People are constantly working to distinguish themselves from their peers in order to land that coveted position at work enabling them to purchase a greater amount of . Yet these individuals are all performing the same tasks just slightly better than one another. Why not take that motivation and apply to another aspect that would make you stand-out and benefit those far less fortunate? Many options exist but I would like to point out just one: entry level positions at a microfinance institution in a developing county.
Before I begin let me make note, you will not be handling million dollar accounts, conducting research and designing the latest technological advancement or earning large paychecks, if any for that matter. However, the work you will be conducting is equally as important, especially to those who are serving and should provide a unique work experience making your application more noticeable.
For those who are unfamiliar with microfinance institutions it is a provision of financial services providing loans, savings, insurance and training to those living in poverty. The industry was established by Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh in the 1970s. Over the years, many new enterprises have entered the market allowing clients to effectively navigate their daily needs. The primary mission of microfinance continues to focus on those with the greatest needs, those who have been displaced, those in rural areas and those who traditional institutions continue to deem un-bankable.
Before, the libertarian community dismisses this idea as an idealistic approach, understand this is a means to gain experience in a way that will distinguish yourself from your peers. However, I would not recommend applying for these positions if you have zero empathy to helping those most in need. Living in a third-world country for any amount of time will certainly make your life miserable if you are doing it solely as an application/resume booster. On the other hand, if you do find yourself seeking an alternative approach, there are three reasons this is a lucrative opportunity.
1) Travel- The most obvious reason is gaining firsthand international experience. You will gain direct experience in an emerging market allowing this opportunity to provide invaluable knowledge to your financial future.
2) Stamina/Discipline- All of as aware of the terrible working conditions research analysts and other young employees are expected to manage. Although, nothing will compare to living in a third world country free of any American amenities, working similarly long hours to your counterparts in the U.S. While I cannot attest for any employer, I would imagine they would look favorably upon this. Knowing if you can handle living in an Indian shanty town, you can probably handle anything assigned; assuming your financial knowledge is of equal merit.
3) Experience- As the majority of microfinance institutions seeking internships or entry level positions are new in overall terms, you will be given and expected to manage a greater deal of responsibility on your own. Demonstrating a level success as in within any job, will benefit you in the long run but knowing what are able to manage effectively on your own with little oversight will provide a level of self-assurance you did not have before.
Remember the size of the accounts you will be handling and/or conducting research on is far less compared to the U.S, but the services you are providing are arguably priceless, especially to the people you will be serving. While I am aware this option is not for everyone, but for those seeking something different I believe this is an option to explore. Lastly, you might find this line of work is what you have been searching for and as an additional bonus this serves to empower people, families and communities; leaving social welfare programs obsolete.