but nevertheless, our team is determined and ready to bring these goals to fruition. Our enthusiasm for outreach can honestly be best expressed through the very first Instagram story post on the GLOBE profile, which we collectively posted on the first night of class. In that post, we showcased our excitement for being part of this motivated group by waving our GLOBE shirts and wristbands for everyone to see.
For the first oral presentation, our group was tasked with reading the chapter regarding Grameen phone and telecom in Muhammad Yunus’s book Creating A World Without Poverty. This chapter highlighted the initiatives implemented by Grameen in rural areas of Bangladesh with the purpose of modernizing the country. In doing so, Grameen is paving the path for Bangladesh to be one step closer to poverty alleviation. It was very interesting to read up on what is happening in Bangladesh because I personally was able to witness the difference every time I visited the villages in 2013, 2017, and even 2019.
Alongside all this, we have curated different topics for our Instagram posts. We’re actively seeking information pertaining to poverty alleviation and concepts of microfinance. It was fun working with my team to brainstorm content ideas for our outreach. In fact, we are already preparing for our meeting with a member of the St. John’s University marketing team with the purpose of describing our plan of action for our objectives. I am honestly so excited to see what else we are planning next and am looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for our team!
By: Gianna Flora
This week we had the pleasure of meeting former GLOBE managers, all of whom beamed with pride regarding the program and the family they now have. It is without a doubt that GLOBE leaves an everlasting mark on the hearts of all involved, from the borrowers to the managers to Dr. Sama. It also goes to show the family impact of GLOBE, since former managers from years ago were voluntarily willing to offer us current managers advice to help us succeed this semester. The former managers from last year shared that they would all go have dinner before class to strengthen connections between teams, which then translated into the work they produced.
The finance team then went over our final objectives and adjusted them to the input of former managers. Particularly the finance team works off loan applications to review and make suggestions. However, we have not received any loans yet, which was surprising to the former managers. They informed us at their start they had 8-10 loans which puts us in very different positions. They took the time to give us more information regarding the process and the written recommendations. They also suggested we include household expenses in the application and build off their expansion of the macro-environmental section of the risk assessment model. Additionally, they recommended specific locations where loans were successful, including Vietnam. They said second-time borrowers who would be great to include in our promotional video. Their insight definitely provided direction for us, and we are grateful they were able to meet with us.
This past week we discussed multiculturalism and the importance of cultural context. Microfinance institutions need to be bound to the local community to be successful, so no two institutions working in different locations should be exactly the same. Many countries have their own ways of handling business and hierarchy. As discussed in my previous log, it is hard to truly understand someone’s scenario that isn’t your own. Gathering as much information as possible, from a cultural perspective, will only enhance your understanding of how to provide the correct resources and devise a plan of action. In microfinance there is not a “one size fits all” approach since every individual has their own dilemmas and each country has their own laws, economic conditions, and problems. I find this to be so crucial because small businesses start this way to cater to their customers in the best way possible. However, when the business grows and starts expanding, they usually lose their one-of-a-kind approach and start applying a cookie cutter approach to all situations. This is what is happening in microfinance. As MFIs become more commercial, they start to neglect the individuals, mostly women, who would greatly benefit from the loan. People like profit and unfortunately, change their ways when there is more money to be made.
Overall, I am continuing to learn a lot in this class that open my eyes to the realities of the world. I am proud of my team for the work we are putting in to combat not having a loan and I hope our motivation and moral stays high. I look forward to next class and continuing my GLOBE journey.
By: Tiffany Dominic
After completing the first three weeks of GLOBE, things have started to get rolling! We were able to meet with former GLOBE managers of the Enterprise Development and Internal Audit group, and they gave us priceless advice while also sharing their past experiences. They shared with us their Google Drive folder that contained valuable information and transition documents. They also emphasized the importance of communication and collaboration while in GLOBE. They advised us to be in frequent contact with our fellow group members and ensure that work is being satisfactorily completed and equally divided. As a pharmacy student, it was extremely insightful being able to talk to a former GLOBE manager who was also a pharmacy student on the EDA Team. He informed me about how pharmacy students can be utilized when making health brochures and improving health literacy among borrowers. Medical illness is one of the main reasons why borrowers are unable to successfully pay back loans. The former GLOBE managers were also able to review our objectives and give feedback. Additionally, we submitted our finalized objectives to Dr. Sama. We will soon be receiving the other teams’ objectives in order to properly perform audits and track progress of the GLOBE program and its initiatives.
During the previous class, the photographer came, and we were able to get our pictures taken outside during class. We all made sure to wear our GLOBE T-shirts and wristbands to show our support of the GLOBE mission and vision!
Dr. Sama has been teaching us about microfinance with her wonderful lectures. As a pharmacy student, this class is my first exposure to microfinance. Last week, we were able to learn about how multiculturalism and gender play a role in microfinance. Dr. Sama opened up the lecture with the quote: "Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Give a woman microcredit, she, her husband, her children and her extended family will eat for a lifetime." A majority of GLOBE borrowers are women, who use the funds received to expand their businesses. These businesses help sustain themselves and their children. We also watched a video that described how women in India used microfinance as a resource to escape domestic abuse and violence from their husbands. Microfinance ultimately helped these women achieve financial independence and they no longer had to rely on their abusive husbands. I was extremely surprised to learn that women make up the majority of GLOBE borrowers and are more successful at paying back their loans. I would expect men to be more successful since in many countries, women are not allowed to start their own businesses. We also learned that microfinance institutions should be able to reflect cultures appropriately. Dr. Sama mentioned during class how some borrowers would not pay on time if MFIs seemed out of touch with the local culture. There was also an increased lack of trust. I did not expect culture to have a huge impact on MFIs. Prior to this lecture, I always held the belief that money itself was a “universal language.” However, I was able to learn that both culture and gender are essential factors in microfinance impact and success.
By: Abbey Ahamed
This week we had the pleasure of meeting former marketing/fundraising teams and Scott VanDeusen. These two meetings were extremely beneficial to my team because they gave us insight into what was done in the past and how we could criticize what we already are doing to get the most funds/benefits out of our events and our learning.
First, the meeting with the teams was absolutely amazing. We got to connect with Harmonia, Sadha, Angela, and Ignacio, and they all had great advice. For example, Angela talked about how even though our team's goals are to raise the money, it’s also about raising our voices. I remember she told us that we should promote GLOBE to our professors, clubs, and jobs because we never know if somebody could give a huge donation just by speaking to them about the meaning of GLOBE and what it does for people. For our Torch sections, we were thinking about interviewing borrowers ourselves. However, when we spoke to these past teams, they explained that pulling resources from the EDA/IT team about past borrowers could help us significantly. They also strongly advised that we get started on making our final presentation PowerPoint! I found this advice helpful, considering we could throw all of the things we have been learning right in the PowerPoint so it’s there and organized.
Because of this meeting, we thought about making general print-out flyers about the bake sale and posting them in buildings. Overall, this meeting was a connecting point for my group. We finally started to pull together the information we needed for our events. We started collaborating on our ideas. Finally, the representative from the Torch answered us regarding our article! She was excited to work with us and I am excited for this opportunity for my team.
Scott had tons of information for us to explore. We spoke mostly about how Venmo could be a possible method of payment for our bake sale in March. I thought this idea could help garner more funds. Most students do not carry cash because of COVID!
Our team officially chose the title “Women of GLOBE” for our GiveCampus campaign. I truly believe this is something that I can relate to. I love this theme of highlighting not only women borrowers, but the young women in our class as well. I am excited to see what will happen in the next week and how we are going to add to our GiveCampus campaign.
By: McKenzie Jennette
In GLOBE, I have been enjoying learning about microfinance and collaborating on the Technology and Communications team. This week has been focused on finalizing objectives and planning for what is to come in the future. I am looking forward to participating in future events and growing our social media presence. What I have enjoyed the most is hearing other people’s ideas. It has been refreshing being able to work with people with different majors and areas of expertise. It allows you to see different perspectives than your own. I have also come to realize how dependent GLOBE is on the students. This is a class that requires all of us to cooperate to ensure GLOBE’s success. I have been enjoying the experiential learning aspect of the program.
In terms of what I have learned this week, today’s class was of interest to me because the topic was ethics and how it ties into microfinance institutions. After learning that some financial institutions like MFIs overcharge on interest rates when lending to borrowers, I was reminded of the flawed loan system we have here in the U.S. Many banks and financial institutions here, although regulated, can adopt practices that are not always ethical. Being a college student, I have been critical of the loan system in the U.S. and how many of us students are subjected to it. Financial literacy is another issue that needs to be solved when it comes to loan services with unfair practices targeting vulnerable populations. Some people are not aware of the fine print that comes with signing off on a loan, such as interest rates or the capacity at which they are borrowing. After learning more about microfinance, I think it is a major tool that can help alleviate poverty for these countries that are heavily reliant on small businesses for boosting the economy.
In the past week of GLOBE, a lot has happened. We received our first loan applications, which is very exciting. I am looking forward to working on them as soon as possible. I have also begun to make progress on the updates to the Risk Assessment model. I figured out some of the key metrics I would like to use, and I am working on creating a rudimentary code in Excel that does the calculations automatically instead of doing them by hand. Of course, I am by no means an expert so this will take time. I also have been talking to anybody who will listen to me about joining GLOBE. I do not leave my room without my GLOBE wristband, and I wear it loud and proud.
The lesson about the ethics of microfinance continues to resonate with me because of how important it is to recognize that not everyone participates in microfinance for the right reasons. The original intentions were pure, but when the profitability became evident, new microfinance companies went about in the worst way possible. That highlights a place in life where there exists such a grey area, and absolute statements are quite difficult to make. I used to talk about how microfinance was the “cure-all” to poverty. While this may be true, what I should have been saying is that proper, well-intentioned microfinance is one tool that can be used in the fight against poverty. This class is unique in that the material is applicable beyond the classroom. These lessons really apply to the ethics of charities, and donations, and to more than just microfinance. The reading this week also spoke to me because the discussion about policy and consumer protection echoes the idea that this field still has players that should not be practicing.
I think that this week my group has done better about communicating with each other outside of the classroom. I think that with the new defined tasks, we were better about communication. I also think that there was a general energy about us with the loans that will help us get to work. I took the lesson especially to heart today, as it was a conversation I have had with my family. My mother asked me the exact question: “Why do you not just work to alleviate the poverty within our own country?” I think that I keep referring back to the lesson about the layers of poverty. Poverty is such a broad term, and it is so important to understand that the loans we are giving out would not be applicable to those impoverished in the United States.
This week has been one of objective refinement and clarification in GLOBE. Members of the class met with the Steering Committee, and it was wonderful not only to get feedback on our objectives, but to hear other teams talk through their objectives as well. I think hearing them read aloud and discuss helped me understand the goals of other teams much more clearly. I believe this clarification will allow me to approach the first internal audit with a better understanding of the other teams, especially my assigned team of Finance. The first internal audit will go out at the end of this week, so I am working to complete the form and survey so we can send it out.
In our class meeting today, the EDA team discussed research and assessments in microfinance. One idea that stood out to me was the importance of qualitative and quantitative methodologies in impact assessments. Mixed methodologies have always been something in which I am interested but thinking about how they could apply to microfinance allows for an increased understanding of the potential socio-cultural and political impacts of microfinance on borrowers or communities. GLOBE operates in so many different cultures and geographies. Having an idea of the holistic situation a borrower faces rather than just recording the economic figures benefits GLOBE and the borrowers alike.
I think seeing the benefit of mixed-method research for microfinance is a way to draw on the diverse skills of the class. Some of us have more qualitative backgrounds, and others more quantitative, so by combining our skills and experience, we are able to create a well-rounded impact assessment for GLOBE. As always, I look forward to the next two weeks of working towards our objectives and sending out the first internal audit!
This week we finally started to work on our GiveCampus campaign, and I started to realize that our GiveCampus resonates so deeply with my goals to empower all women, and how much GLOBE truly means to me. Our GiveCampus campaign is surrounding women in GLOBE, including our borrowers and our future borrowers. Not only are we going to speak about the #WomenofGLOBE, but also about our future borrowers. I hope that all the women who decide to donate or even read our campaign know that we want to be a helping hand for these women entrepreneurs. I guess for me, alleviating poverty has become about gender equality and making sure women who borrow from us feel empowered.
In class we spoke about helping and hindering hands, which I found extremely interesting. One positive impact of ethics in microfinance and helping hands stuck out to me: “school enrollment rates and infant mortality rates”. I started to ponder how through just the act of giving these loans to someone, we can fulfill their dreams, but we could also be helping their children enroll in school or assisting with sickness. Even though we don’t physically enroll children into schools or help with diseases that run rampant in impoverished countries, we can still provide income for families.
My father always told me about how growing up in Bangladesh was hard not only because of the country’s state, but the lack of education that him and his siblings received. He always told me stories about how he would read to his siblings so they could learn from him, and he explained that teachers sometimes taught the wrong material. I realized that our impacts go farther than we realize. My whole life, I wanted Bangladesh and similar countries to have the resources for a better/higher education. When Dr. Sama was telling the class about how light and electricity could change someone's life forever, I realized I took that for granted. I feel more honored to be in GLOBE after this week, and the things I took for granted like “education” and “electricity” I no longer take for granted anymore and through this program, I am going to help women and other people receive those things.
By: Lauren Huseman
This week I spoke in depth with one of my classmates about the Liberation War in Bangladesh. We spoke about the significance of the attack by Pakistan on Bangladesh. I made an Instagram post to commemorate International Mother Language Day, which is a holiday created by the UN to recognize the importance of language preservation and to honor the efforts of the Bengali people in the Liberation War. I was inspired to pay homage to the Independence War and the fact that wars can be spurred by an attempt to erase culture and national history. I have always used poetry as a creative medium for communicating my sentiments. This piece is inspired by the attack on a nation’s language and heritage and how the people sacrificed their lives to preserve their culture.
“No Man’s Land”
What is one who has no place to call home?
What is one when all he can do is roam?
One who never had a phone
One whose existence seemed to be on loan
One whose people were forced to silently moan
What is a native whose heritage is under attack?
The assailants relentless until there is nothing left
You cry for help, but everyone seems to have turned their back
You seek justice for this cultural theft
Your heritage, your language, it is fading to black
But still, you persist
Your efforts aided by an international assist
You never stop, you must resist
You won’t let your nation and its history be missed
You will persist, persist, PERSIST!
Lives have perished, but not in vain
Your quest was relentless and look at what you have gained!
You are free to live as one people, you will no longer be slain
All the hardship and heartache, it was worth all the pain
Because now you are free, forever may you reign
Since log #3 the Finance team now has a total of six loan applications. We went from nothing to a handful in a matter of a week. This is extremely exciting, hopeful, and a bit stressful as my team is about to navigate the applications and write the recommendations. Multiple applications are returning borrowers which I find to be incredible and a testament to the success of GLOBE. These loans are making a difference in the lives of the borrowers and truly empowering them to continue to expand and make a life for themselves that may have not been possible before. I am eager to learn from the application process and the countries where our borrowers live.
Since the last log I have learned that only 2% of the need is being served which is an incredibly low number. When I heard this statistic, I couldn’t believe it as I thought it would be significantly higher. Our world is suffering as there is so much disparity. Global poverty astonishes me and continues to be affected by many factors. Now we are seeing the Ukrainian and Putin disaster that involves killing people and leaving many with nothing. These people’s lives are changing in a matter of minutes which is completely terrifying. After coming back from my spring break trip to LA, I know seeing the homeless there was unlike anything I have seen before. There were rows of tents set up under bridges and on the side of the roads as part of a community making it seem like homelessness is a normalcy, even though it most definitely shouldn’t be a common occurrence. My tour guide even mentioned how the state of California gave the homeless some sort of stipend, about which many people seemed to have dissenting viewpoints. Seeing videos online is so different than witnessing an event firsthand in person. It was unsettling to see people sleeping and sitting on the pavement in mass numbers. New York has many people who are homeless. However, since the weather is warmer on the west coast, the homeless tend to congregate there. The disparity going from Skid Row to Rodeo Drive, all in the same city, displays the injustice we face. In my opinion, we are so far gone that the gap never will be closed regardless of any effort to solve it. This is sorrowful but is the reality in which we live. GLOBE has made me see perspectives and realities of which I was not aware even outside of class, further allowing me to gain a global perspective.
Also, something that stuck out to me that I learned since the last log was that MFIs in the United States make money by the volume of the loans they give out, so it is all about scale, since interest rates are capped. This then messes with the type of market served by MFIs. They are still driven to earn a profit, which usually eliminates the high-risk borrowers who really are the ones in need of a loan. The rules and regulations limiting who can be helped, as well as the need for a profit starts a cruel conversation about the world we live in and helping others. This relates to the 2% I previously talked about and how there are so many more people in need.
Having spring break after receiving loan applications put a wrench in our process as many of my group members, including myself, were away on vacation. However, we are very eager to begin. I am so thankful I decided to take GLOBE, as it has only enhanced my life and my critical thinking has expanded. I look forward to what is to come and hopefully getting all these loans approved.
This was a packed and exciting week for the Enterprise Development & Audit team! We created surveys and questionnaires via Google forms to audit the GLOBE teams and their progress. The process of creating these audits was extremely smooth due to the transitional documents and former audits sent to us by Dr. Sama and former GLOBE managers from the EDA team! Our team received the results of the audits from the teams this past week. I was tasked with auditing the Technology & Communications team. I was extremely impressed with the work they have been doing and their progress regarding accomplishing objectives. The members of the Technology & Communications team also wrote extremely detailed and reflective answers in their audit survey. This greatly helped my audit session with the team to be more effective in regard to tackling obstacles and challenges. Completing my own team’s audit survey was also very reflective and helped serve as a reminder to the deadlines we have coming up soon! Overall, this was my very first audit that I ever performed, and I was able to learn many new skills through this task! Compiling and formulating the audit report helped teach me about aggregating data and the incorporation of both quantitative and qualitative data. The essence of both quantitative and qualitative data also directly ties in with our oral reading summary from last class. Our assigned chapter discussed the need for both quantitative and qualitative data when assessing impact. The quantitative data helped me assess the IT Team’s progress, while the qualitative data helped me assess potential challenges and propose recommendations and solutions.
We also now have 6 loan applications from borrowers! This is extremely exciting news since we had a slow start with loan applications in the beginning of this semester. The EDA team is currently working hard on updating the pre-loan and post-loan surveys to include questions that assess the impact of COVD-19 on our borrowers and their quality of life.
Additionally, last week we learned about microfinance in developed countries. There were many interesting and surprising new things I learned during this lecture. For example, I always assumed that microfinance institutions in developing countries have high loan interest rates due to the high administrative costs. However, I learned that administrative costs in MFIs in developing countries are quite low. This also brings up the role of government and the benefits of capping high interest rates in developing countries. It was also extremely interesting to see the potential for growth of MFIs. Only 2% of people who need microfinance services in the US are being served. I used to always assume that the majority of loans distributed by banks were microfinance loans. However, I was able to learn through this class that microfinance makes up a very small percentage of loans distributed by banks in the United States.
On a side note, I have also officially created my own Instagram account a few weeks ago just to follow and support the GLOBE Instagram account! I am excited to be showing my support for the GLOBE mission and vision!
By: Caitlin D’Amico
Reflecting on the past couple weeks of GLOBE has been very rewarding to me. GLOBE is such an amazing course and has so many things to offer to students. As we are reaching the mid-way point in the semester, I have realized how important a course like GLOBE is. Not only are we creating loans for the less fortunate, but we are also learning so much about microfinance. I have also seen how important it is to communicate and work with my team. Last week, we presented our second oral summary. I believe my team did a good job altogether, but there were definitely some things that could be improved upon. For myself, I wish I was more confident when presenting and speaking in front of people. It is something I really want to work on, so when it comes to final presentations, I am confident in myself.
Today in class we had a guest speaker, Elaine Tontoh. She talked to us about understanding the barriers to financial inclusion in selected areas in Ghana, focusing on youth, women, and people with disabilities. As she was talking to us, she mentioned a man named Before. Before really stuck out to me because he only has 33 cents a day to live on. It really makes me think how lucky we are here. You should never take anything for granted and always be thankful for what you have because there are people that have things a lot worse. Her presentation was very eye opening and moving. She connects her research to what we are doing in GLOBE, and I feel so good about myself since we are helping people in need.
With our bake sale coming up very soon on March 17th, we have started to finalize everything we need for our fundraiser. My team and I are very excited to promote and fundraise money for GLOBE. I am very confident in all of us that we will hit our goal!
This week, our team was discussing ideas for what to film for the GiveCampus video. The timing couldn’t be any more perfect since this month marks Women’s History Month and our theme for this semester is “Women of GLOBE”. We are aiming to interview a former GLOBE Manager to help promote our mission statement, and the entire planning process has been incredibly engaging. As I continue on with my projects with my team, I feel incredibly excited about what’s going to happen as we move further along. Additionally, I am aiming to film a TikTok through our account to share a traditional Bengali recipe in honor of the father of microfinance- Muhammad Yunus. I have never filmed a TikTok recipe before, but my love for food and my culture is motivating me to share with our viewers the rich history behind my recipe of choice.
Alongside my cooking adventure, I am in the process of designing the blog for our WIX website. I am especially excited about this project because of my experience in web development. I truly believe that showcasing the success stories of our borrowers will allow our organization to reach out to and connect with the broader community. This is the beauty behind living in an interconnected global society; we are able to send our message across the world and engage more people with our mission statement. Our quest for poverty eradication in developing nations is stronger than ever, and I am honored to be working with like-minded individuals who are proactively working towards bringing that reality to fruition.
While we missed our lecture because of this February Break, I was able to contact my family in Bangladesh to learn more about the livelihood of Bangladeshis residing in rural areas of the region. My parents are currently there in Bangladesh because of our passion to learn more about women working in the garment industry. We are examining ways to connect with our culture and sense of community. This is the first step in our process of creating a platform to provide aid to entrepreneurial women of these rural regions in order to generate a sustainable business which will withstand the test of time. Everything I’ve learned thus far in GLOBE has inspired me to pursue more research on how microfinance can preserve traditional crafts in such a way that it will create exponential wealth in the long-term.
It is with disbelief that I comprehend we are already on log number five. This semester is flying by and soon finals will be upon us. It seems as if it were just yesterday when I walked into class completely unaware of how GLOBE would impact me. Since receiving the last few loan applications, my team has successfully started writing recommendations for four loans. We just received an additional loan, which is quite amazing since just a few weeks ago we had no applications to consider.
As a member of the Finance and Risk Assessment Team, I have the task of reading the loan applications and they have become my favorite task. Being able to read applicants’ responses to the questions as if we are in a conversation allows me to learn about their life and community. Reading why they want the loan and how they are going to use the requested funds brings joy and purpose to my team. It is so easy to forget that these loans are for real people hundreds of miles away. The opportunity for them to receive funds to purchase a laptop, motorbike, or expand their existing food business is tremendous. They would usually be rejected from traditional financing agencies due to their circumstances. I find I must remind myself that these people are relying on our timely response. This class is far more than simple assignments without any meaningful purpose. Instead, I have the ability to make an impact on someone’s life, which I have to remember throughout my busy week. When I have the time to sit and reflect, my daily issues have little to no weight compared to those requesting the loans. I personally have a lot for which to be thankful, but unfortunately the society in which we live does not allow me to fully grasp the disparity. We live in cohorts of people with similar situations, allowing us to reason everyone else acts the same. This is not true.
This past week in GLOBE we had the chance to listen to guest speaker, Dr. Tontoh, about her experience with microfinance in Ghana. It was rewarding to hear from a new perspective of someone in our community who has traveled to experience and collect data. I found it interesting that the microfinance institutions would be across the street from businesses in need and yet, the businesses were not able to get loans. It was also to my disbelief that people believed that they could contract a disability from someone who had one. This is completely ludicrous and demonstrates a lack of education. This is a reason for people to discriminate against the disabled, when in reality they need help from their community to survive. In these areas, government funding isn’t going to the disabled but into the pockets of the government officials. Many times, these people are left without their families due to their circumstances in addition to their community shutting them out. These people need assistance and yet can’t be given the time of day, which is unjust. This then causes these individuals to have to work around the clock just to be able to survive when they have a hindrance for which they should be compensated. In her study, Dr. Tontoh also mentioned how no disabled people were employed in the public or private sector where she was in Ghana. Disability discrimination is a huge deal and still happens around the world.
To wrap up my log for the week, Dr. Tontoh made the remark “Educate one woman and you educate a nation.” This resonated with me as the importance of an education has always been stressed to me. My father would always tell me knowledge can never be taken away from you. Women are strong, hardworking, selfless, and resilient. When you empower one, it has endless effects on those around her, including her children and friends. The empowered woman empowers women. I see this in my own personal life, as my mom has always put my brother and I before herself ever since we were born. Women are changemakers, leaders, and an inspiration. I am thankful to continue to learn, grow, and help those in need by means of this course.
This week was extremely exciting because we had our first guest speaker, Dr. Elaine Agyemang Tontoh, whose main research focuses on the “Economics of Motherhood.” She presented on “Barriers to Financial Inclusion” and it was great to see her connect theoretical concepts with her actual fieldwork. I am hoping that after this pandemic is over, the GLOBE managers can also visit the countries and conduct fieldwork as well, just like Dr. Tontoh! It was also wonderful to listen to her lecture because it reaffirmed many of the concepts we learned in GLOBE, especially regarding the emphasis of women in microfinance and the small amount of money off which people live on a daily basis. It was also very exciting to learn about new types of microfinance loans that I have never heard about before. We learned about “Susu” loans, which is a type of group/community loan in Ghana. It was also very informational to learn about barriers to financial inclusion because it can greatly help us improve GLOBE. We often learn in GLOBE that one of the ethical concerns of microfinance is the lack of financial inclusion. Using the information that Dr. Tontoh provided us, we should focus on ways to be more financially inclusive to people with disabilities and refugees since they are often discriminated against when seeking financial services. An aspect I found extremely interesting regarding Dr. Tontoh’s research was the attitudes of the employees at GN Bank. Dr. Tontoh informed us how one of her recommendations to GN bank was to first improve the employees’ lives because bank employees won’t feel motivated to help others if they themselves are also struggling.
We also had a discussion this week via Canvas regarding the ethical concerns of microfinance. My classmates made such excellent points that I had not even considered. A thought-provoking concept that I read from a classmate’s post discussed using economic equity instead of economic equality. As a pharmacy student I constantly hear about health equity, so it was very interesting to learn about equity through an economic lens. Ultimately, economic equity enables us to allocate resources and have different developmental strategies based on barriers and obstacles an individual borrower may face. As part of the Enterprise Development team, I believe this is a great strategy to employ to better know our borrowers personally and cultivate business success.
During last class, I was able to review my audit findings with the Technology & Communications team. We had a very productive discussion, and they were extremely receptive towards my recommendations and suggestions. I was also able to better understand the obstacles they faced, and I proposed solutions to help them overcome their barriers. I can’t wait to see their GiveCampus video!
This week’s class was very touching with Dr. Elaine Tontoh coming in and talking about her experience helping people in developing African countries. I could really get a sense for her passion with the way she was explaining her journey. I believe that you do not understand what it's like living in those conditions until you have experienced it for yourself. I really learned a lot especially about the ways that funds were distributed, and the ways people became entrepreneurs in order to make profit and eventually pay back the loans. Hearing about stories of how people live in different parts of the world is really eye opening, as I definitely feel very blessed and thankful for the life I have. This fact always motivates me to help others who are not in the most fortunate situation compared to myself.
The discussion post on Canvas aligned with what we were talking about in the class. It was very fascinating hearing everyone’s take on the importance of ethics in Microfinance and MFIs. I agree with most people’s opinions regarding how MFIs are usually a good thing for helping people, but there is also a downside when it comes to certain unethical practices such as discrimination and limiting people from receiving help. This was definitely a very important topic, as it raises awareness of the current situations in some parts of the world.
As for the team, we are slowly making progress on the Give Campus draft. We are in the process of finishing up the intro and the Daughters of Charity part. Through this whole process, I realize how important each person in our team is. Each of us plays a huge part in accomplishing our goals for the semester. I am looking forward to the bake sale that is coming up on Thursday and I am optimistic that we will reach and even surpass our goal. I really appreciate the managers of GLOBE because everyone is contributing to the event in some shape or form.
Last week we had Dr. Tontoh come speak about her research on the barriers to financial inclusion for certain marginalized groups in Ghana. One of the disenfranchised groups was people with disabilities. She spoke at length about how people with disabilities are at a greater disadvantage than others beyond just their physical limitations. In Ghana, there is a strong stigma against people who have disabilities. The people believe that those who have disabilities are not only “less than,” but are “untouchables” and may have been cursed with the disability that is explained through a supernatural/religious lens. Further, many people take advantage of those with disabilities, and they can do so easily because no one says anything or tries to advocate for the rights of the disabled. This really broke my heart to hear how terribly people with disabilities are treated in Ghana, and other parts of the non-developed world.
I believe we take for granted a lot of the benefits that we have here in the United States, especially in regard to financial support from the government for those who cannot work. In the states, people with disabilities and their families are given a great deal of aid from the government. Beyond monetary support, there are many programs in place that protect the rights of people with disabilities and make everyday life more accommodating for them. I was curious to know whether there is any sort of support or funding from the government for people with disabilities in Ghana and asked Dr. Tontoh to elaborate on this. Although she acquiesced that, in theory, there are government funds designated for helping people with disabilities, in reality, such multi-dimensional and wide-reaching support is effectually non-existent. Unsurprisingly, this is due to corruption at the higher levels of government, where high-ranking officials make themselves and their families the first beneficiaries of any money/resources they get their hands on. It was very disheartening to know that these people with disabilities are left without any form of monetary, familial, or emotional support. The fact that they have to work twice as hard as other poor people to make ends meet and that they still face subjugation is a gross injustice.
Dr. Tontoh’s stories about the harsh realities that people with disabilities face outside of the developed world were especially heart-breaking for me to hear because of my own personal experiences working with people with disabilities. Every summer in high school, my siblings and I volunteered at St. Anthony’s Challenger Camp. The camp was a space where children of all ages with any range of mental and/or physical disabilities could come and play sports. It was our job to play with the kids and help them learn to play in order to make them feel the sense of normalcy that society generally implies that they lack. My parents have always indoctrinated my siblings and I with the belief that “There, but by the grace of God, go I.” It’s very troubling and upsetting that people with disabilities are treated differently than others and it’s horrible when they’re even treated as less than. Connecting my experiences at the camp to Dr. Tontoh’s story, I became aware of how much work still needs to be done in the area of advocating for and promoting the rights of people with disabilities. It is a cause I care about deeply. I want to place a special emphasis on my work abroad, in a program like Doctors without Borders, on elevating the quality of life for those with disabilities.
By: Caroline O’Hara
Within the past week, most of our current loan recommendations seem to be coming together, specifically Vietnam. We are still waiting to hear back from the Sisters in Guatemala about a few remaining questions, but hopefully they will be answered soon. Then, we will be able to meet with the Steering Committee to get their opinions on our recommendations. This will be very exciting, as I believe many of the applications are going to go through successfully.
Today’s class (3/22) was very interesting, particularly hearing my classmates’ Oral Reading Summaries. Out of the groups, I thought that the Technology Teams presentation of How to Change the World by David Bornstein was not only informative, but inspiring. The main takeaway was how necessary it is to focus less on how ideas move people, and more on how people move ideas. They covered the concept on how an idea is not enough to spark a change. You need an “obsessive” individual to push it forward. While this applies directly to GLOBE and many entrepreneurs in the Microfinance arena, I believe that this can be used in all aspects of life. Whether an idea is big or small, it takes a passionate and driven individual to reach a goal.
The oral reading summaries have been very beneficial to my development as a student. I have had trouble with public speaking since I was young and have been trying my best to work on it. Since everything has been virtual recently, I feel like my nervousness has increased and I have lost the skills that I had previously. The oral reading summaries in GLOBE have given me the opportunity to improve. Although I may not be excited to do them when they are assigned, I am very happy for the experience.
This week in GLOBE, I really enjoyed listening to the other teams’ oral reading summaries and preparing with the EDA team for ours. The finance team’s presentation really stood out to me because I did not know that microfinance in Islamic countries needs to look different than in non-Muslim countries. The idea that debt is against the teachings of the Quran was really fascinating to learn about and reminded me of the importance of cultural contextualization within any work aimed at alleviating struggles in a marginalized community. I think GLOBE does a good job of looking to learn more about a culture before they enter into a country and partnering with the Daughters of Charity who are on the ground in these communities certainly helps with this as well. Their presentation reminded me to assess the EDA team's current work for cultural competency and review ways to further incorporate this ideology in our objectives.
The EDA team was also able to finish up their first audit and it has been great to see teams fulfilling their goals and report they feel comfortable with their teams overall! There are definitely things to work on that we will follow up on in the second internal audit, but the first set of results seems very promising. Moving forward, I think one way to improve the audit process would be to maybe put results in an Excel sheet to have more accessible and comparable data, since clicking between the various surveys can take some time. Overall, it has been a great week in GLOBE, and I am looking forward to presenting our oral reading summary on environmentalism and social business. I found it really insightful that Yunus emphasizes the importance of youth in transforming the attitudes surrounding social business and I think this is a very important point. If there is a way GLOBE can help educate younger people on social businesses and microfinance, I think it would be worthwhile!
In this week's log I will be reflecting on the interview we had with Jhanelle. After work, I attended the interview with Jhanelle with a couple of other student managers. I was mind-blown by the things she spoke about in the interview just regarding how much GLOBE has affected her life and others positively.
Jhanelle said, “When you teach a woman how to fish, she can feed a village.”
She said this during our interview, and it really resonated with me. I love how GLOBE supports women of all culture but hearing Jhanelle speak about how it directly affected her life really impacted my experience in this program. She described that GLOBE is not just a class but opened her eyes to what the world is really like to women and people that are poor. I agreed with her completely. She hoped that our journeys in GLOBE and our impacts provide long-lasting and sustainable help. I truly believe that we do provide that for our borrowers, and I want to provide long-lasting help. During my oral summary reading, I learned about how donors work and how they can support borrowers. Learning about market function has tremendously helped me figure out the cycle of the market and how donors are supposed to support development goals, as well as who they are donating to.
Today we completed our GiveCampus campaign, and I was really proud of my team for working together and completing one of our tasks. I am also immensely grateful for them running the bake sale and surpassing our goal. I am looking forward to the next half of the semester with them.
By: Anthony Evangelou
With every new week, my knowledge regarding microfinance and its global applications grows. My group focused on chapter 8 of How to Change the World by David Bornstein this week. The chapter discussed the role of a social entrepreneur and really took a deep dive into providing information on it. As I knew, social entrepreneurs receive little attention and recognition on a global scale, even though there are many icons in the social entrepreneurship realm such as Susan B. Anthony and William Lloyd Garrison. The book added onto this by stating that the difference in treatment of business and social entrepreneurs seems to reflect different attitudes about the roles of the individuals in the business and social arenas. With regards to the business arena, prominent entrepreneurs are associated with the ideas of change and advancement whereas, in the social arena, entrepreneurs are thought of as thinkers who only bring new ideas. The book provided countless examples of these “behind the scenes” innovators. John Woolman was an eighteen-century American who was very involved with the American Society of Friends, or Quakers, who helped emancipate slaves between 1758 and 1800. Woolman would travel all around the country encouraging Quakers to free their slaves. What we learned from the reading goes very well with what we learned in class. The work of social entrepreneurs goes on behind the scenes. With regards to the issue of poverty, we often see news stories about rich business tycoons giving large donations to poor countries, yet behind the scenes, social entrepreneurs are building awareness, setting up microfinance institutions and really eradicating poverty from its roots! I find it upsetting that recognition is not given to people who truly deserve it and a lot of amazing, selfless, and essential work goes uncredited on a global scale. Through my work on the IT team as well as a GLOBE manager, I hope to spread awareness about social entrepreneurs in the microfinance arena to our local community. In addition, I am excited to continue to do my part in helping to end poverty.
This week in GLOBE we discussed managing risk in microfinance. The greatest risk comes down to management weakness. When the management isn’t a team or communicating properly then businesses can’t flourish. As an aspiring corporate manager, it is so important to understand your employees, company values, and clientele to make decisions for the greater good. In class we also discussed the dilemma of discussing what a just profit is when we start thinking about social businesses. Profits are important and allow companies to be successful and grow. However, in the business realm profit can be taken to an extreme in a greedy way, leading the company to lose sight of their goals or the customer’s wants/needs. A just profit is up to interpretation by each individual; there is no universal meaning which creates discrepancy and confusion. Personally, I feel the developed world is dominated by corporate businesses only looking to make profit, causing the social businesses to be overlooked. As more people are being educated and becoming aware of sustainability and social causes there, is a demand for businesses to change and alter their ways. This change, however, won’t happen overnight and will instead be gradual in time. Businesses are becoming aware of this need not only to offer a product, but also ensure it is ethical and sustainable.
This week in GLOBE my team also discussed Islamic microfinancing and I learned how interest is deemed to be an exploitative practice, as it violates the Islamic Shariah principles. Therefore, most Muslims are determined not to use any commercial financial services. Thus, banks and microfinance institutions are limiting their markets and not serving those in the Muslim communities. Islamic microfinancing has its pros and cons but ultimately accommodates this sector that is also in need of assistance. Microfinance institutions should consider various religions and customs when giving out loans. This is an interesting idea for GLOBE to consider pursuing in the future to help those in need in the Islamic community.
The finance and risk team are gearing up for our first Steering Committee meeting, hopefully next week. I am looking forward to presenting our loans and getting the approved money out in the field. Reading the loan applications has been my favorite part, so I am eager to get the money to the approved borrowers to see their dreams become a reality.
By: Hajra Ilyas
This past week in GLOBE, the EDA team presented our oral reading summary. We talked about global warming and the disproportionate effect that it has on developing countries as opposed to developed ones. People often forget how much global warming and environmental issues are interconnected with poverty and that fighting one of these issues will help to mitigate the other. I felt that our presentation complemented Dr. Sama’s lecture on microinsurance and micro savings very well. People in developing countries are extremely susceptible to natural disasters such as hurricanes, droughts, and flooding. When these events occur, the individuals affected bear the full cost and are often sucked deeper into the trenches of poverty. We learned that microinsurance can be used as a means to protect those that are vulnerable. The issues that come up are whether people living in poverty would have enough money to pay for the insurance and their lack of willingness to even get involved. I personally think that microinsurance is a great tool for people living in poverty, but there is definitely a need for increased accessibility and stricter regulation around it.
This upcoming Friday, we will be sending out the second internal audit surveys. We have discussed as a team how to make the process even more efficient and I am excited to see how it all works out. Our team was very happy with how fast the surveys were completed last time and we are looking forward to the same response!
In this past week, our team’s agenda is coming along. Ever since the bake sale, we have realized just how much of an impact we had. Especially since we reached our goal for the bake sale, I feel more motivated than ever to keep this momentum going. We are looking forward to the tie-dye event since previous GLOBE managers have said that this event will make more than the bake sale. This fact is an encouraging sign. Hopefully with what we have prepared, we will have another huge event. Speaking of our agenda, we finished our first narrative draft for the GiveCampus event, which is huge, as I believe everything is starting to come along. We are thrilled to show everyone the people, specifically the women, who have been impacted by GLOBE on a global scale.
For the reading that we had to do, I found out some key and fascinating points on how donors impact an organization or a marketplace. As for the oral presentation, I think it has helped me out with my presentation skills a lot. Each time we do a presentation, I have gotten more and more comfortable talking in front of people. Since the pandemic, I feel that everyone’s social and communication skills have been hindered. We are so used to sitting in front of a screen and communicating through it. Through this class, I am slowly getting my groove back when it comes to presenting in front of a full class. I realize that practice and repetition is the key to perfecting something. This idea will definitely help me not only through this class but for the rest of my professional career.
With every week that passes by, I realize the impact of an organization like GLOBE, as it can really connect people that might not have the capabilities of being heard. There is a self-satisfaction feeling of accomplishing a goal in a team environment. You are doing it for the happiness of others rather than for an individual accomplishment. I will definitely recommend this course to my friends and classmates. I believe you get to be in the midst of trying to figure out a common goal that will eventually impact and change someone’s life forever.
Recently, I was interviewed for potential positions to increase social media outreach with the purpose of promoting the longevity of the South Asian cultures and people of the diaspora. If someone were to ask me five years ago about this opportunity, I most likely would’ve stared back at them in disbelief. Growing up, I always felt like I was isolated from everyone because my customs or norms were contrary to my geographical location. Moving to Long Island was an extreme culture shock to someone who initially resided in a multiethnic community. Living in this new environment meant that I was subconsciously forced to be conditioned to assimilate into a community which favored sameness over new ideas and concepts. This unfortunately led to one identity crisis after another.
However, all of that changed when I joined the St. John’s community to connect with the diverse student body, all striving to pave a better future for everyone. Here, I was immersed into a world which encouraged us all to be more vocal in what we want to change in this world. This initially was intimidating at first as I wasn’t used to this form of instruction, but over the years my confidence blossomed. I am now pushing myself to take strategic risks so that I can hopefully inspire more people, especially members of the Bengali community, to overcome the boundaries which initially prevented us from striving for success. These interviews I had are just some of the many examples of how change is attainable; it is still possible to succeed and bring revolutionary ideas to fruition without the typically traditional resources.
As the behind-the-scenes process for the creation of the GiveCampus video comes to an end, I keep wondering about the next steps to take to spread the mission of GLOBE. The events of this past week reminded me of the readings from David Bornstein’s How to Change the World. The actions of the trailblazers of the South Asian community reminded me of the themes found in Bornstein’s chapter. An idea is only as good as the person behind it. As Bornstein said, it essentially takes a special kind of person to actively promote and produce the necessary steps to bring their ideas to reality. It’s fascinating to see the parallels between the concepts of this chapter and the actions taken by the trailblazers of the South Asian community. I hope that one day, I will inspire others while I bring my ideas into existence.
I spoke to my high school yesterday and by all accounts, it went well. From what I heard from the few students I still know, there was quite a bit of discussion after my visit. My mother also stated that many of the teachers who listened to the talk were interested in what we do and our overall mission. Overall, I heard only positives and I definitely achieved my goal of spreading awareness of GLOBE and microfinance. I also think that many of the students really felt a connection when I spoke about social entrepreneurship. I think that speaking to students about helping the world and still making a profit was something that they had never thought was possible because we are taught that businesses are profit oriented machines. I hope that my talk had a positive impact on just a few of the students. Then I think this would be deemed a success.
As we continue rapidly towards the end of the semester this week, we get to meet with the Steering Committee to discuss our loan recommendations. I think that as a group we have worked pretty hard, and it will be nice to get some real experience with the loan aspect of the finance team. I also am pretty excited to share my work with the committee so that we can continue to move forward with the new risk assessment models. I am a little disappointed that my work on the loan for Eddy and Victoria will be for naught, but hopefully in the future the couple will be able to get back on track and start up their business. We of course do not have the full story, but I do wish the best for them to receive the help and support that they need. As a group we have continued to work well and develop a relationship with each other. I think we all work well together at this point, and I know exactly what I am going to get out of each of my teammates. I think we also are working better as a cohesive unit.
This week at GLOBE was extra exciting because we had a guest speaker, Mr. Edmund Klimek. His lecture was absolutely fantastic! I observed so many parallels between his organization, Amistad y Fe, and GLOBE. One of the parallels that stood out was the emphasis on religion. I knew that the Daughters of Charity were facilitators for GLOBE, but I only now realized they are also able to attract GLOBE borrowers due to their religious affiliation.
Many of Mr. Klimek’s key points also mirrored the goals of my team (EDA Team)! One of our objectives this semester was to create a grant system that enables GLOBE to study group loans. After listening to Mr. Klimek’s lecture, I am also interested in potentially using this grant system to study the solidarity loan system, also known as the Cucheval system in Guatemala. It would also be a great idea for future GLOBE managers of the EDA Team to research and create a handbook, similar to the one created by Mr. Klimek, that contains information about the communities in which GLOBE operates. This informational handbook would allow the GLOBE managers to better understand these communities and form permanent partnerships. Mr. Klimek emphasized we should be working with these communities, not for these communities!
It was also so surprising to hear that the current biggest obstacle Amistad y Fe faces is the reduced solidarity and networks due to the COVD-19 pandemic. His lecture taught me that successful microfinance initiatives need to have a strong foundation of community! It was also wonderful to see Mr. Klimek’s work in sustainability despite his non-businesses background. Even with my pharmacy background, I hope to continue my efforts in promoting microfinance and sustainability beyond graduation!
My team has also finalized the topic for our health literacy brochure! We will be focusing on diabetes since it is one of the major causes of death in Nicaragua! We will be creating a brochure that discusses diet, exercise, life-style modifications, and medications. As a pharmacy student, I typically study medications approved in the US so this will be an interesting experience to learn about therapies available in Nicaragua. It will also be a challenge balancing the vast information available with simplicity. I want to ensure that enough health information is given to our borrowers, but while still being concise and straight to the point. I also want to use, as Mr. Klimek mentioned, a “common” language that connects with our borrowers to help overcome any barriers of translation.
GLOBE also launched our Give Campus campaign today! The Marketing and IT teams put together a fabulous video! I have already shared the link with all my family and friends and have posted the link on my Instagram profile! I can’t wait to see how much we raise!
The EDA Team also sent out the second audit surveys to all the teams. I am so excited to receive the survey responses and see how far the teams have progressed!
This week our GiveCampus is finally uploaded! It is so exciting to begin getting donations. Although the GiveCampus is uploaded, we still have a lot of work to do. We all must promote everything and put the word out to everyone. It is so important for us to receive donations from others. This is our biggest fundraiser of the semester, and I am so proud to be representing this.
We recently had a guest speaker in class Ed Klimek, who is an architect and a partner at KSS Architects. It was great listening to him talk about his program. The program that he is a part of is called Amistad Y Fe program. This program is an economic empowerment for people in Guatemala. I found it very interesting how the program is all about solidarity lending. Communities will come together and help other communities. It made me realize how important it is for people in these communities to communicate with each other and give each other motivation. This program relates to GLOBE in many ways. Just like us, we set missions or objectives in the beginning of the semester, and we have them to look back at and check off things we have completed. This program also has set missions. It is so important to have missions and goals in order to complete something you are passionate about. Looking back at this presentation, I have realized how important it is to help those in need.
By: Emily Miller
I am writing a poem about the Women of GLOBE in honor of the launch of our GiveCampus campaign. I am so excited to see how successful we become this year and what everyone thinks of the video! We all worked so hard on it!
“Women of GLOBE”
Feminism is such a wonderful thing
Collaborated with microfinance she can spread her wings
How so you might ask?
She has the chance to continue her business for success
She is able to feed herself and her family nonetheless
Achieving happiness and confidence
She finally has the power and dominance
She has always deserved this
These nations think that her ignorance is bliss
That could not be farther from the truth
She teaches her daughter empowerment to save her youth
So that when she grows up she too will achieve a fulfilled life
Instead of the inferiority strife
She will never settle for less
She too will impress
Women have the power
A woman’s hard work will stand taller than a tower
I am so proud that the theme of our campaign is the “Women of GLOBE” because this topic is something that means a lot to me. I am very passionate about women’s rights, especially when they are stripped away or denied. Being a part of GLOBE allows me to continue my efforts towards equality for all.
This past week was very eventful for our GLOBE family. We had our steering committee meeting, we got the GiveCampus launched, we had our informational session, and we even had a wonderful guest speaker last week. I really found his message to be quite moving, and really applicable. I thought it was wonderful when he spoke about using faith to break down the barriers, and it really brought the mission full circle for me. I actually shared his story with my grandparents, and we reflected on our duty as Christians as well as what it means to find a common faith. I also thought that the message was especially informative in finding a deeper connection with the communities in which we already work instead of trying to expand so much.
I also have really been active with the risk assessment models, especially after the successful meeting we had last Wednesday. The committee was quite positive about the work and wanted to move forward with sharing my work with others. I am really excited to share my work with others, especially if it can be useful for others. Having shared my work with others, it has come full circle. The reason I even wanted to start working on this was because I care about the environment. My love of the environment is the reason that I was so passionate about creating the updated systems. Similar to how this class is only as strong as the passion put in by the students, the reason I put in all this work was not because I love data analytics it was because I am passionate about what we do. I think that recruiting and speaking to students at my school has been helpful as well in me sharing why I do what I do.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits Team
By: Eryn Banton
This week we had an amazing guest speaker come in and discuss her work in ESG and consulting. GLOBE has been instrumental for me in my career choices and has exposed me to things that I never thought I would be interested in- mainly finance. Having the opportunity to have a guest speaker come in and discuss how she was able to combine corporate and NGO work was amazing. I saw a lot of myself in her because of her interest in traveling, global development, education, and the emphasis she put on creativity. I never truly knew how I fit into certain environments but hearing her use the word intre-preneur gave me more clarity. I love going into a space and seeing where there is room for improvement. Being able to design a CSR and ESG program in a company sounds exactly like the kind of work I would love to do!
I came into this semester with so much stress about what lies ahead after graduation, but time and time again this class provides me with so much clarity. Today I found out that I got a full-time job offer at FINCA International. Never in my life would I have thought that my dream job out of college would be working for a microfinance bank! Working with my team and having the opportunity to listen to guest speakers has exposed me to driven and hardworking people who are doing the work that I have dreamed of. It is so nice to be around people who make things that were originally conventional unconventional. There is so much that I continue to take away from this course, and I cannot wait to see how it will further influence me as we wrap up these last weeks.
This week in class we had another guest speaker. It is so inspirational to me listening to all the guest speakers we have had this semester. But this one really stuck out to me. Veena Jayadeva is the Head of Enterprise ESG and Chief of Starr to the Chief Information Operations Office at Guardian Life. Veena went down many different paths to get to where she is now. Veena discussed how life for her grandmother and mother was hard and she took that as an opportunity to help through microfinance. It is so inspiring to me to hear about why she did what she did. Her focus was women. She wanted to help women in becoming businesspeople. This leads back to our GiveCampus theme, “#WomenofGLOBE”. As she was speaking, you could just tell how smart and passionate she was about what she does. As for me, coming into college I was not exactly sure what I wanted to do. I will be graduating college with a degree in International Business in a month and to be honest, I was not sure what I wanted to do with that. After hearing her stories and what she has done, it made me want to go into the microfinance field and see how poverty affects people in different areas. Of course, GLOBE has done the same exact thing for me, but she really inspired me. More companies are now realizing that microfinance is a big issue that should be a focus.
As for our GiveCampus, we have raised $900 so far! I think it is great that the whole class has been coming together and getting the word out about our campaign. I am so proud to represent this fundraiser. It is great to see everything come together after my team and I have been working on this for weeks.
This week, I have been super focused on creating content for our GLOBE WIX site while also finalizing my research interest for the position paper. Prior to entering this course, I have always expressed my fascination with the fashion/garment industry from a legal standpoint. Initially, I was hyper focused on paving my future as if I was going to pursue an education in law school. This prompted me to sign up for subjects related to this field. I’ve taken a myriad of courses within the legal studies field and the ones which resonated with me the most were the courses centered around business law, especially from an international standpoint. This helped me structure my current major by signing up for courses which focused on international studies and relations.
I loved each and every subject I studied at this campus; however, I felt a lot of doubt regarding my decision to continue with my legal studies journey. Throughout the last semester of my junior year, and going into my senior year, I felt this wave of fear because of my uncertainty of what my future had in store for me. All of that changed after the very first lecture at GLOBE. Since the beginning of this semester, I felt as if a new flame of hope ignited inside of me. For the first time in probably my entire life, I have a clearer picture of what I want to do in the future.
The past presentation, given by Mr. Edmund Klimek, further solidified my decision to continue with this new journey. What I loved about this presentation was how Mr. Klimek’s firm has a longstanding relationship with the town with which they are collaborating. What really appealed to me was the concept of asking the people of that community what they wanted to improve rather than Mr. Klimek’s firm assuming what they need. This tends to be one of the biggest setbacks of NGOs or similar organizations that Muhammad Yunus talked about in his book Creating A World Without Poverty. When organizations assume the wants and needs for the community they aim to reach, they end up straying away from the actual mission of eradicating poverty in these regions.
This reminded me so much about what I’m currently reading for my research. I read up on a few articles regarding how social enterprises are able to thrive if they can balance the interests of shareholders with the understanding of the cultural norms of the regions in which they operate. Some of these principles are starting to be reflected in modern business practices because of the increased emphasis in becoming culturally conscious. In order for MFIs to successfully function in developing countries, they must understand the communities of these regions and adapt to them. I’m looking forward to expanding on this concept further as I continue with this research.
This new direction is truly helping me stay grounded in my future career plans. Thanks to GLOBE, I’m happy to have applied to Graduate School to pursue an MBA in International Business. While I will always love the field of law, I believe that I can make a profound impact by continuing on this new path. I intend to relish this journey and provide a platform for others who want to continue with these efforts in microfinance.
Jacqueline Novogratz discussed the way she defines poverty in her Ted Talk from 2009. After working with impoverished individuals for decades, Jacqueline learned that poverty is not just about the amount of money you have, but the lack of freedom little money gives you. She shares one specific relationship that she made when she met a woman when in the Mathare Slums of Kenya. Here, over half a million people live on top of each other in shacks, surrounded by prostitution and drug use. Although the conditions were extremely poor, she saw the ambition of the citizens, specifically from women. The woman that she met was named Jane, a young single mother with many dreams and aspirations. When she was young, she hoped to be a doctor and have a nice husband that would stay in their marriage. Her first dream became impossible because her family had little money and her husband left her after they had their first child. Jane was left with no money, so she turned to prostitution to make as much money as she could. Humiliated from participating in prostitution, she found hope when she learned about a microfinance institution called Jami Bora. Jane started borrowing, and she saved enough money to start tailoring. Now, she makes more than four dollars a day. This single mother had the opportunity to move an hour outside Nairobi central to a low-cost housing development that was much safer. Jacqueline ended her Ted Talk with a heartwarming conversation with Jane. Jane had dreams when she was younger but realized they weren’t really what she wanted. Although she wasn’t able to be a doctor that gives out medicine, she gives something more special, hope for others that are HIV positive. And while she may not have a husband that stayed with her, she has children that she loves endlessly, and who love her unconditionally.
This Ted Talk left me feeling more grateful than anything. I am so fortunate to have my family, friends, education, and opportunities. GLOBE has been so eye opening for me in realizing this along with many of other people’s stories that Dr. Sama has shared with us. I am so thankful to be doing such rewarding work and helping people like Jane across the world to pursue their dreams. In the future, I can only hope to follow my dreams and help other reach theirs.
I really can’t believe it! This is the last reflection log I’ll be writing for GLOBE. The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is certainly true. With all the hard work and dedication poured into GLOBE, it was truly an amazing and fun experience to work with people from such different academic backgrounds to fulfill GLOBE’s mission. As a pharmacy student who has been at St. John’s for the past six years, GLOBE has been my favorite experience and no other experiences even come close!
This week we also presented our fourth and last oral reading summary. I love how these presentations enable me to become more confident as a presenter and speaker. Dr. Sama also always provides excellent feedback to all the teams! We are incorporating her feedback to ensure our final presentation to the Steering Committee and incoming GLOBE managers is fantastic! I also thought the Marketing Team’s oral reading summary discussing the emergence of the citizen sector was a great way to wrap up all the presentations. Their presentation served as inspiration that no matter what careers or pathways we may end up with, we can always have a role as a citizen to promote and participate in social entrepreneurship and social impact.
This week Dr. Sama also taught us about social impact investing. I never realized social impact investing is not a charity! Investors who invest in social impact actually expect at market rates of return! My financial literacy and vocabulary were also improved through this lecture! I was able to learn new terms that I was unfamiliar with prior, such as “concessionary” and “asset classes”.
My team has also been diligently working on our grant proposal for Madagascar. Our proposal involves providing a group loan/grant in return for regular updates regarding the grant. I really hope the Steering Committee approves this grant proposal because this would serve as an amazing opportunity for GLOBE managers to learn more about the dynamics of group loans. Although uncommon in the United States, group loans are very popular and common in many developing countries!
I am also extremely impressed with our GiveCampus campaign! We only started two weeks ago, but we have already reached over $1,400 in donations. It is also such an incredible marketing strategy that the fundraiser will also be promoted for Mother’s Day, which matches our theme “#Women of GLOBE”. I hope we continue to raise money at such a rapid rate! I will certainly continue to bombard my social media with our campaign link!
In this log I will be discussing my thoughts about last week’s Speaker Veena Jayadeva, the oral reading, my Tuesday Takeover, and preparations for the Tie-Dye event. First, I would like to reflect on Veena, our last speaker, she presented her experiences working in the social industry and how it has influenced her life in such positive ways. She spoke about how in her mid-20s she ventured to India and came to realize that there was one thing that restrained the microfinance institutions there- RESOURCES. Being on the Marketing and Fundraising team has given me the exciting task of assisting in raising funds for the program and funds are categorized as a type of resource for this program. To hear that they were extremely restrained because of resources, she made it clear to me that being on my team in GLOBE has great significance. I also reflected on her experience in India. I remember her saying, “I came to notice, I am more American than I realized”, and this resonated with me. This caused a barrier for her and the people surrounding her because she is American. I experience this a lot with my own family, sometimes it is hard to communicate with my dad’s side because I don’t know Bengali fluently. I could only imagine how she felt trying to run a microfinance institution without being able to effectively communicate and connect with borrowers.
Her experience is related to my Oral reading presentation. I read How to Change The World by David Bornstein, and I focused on the portion of the chapter that spoke about how the citizen sector struggles with capital allocation and how the citizen sector can be rated by business to business. Even though at first it seemed unethical to be creating competition between for-profits or non-profits, it soon became evident to me that allocating capital to businesses that can use it to help citizens effectively and efficiently is important.
My Tuesday Takeover was amazing! I think I received great feedback and gained the Instagram some followers. During my takeover, I attended one of my sorority events that was outside of DAC, and I decided to bring the GLOBE posters with me to distribute and speak to students about. Every student that I spoke to was in shock about what the program does for people that are poor and how we assist them with their dreams. It made me reflect back to when I first wanted to join GLOBE.
As for this week’s event, I am looking forward to Thursday and hoping to achieve our goal. So far, I see that it will be in the high 50s for the event and slight chance of rain. Can’t wait to see how this event turns out and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.
With this being the last and tenth log of the semester, I want to utilize this to show my major takeaways from the semester:
As this semester comes to an end, I can say that GLOBE has been an unreal and amazing experience that has brought me great reflection and knowledge. Starting off GLOBE, what seems like last week, I was very uncertain at what the weeks ahead would bring. My team, not really knowing each other, had no loan applications or a clue of what the process would look like. Now reaching the end, we have had a handful of loans that were successfully granted, and we are all well acquainted as a team. GLOBE creates a family of likeminded individuals who are all eager to make a difference and lend a helping hand. All of us are from different majors and have different interests so when you put us all together great strides are taken as a tool to alleviate poverty. We all inspire one another to work hard and really be the best version of ourselves. For our bake sale and tie dye event everyone came together to raise money and we did an amazing job on all our campaigns. Working as an individual may be faster but working as a team will get you farther with a greater impact. GLOBE has allowed me to acquire more real-world knowledge to not only make money but do my part in society. No other course emphasizes this aspect which is so crucial to the future of our society.
Dr. Sama’s passion from the very start has been the driving factor for this course. Not only does she automatically make me smile, but she radiates pride, hope, and resilience unlike any professor I have had before. Dr. Sama has become a role model for me to create a path, which I love and through which I can make a difference in the world around me. Especially with a career heading into the corporate world, there are many outlets that I never knew were possible before this course. Fortune 500 companies seem to dominate the world, so learning about microfinance allows myself to have a competitive advantage and a holistic approach. Microfinance has been around for a while. However, many communities fail to realize it is an opportunity available. The demand for microfinance is not being met as only 5% of the demand is currently being served. There are many discrepancies in the microfinance field that still need to be improved, such as the outlets available, financial literacy for all, discrimination, and officials doing their part. Serving the poorest of the poor needs to be a priority. Through education, understanding, guidance, and empowerment, people’s lives can change for the better even if to our own standard of living there wasn’t any change. Listening to Dr. Sama, our guest speakers, and my fellow classmates allows me to continue to be inspired and find myself and my true purpose.
GLOBE’s borrowers are truly what keeps GLOBE spinning. Reading the loan applications has become my favorite part of the course, allowing myself to meet people globally and gain perspective on a life so different than mine. Our borrowers are resilient, confident, and hopeful. They remind me to be thankful and live in the moment regardless of the current state of my life. Poverty comes in all forms around the world and alleviation has many steps and tools. For such a complex issue there is never just one quick solution. Everyone must have a say and have a drive to do something about it. Too many people are unaware, which is why I believe education is the first step. However, we live in a greedy world, and I only see people caring about themselves more and more as time goes on. Even as technology improves in the developed countries and people make more money the gap continues to widen more, leaving those left behind to never have the possibility to catch up. This breaks my heart but also pushes me to initiate change as every little effort does count regardless of how small the impact is. It can be seen somewhere to someone. Everyone wants to change the world, but I find it is better to change one community or one person at a time. That is how you change the world.
I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to be a part of GLOBE and I can truly say my heart and mindset have been changed for the better. GLOBE will forever stay with me in my future endeavors. Thank you to my team, as well as all those behind the scenes of GLOBE operations- your hard work does not go unnoticed.
As I reflect back on the total experience that I have had this semester in GLOBE, I feel very thankful. I came into the program knowing essentially nothing about microfinance and how it fits into things like global development and social justice. Thankfully, this quickly changed, and I was able to learn a lot about the work of GLOBE and the microfinance industry overall. I appreciated that both the benefits and potential risks or negatives of microfinance were presented as well, so I was able to gain a more holistic view of the practice.
Working on the EDA team, I loved coming into GLOBE with such a variety of perspectives and viewpoints. While some of us were the same major, our interests were different, which still allowed for a lot of discourse. By working to everyone’s strengths, I think we were able to accomplish more than we envisioned at the beginning of the year. I feel like all of us were able to grow academically and professionally in the work we did this semester on things like reading summary presentations, the brochures, inter-team collaboration, and the final presentation preparation.
Looking at GLOBE as a whole, something that continues to surprise me is the dedication of the student managers. While we all worked on different teams and many different projects, the commitment to both the borrowers and the whole GLOBE program was always very apparent. Seeing how helpful the previous managers have been, I do not doubt that this commitment is present semester after semester. With this in mind, I am very much looking forward to seeing what future semesters have planned for GLOBE and what will be accomplished!
As GLOBE officially wraps up in just a mere few days, I am filled with many emotions! As I reflect upon the first day of class and last week’s final presentations, I can’t help but feel proud of all the professional and personal growth I have gone through. Initially, I felt nervous (but also excited) to join GLOBE since I was a pharmacy student who had no background in business or microfinance. However, I soon learned that GLOBE can be applied to any major! Every major has something to contribute to help GLOBE successfully operate and expand! I was able to make diabetes brochures to help improve the health of our borrowers!
By the end of last week’s final presentations, I also realized how much confidence I have developed. My public speaking and creativity skills have significantly improved through the oral reading summaries. Additionally, I was able to learn from so many new perspectives since my team members were economics, global development sustainability, journalism, and anthropology majors. It was also so incredible to see the other teams’ progress through their audits and final presentations. As a class, we all improved our teamwork and collaboration skills. It was so fantastic to see the whole class help with the bake sale and tie-dye event and be unified with the same mission!
One of my favorite things about this class was how responsibilities and tasks were truly student managed with the addition of Dr. Sama’s wonderful guidance! We were able to take initiative, set our own goals and objectives, and exceed even our own expectations! I was so impressed with my own team’s growth. We created a grant system as an educational initiative to learn more about group loans. I cannot wait to see how the incoming EDA GLOBE managers further develop this grant system!
Ultimately, it was so wonderful to learn about MFIs and the significant impact that GLOBE has on its borrowers. GLOBE is truly a gem of St. John’s University, and I am so glad to have taken this course! My only regret is that I cannot take this class twice! This course has demonstrated how everyone in the world, including students, can make a difference! I hope to continue to be involved in social entrepreneurship and microfinance as I join the professional world after graduation! I hope to carry on the GLOBE spirit in my future endeavors. Just as we touched the lives of GLOBE borrowers, GLOBE and Dr. Sama have forever touched our hearts! I can’t wait to continue the GLOBE mission and assist in any way possible as a GLOBE alumna! Although I can’t say this enough, thank you Dr. Sama for this wonderful experience!
By Hajra Ilyas:
And just like that, the semester has come to an end. It is a very bittersweet feeling because although I am proud of what we have accomplished, there is so much more room for growth. I have high hopes that the incoming class will pick up from where we left off and continue to allow this wonderful organization to grow.
Coming into GLOBE, I had little knowledge about microfinance and its ability to push individuals in developing countries away from poverty and towards economic stability. Fortunately for us, we had Dr. Sama as an instructor, and she made sure that all bases were covered. Throughout the semester, she brought in wonderful speakers who supplemented the class material so beautifully. One of my favorite speakers was Dr. Tontoh, who spoke to us about her field research and discussed barriers to financial inclusion. Financial inclusion is so important in order for economic development to occur. A society can’t truly prosper until every individual that is a part of it has access to the resources that are essential to their growth. By being financially inclusive, microfinance organizations can achieve the goal of helping the “poorest of the poor” and fulfill Muhammad Yunus’ true vision behind microfinance!
GLOBE has been the most influential and meaningful class that I have taken at St. John’s. I have learned valuable lessons and skills that I will be taking with me into both my professional and personal life. When I first learned about GLOBE, I knew immediately that this class was meant for me. It was the exact type of learning experience that I had been craving. As a double major in Economics and Global Development & Sustainability and someone who is particularly interested in pursuing a career in economic development, I felt that this course was a perfect combination of my passions and majors. I am so happy to say that the high expectations with which I entered GLOBE, were all fulfilled.
As we are approaching the final home stretch, I can’t help but feel bittersweet. I am so happy to be part of this superb program, but I am sad that my time as a manager of the IT team has come to an end. Throughout this semester, I’ve learned so much about the benefits of microfinance while further developing my knowledge of cultural awareness in a business-like setting. Words cannot even begin to describe how excited I was to join this program, but I will try my best to capture that essence into writing. From day one, I was constantly brainstorming ideas to help with the promotion of GLOBE since I was a manager of the Technology & Communications team. It was honestly quite refreshing to collaborate with a group of like-minded individuals who all strive to amplify the mission of GLOBE while shining light on topics concerning the eradication of poverty. My team’s enthusiasm is what motivated us to create the first post of the semester since the very first lecture.
A couple of the most memorable aspects of this program, other than the in-person events and team meetings, were the presentations and lectures given by the guest speakers. Each and every speaker brought with them beautiful memories of their experiences in financial inclusion and microfinance in the countries in which they’ve worked. I can only hope to do something meaningful like this in the future so that I can guide a generation of leaders who will paint a marvelous future. Dr. Tontoh, Mr. Klimek, and Mrs. Jayadeva brought up several notions that made me sit back and reflect on them further, which is incredible because it’s crucial to look at principles of microfinance from a multitude of perspectives. We, unfortunately, do not reside in a world where the answers are crystal clear, but we can work towards making effective decisions so that the outcome benefits the global community as a whole. The underlying concept of social connection is what shines the most when working in microfinance and seeing how that’s applied has truly been remarkable.
It has been such a real pleasure to work with everyone in this class while also engaging in discussions to enhance our understanding of microfinance. My peers all had unique insights on the approach to this program and their diverse academic backgrounds truly enriched our conversations. Thank you, Dr. Sama, for such a wonderful semester; it has been an honor to be part of this wonderful program!
GLOBE was such a unique classroom experience and unlike any class I had ever taken before. I was already aware of how much we had accomplished as a collective, but after our presentations it really solidified how much effort we all put into this class. Hearing each presentation made me so proud that we were able to fulfill many of our objectives and ultimately leave a positive impact on the communities in which we operate. The presentations really showed how much hard work pays off in the long run.
GLOBE provided me with an experience where I was able to take my skills and apply it to our projects and any outside work we completed in the class. As a marketing major, many of the internships and extracurriculars in which I’ve been involved have revolved around creative work. I was happy to be on the Technology & Communications team where I could take my skills that I’ve learned from my internships and coursework to ensure we were producing informative and aesthetically pleasing content. One thing I have come to realize about social media is that it is truly an art that takes time to hone in on. With the number of features and audiences that come from a variety of backgrounds, it is important to know what type of people you would like to cater to, and which platforms are best to execute that. Social media is an area that I am interested in working in as I enter my career, therefore being on this team allowed me the opportunity to get hands-on practice for what’s to come. I was able to practice my skills in website design as well and have come to discover that this is another area that I am interested in pursuing in the future as well.
Although my time in GLOBE has come to an end, I still hope to be heavily involved and included in this program. I hope to be a point of contact for future managers and want to help as much as possible, more specifically for the Technology & Communications team. I think that there is so much potential that can be found in social media, seeing as it can be used to reach audiences that we are probably not able to reach in person. The future teams are going to do an amazing job of carrying on the GLOBE legacy and it will be amazing to see what they come up with.