Harnessing Student Potential In Microfinance
My experience at the Global Microcredit Summit in Spain, as it was in Kenya at last year’s regional summit, was fantastic. I am consistently impressed by the small community of microfinance enthusiasts who always manage to make these types of events interesting and engaging, yet fun and personable.
I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to come to Valladolid through the generosity of Dr. Steven Funk and Race4Change. I came as a part of the MFI Connect student delegation, and quickly assumed my role as booth schmoozer extraordinaire. The first day, I met dozens of university students from around the world who were all brought to the same conference center in a slightly-off-the-beaten-path part of Spain because of their interest in microfinance. Some of them were master’s students looking to go directly into the field of microfinance. Others were in medical school and were at the conference out of a desire to learn. All of them were passionate, friendly, and idealistic – wonderful traits that are so common among Summit attendees.
I also saw many familiar faces, some who knew me from the summit in Kenya, and some who couldn’t possibly remember me – such as Professor Muhammad Yunus and Mama Ingrid Munro. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend and moderate student-only sessions, hosted by MFI Connect, with these inspiring leaders in the field of microfinance and in global progress.
The conference was over in a flash, but I believe I gained more knowledge and met more interesting and diverse people than I ever have in a four-day period. I can safely say that I have a reinvigorated passion, as well as some new life-long friends, as a result of attending the Global Microcredit Summit.
I can’t wait for next year.
Haley Priebe, Dr. Steven Funk, and Sam Mitchell