Walking down Locust during the Fall Student Activities Fair as a freshman can feel both exciting and overwhelming - student groups are dancing, singing, beckoning you to come visit their table, and shoving flyers in your face. With so many clubs and students passionate about these clubs, there are endless opportunities and ways to get involved with clubs on campus. For me in particular, I was interested in clubs doing impactful work for causes beyond Penn’s campus.
This drew me to the Penn Microfinance club. Students apply and interview to join various project teams that focus on a certain geographic region in the world. Each team works with an outside organization that is working on microfinance initiatives in that region. I first joined the Rwanda initiative, and through the Rwanda team, we were in contact with a NYC startup that was expanding microfinance in Rwanda. We helped the startup with competitor research throughout the year and ended up visiting the startup office in NYC to meet the startup founder, which was an awesome and fun experience. Some project teams even travel together to their locations, like in the Philippines and Brazil!
I really admire the student-led initiatives at Penn that seek to solve difficult social problems and make a meaningful difference both locally and internationally.
-Emma H. '17