Student Experience- Dev Basumallik, Grameen Bank, Bangladesh

August 11th, 2011 - No Comments

Dev Basumallik is a Sophomore intending to complete the Master of Accounting program through the Smeal College of Business.  This is the first of Dev’s reflection on his experiences as an intern with Grameen Bank in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

My first week at Grameen Bank in Dhaka was a week of acclimation to a city, climate and bank much different from anything in the United States. Dhaka is a humid city, characterized by horrendous traffic and people at every corner. The Grameen Bank headquarter is located about fifteen minutes from the apartment I am staying at. The other interns come from all over the globe and there is only one other American in my group. Our first week consisted of mainly meetings with different employees in the bank, learning about the banks fundamentals. Grameen Bank was started in 1983 and is a bank that specializes in micro-credit to mainly the poorest rural-women in Bangladesh.  We learned of the various loan products, services, and the structure of the bank.

My first week had two highlights that were truly incredible experiences. The first was meeting Dr.Muhammadd Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank. He enteredd the room with a huge smile on his face to the applause of all the interns and staff. Dr. Yunus along with Grameen Bank received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Dr. Yunus spent about twenty minutes with us interns; signing books and taking pictures.

The other incredible event of the first week was taking a day trip to a village to visit a Grameen branch office and center office. The Grameen Bank headquarters in Dhaka does no operational activities, all the loans are actually distributed in thousands of offices in villages all across Bangladesh. On our day trip we got to meet with borrowers and hear their stores about how Grameen Bank has helped them . This experience was a taste of what we will be doing during the bulk of our internship.

Next week we will be going on a 5-day village trip and living at a Grameen Bank branch office in the field. This journey should be the most rewarding aspect of the internship. The Grameen Bank internship is much different than most because it is based on exposure and education, not doing tasks and work like other traditional internships.

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