I completed mandatory training at Kiva Headquarters in San Francisco last week and left feeling inspired, contemplative, and excited for my upcoming journey! Here are only some of the sessions that all fellows (dispatching to 3 continents in total) participated in throughout the week:
Partnerships: Impact & Risk
Technology in the Field
Content & Stories
Kiva has about 100 employees at Kiva Headquarters in San Francisco. Nearly 20 fellows, myself included, had the privilege to hear each department at Kiva present about their work and how our duties as fellows in the field will support each of their departments. I am in awe of Kiva’s transparency and also Kiva's dedication to the fellowship program. Each session was uniquely insightful and I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to partake in this week long training, if only to learn more about Kiva’s operations. Here are a few photos from training week:
My 3 favorite parts of training week were:
1. Learning that I am not the only crazy one.
Many other crazy (awesome), inspired, optimistic, and passionate professionals exist as well; Almost all Kiva fellows who are part of my class quit their previous job to pursue this fellowship through Kiva as well. I can’t say I’m completely surprised though, since this fellowship provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a tangible positive impact in the field. I must admit though that knowing others also quit their jobs to work unpaid in another country did prove to be a source of comfort and connection!
2. Meeting the President & Co-Founder.
I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to meet the President and Co-Founder of Kiva, Premal Shah. Premal graduated from Stanford, previously worked for PayPal, and was selected to Fortune Magazine's 40 Under 40 List. Premal gave several heartfelt, inspiring speeches about privilege, gratitude, and finding deeper meaning through work and life in general. He also introduced himself to most, if not all, of the Kiva fellows, thanking us each several times for our dedication to Kiva. Premal was extremely humble, down to earth, open, and actively listened, often seeking out our opinions on ways in which Kiva can be improved. It’s abundantly clear why and how Premal has been and will continue to be successful. He is a shining example of the attributes all leaders should possess.
3. Being able to absorb information from intelligent, altruistic Kiva employees.
It felt reassuring, to say the least, to be surrounded by 100% good, hardworking people who are all working toward the same goal: improving the lives of the poor. I’ve met many smart, philanthropic people in my life, but have never been completely surrounded by them, let alone people who are whole-heartedly devoted to diminishing global poverty. They made this week both educational and inspiring!
I leave for the airport bright and early tomorrow morning (LA --> HK --> Vietnam) and cannot wait to start working! I already have borrower visits scheduled for my first week of work (I start work on September 12th) and am beyond excited to get the ball rolling!