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How to Get a Job in Microfinance

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Microfinance provides low-income people, often in developing countries, with the financial means to start or expand a business. Poor people usually don't have bank accounts and they can't secure loans, so microfinance bridges this economic divide by offering individuals or small groups tiny loans. With access to capital, poor people can more easily make money to pay for day-to-day needs and potentially better their lives. Microfinance also promotes women entrepreneurs, according to the microfinance organization Kiva. People working in microfinance can find work both domestically and abroad. The range of jobs includes research associates, financial planning directors and asset managers.

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Get a Job in Microfinance

Earn at least a bachelor's degree in a field such as finance, economics or business. Some competitive internships--let alone full-time jobs--require advanced degrees, so consider attending graduate school.

Volunteer or find an internship at a microfinance organization such as Accion or Kiva. Although mostly unpaid, the opportunities offer you valuable work experience and the chance to develop a network of colleagues. At best, the temporary job

could turn into a full-time paycheck.

Research industry trends, read microfinance success stories and learn about the cultures of counties where you may live or visit. Find stories about microfinance leaders, and mine them for tips. Having a depth of knowledge from which to draw can help you not only during an interview, but also make you successful at your first job.

Send out resumes--lots of them. You'll hear back from just a fraction of the people to whom you send job queries, so be persistent. If a particular company or opportunity peaks your interest, call them and ask directly for an interview.

Research the company you're interviewing with before the big day. Analyze the company's portfolio, if available, and memorize key statistics so you can insert them into the conversation and impress the interviewer. Also peruse the Internet or magazines for background information so you appear informed and interested.

Send a hand-written thank you letter to your interviewer. This simple step can help distinguish you from the crowd and make you seem personable.

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