By Chhay Daroth
The University of Cambodia (UC), in cooperation with Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA), conducted a workshop on “The Microfinance Labor Market in Cambodia” on August 26 in the UC Conference Center. Nearly 200 students attended the workshop, which was facilitated by Gina Lopez, Associate Dean for the College of Management.
The objective of the workshop was to inform students about careers in microfinance institutions and how to prepare for these opportunities.
Associate Dean Lopez said that most students think microfinance institutions are very small compared to commercial banks, so they would prefer to work for commercial banks. However, she noted that microfinance institutions are playing a very important role in economic development, so students can gain an excellent professional experience there.
During the workshop, Si Len, Executive Director for CMA, explained the history and progress of microfinance institutions in Cambodia, as well as their services and the challenges they face. He also shared his own experiences working in the microfinance sector, and provided advice to students on how to get good jobs. According to Mr. Len, students will get good jobs if they: 1) have a good academic background; 2) understand course content from their specialized majors and gain additional skills; 3) build a strong network; and 4) have a positive attitude.
Another presenter, Ly Theeda, AMK Chairman of HR Club, discussed the difficulty in selecting qualified personnel during the hiring process. She said that students should have good attitudes and strong interpersonal skills if they want to be competitive job applicants.
The final presenter, Cheang Vanna, CMA Training and Development Manager, discussed the importance of microfinance in developing the economy. He also presented on job opportunities in the microfinance industry in Cambodia.
Several students who attended the event said they learned a great deal about the industry and were now more open to the idea of pursuing a job in microfinance. One of the attendees, Sann Sethvitou, a student majoring in Finance and Banking, said the workshop was very interesting and exceeded his expectations because it provided him with valuable information about the microfinance sector and on how to prepare for a job in this sector.
Source: UC Bulletin September 2011, Page 21