CNBS International Internship Progresses
OVERLAND PARK, KS (April 22, 2013)—In mid-February, CNBS began providing a 12-month internship to Christopher Hamera, a third-year student at Africa University in Zimbabwe majoring in Economics. Hamera is from Malawi, a small, land-locked country in sub-Saharan Africa.
Malawi, the fifth-poorest country in the world, has a system of 26 credit unions called Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs). Sylvester Kadzola, the President of the Malawian SACCO trade organization, the Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (MUSCCO), serves on the board of directors of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU).
Hamera arrived in the United States on February 18, but he was originally to arrive in January, according to Brian Hague, CNBS’ President and CEO.
“The first challenge was getting Christopher here,” Hague said. “We thought we had his visa application process taken care of last summer; but when he went to the Embassy to pick it up the week before Christmas, we ran into a snag.” Hague had to re-submit the 35-page application form, followed by a 115-page response to a request for further information, and the visa was approved shortly thereafter.
The four-leg, 35-hour international flight was another first for Hamera. “I had never flown before,” he said. “It was a new experience.” Three days after arriving in the States, Hamera experienced another first, as the Kansas City area was hit by more than a foot of snow. “It was the first time I’d seen snow – we don’t have snow in Malawi,” he said.
Two days later, Hague and Hamera flew to Washington, D.C., to attend CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).
“It was a wonderful experience,” Hamera said. “I met so many people from credit unions across the U.S. “I learned a great deal about America’s credit unions, and also the political system, hearing from so many credit union leaders and government officials. It was a good opportunity to learn about the important role credit unions play in the U.S. economy, and I hope to be able to use my experience here to benefit the SACCO system in Malawi.”
Since the GAC, Hamera has been busy at CNBS, learning more about the credit union movement, and investment and risk management. He completed a week of in-house training, which Hague says was based on coursework from CNBS’ popular Institute Series. Further, he has been involved in various projects, including a market peer comparison, assisting in CNBS’ accounting department, and preparing daily market information summaries.
“Christopher has also been an asset in business development,” Hague noted, citing increased booth traffic at the GAC from credit unions that had learned of the internship program from the trade press and stopped by to meet the Malawi intern.
“CUNA and WOCCU have been supportive of and helpful to the internship,” he said. “For example Jeff Carpenter , CUNA’s Vice President, Membership Development, arranged a tour of CUNA’s Washington, D.C. offices during the busy GAC week.”
The next CNBS Investment Management Institute will be held May 22-24 in Chandler, Ariz. For more information, visit CNBS Institute Series.
CNBS is a FINRA member broker/dealer and SEC-registered investment advisor serving credit unions nationwide since 1989. For more information about the company, contact Brian Hague at (800) 222-0978, or firstname.lastname@example.org.