3 Members Using Their Summer to Give Back
By Isabelle Wisco (MSB ‘22)
Erica Arnold (MSB ’22)
Joe Deck (COL ’21)
Maddy Hillard (MSB ’22)
While the Hilltop Microfinance Initiative (HMFI) is managed and staffed entirely by Georgetown University students, our work continues past the school year’s end. With various projects in action, thirteen passionate members have dedicated a part of their summer break to bettering our organization. Whether it be processing loan applications or preparing training materials, HMFI’s summer staff guarantees our mission of financial empowerment remains strong throughout the “vacation” months. See what three of our summer interns have to say about their work so far:
Erica Arnold – Development Summer Intern & Department Member
Coming off of my new hire training this past spring, I was very excited about the opportunity to be a summer intern. I really wanted to gain some valuable experience before returning to Georgetown this fall so that I could be a valuable asset to my department and HMFI as a whole. I am interning for the Development department this summer and have also done some work on the media kit with the Marketing team. I have focused most of my work on making the application process for grants more efficient and effective. One way I have done this is by creating a framework to analyze failed grant applications with my colleague, Kevin Kim, so that future applications can be more successful. With this new framework, we are able to identify areas for improvement so that we can ultimately submit stronger applications in the future. This fall, I am looking forward to further immersing myself in my department and applying for more grants. I am also excited to work on new fundraising efforts for HMFI and being a part of this year’s Annual Holiday Drive. Being a summer intern has definitely enhanced my HMFI experience and has allowed me to gain valuable skills that I know will help me to be a more effective member of the organization. I look forward to applying what I have learned as a summer intern to future projects and am excited to see what we can achieve this fall!
Joe Deck – Group Financial Coaching Summer Intern & Department Director
I’m happy to be here in D.C. for my main summer internship and to be one of HMFI’s D.C. summer interns. I am mainly a Group Financial Coaching (GFC) summer intern, but since I am here in D.C. for the summer, I also get to perform Client Recruitment and Client Services tasks. Since I will be the new director for GFC in the fall, I am coordinating with the other members of my department, two of whom are also summer interns, to improve our current educational modules. We want to create a new module solely focused on retirement, continue to implement and improve our modules’ interactive activities, and explore different approaches to teaching our modules so that we can better engage our students. I am also making sure we maintain our relationships with our current partners, Academy of Hope and Carlos Rosario, while also continuing our efforts to find new partners and opportunities to expand our GFC program. This could mean potentially teaching modules on the Hilltop, at local high schools, and at other non-profits in the D.C. area. For example, the Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union (GUASFCU) is planning a financial literacy program for the incoming freshman this fall, and HMFI is partnering with them to provide our expertise in teaching financial literacy. This will allow us to spread awareness of our mission throughout campus and to strengthen our partnerships with like-minded on-campus organizations such as GUAFSCU. On the Client Recruitment side, I have been to Empowered Women International (EWI) outreach events where I have gotten to hear women pitch their small business plans that they have each spent three months developing. These experiences at EWI and the ones that will come from other outreach events throughout the summer are what make being an HMFI summer intern in D.C. so rewarding. It’s crazy to think I’m already halfway through my summer, but I look forward to bringing these summer intern experiences and increased knowledge of the organization as a whole back to HMFI at the start of the school year.
Maddy Hillard – Monitoring Summer Intern & Director of Matriculation
This summer, I am a remote intern for HMFI’s Monitoring department. Although I will join the Group Financial Coaching team and manage matriculation in the coming fall semester, I thought the Monitoring department would best help me build my financial knowledge this summer. So far, my tasks have included reviewing clients for pre-approval and underwriting clients. Underwriting a client from start to finish challenged me to explore different financial documents and situations which I had not come across before. This has really shown me how essential it is for the departments in HMFI to work together; I would not be able to successfully underwrite a client without the help of the Client Services team acting as a liaison. I strongly encourage others to intern with HMFI over the summer because it is a great way to explore the organization and your own skills. I’m very excited about this semester because my skills are more developed now, and I have gotten to work with new people from various departments in the organization. My hope is that the new hire curriculum will show the incoming members of HMFI that there is no wrong choice with departments––they all do important work to help make HMFI’s mission a reality!
Published July 15th, 2019