Hello from Washington, DC!
My name is Aurelia Solomon and I am a rising senior in the class of 2013. I have spent my winter term interning at the World Bank in the Financial Inclusion Global Practice Department.
In my time at the Bank I worked on two big projects. The first was preparing and organizing an informative event in Nairobi, Kenya-the Financial Literacy and Capability Learning Dialogue-that helped a variety of stakeholders from countries around the world (though primarily throughout Africa) collaborate and share various regional perspectives about innovative ways to improve the financial capability and literacy of low-income individuals. As preparation for the event, I helped write and edit three reports about innovative approaches to financial literacy and capability, specifically school-based programs, SMS text message reminders, and entertainment education. I helped edit, write, and organize content, images and links for the website accompanying this event. I also helped organize the logistics of the event, including contacting stakeholders, putting together the agenda, etc.
The second big project I worked on was the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) for Brazil. The FSAP involves a comprehensive diagnostic of the financial system in a country. My unit focuses on the financial inclusion component of the FSAP which involves a broad review of Brazil's progress in providing access to finance to its population, identifying key issues, and benchmarking to international experiences and other comparable countries. I researched the microfinance situation in Brazil including issues such as the legal and regulatory framework, institutional development, funding sources and the competitive landscape. In addition, I also helped collect and analyze information related to the provision of financial services for low-income consumers by mainstream financial institutions (e.g. services available in the marketplace and factors affecting penetration of low income populations).
It has been an amazing experience and one in which I learned a lot about a field that I previously knew little about. It helped me narrow down my focus within international development and better understand what I may and may not want as a career down the road. I learned about the inner workings of a large development bank and how it drastically differs from that of smaller organizations (something that will help me after school as I decide what sector within the field of international development I would like to work in). I am thankful that the D Plan allows me to pursue such a great opportunity while remaining a Division I athlete at Dartmouth.