For Young Professionals
Our training programme is designed to provide a comprehensive range of experience and skills for people looking for a long-term career in micro- and SME-finance. You will acquire the skills and understanding of the LFS micro lending technology. After the training programme, you are ready to take on management roles in AccessBanks and after a couple of years also consulting roles in LFS Advisory Services Projects around the globe.
Structure of the training programme
The aim of our training programme is to acquaint new staff with the LFS lending methodology and tools as well as with the roles and responsibilities in a micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) finance bank. The nine-months training takes place in an Access network bank.
After the training, Junior Banking Advisors are ready to take over supervisory and consultant tasks in an advisory project or an Access network bank.
The training location is selected based on the experience and language skills of the trainee, as well as on project capacities and vacancies. Throughout the training, trainees are involved in the daily operations of the bank. Trainees are part of the LFS team on the ground and cooperate closely with the local staff in the bank.
Content of the training programme
According to our experience, the best way of gaining knowledge and skills is training on the job. Therefore, throughout the training, trainees are directly involved in the operations of the Access network bank. A large part of the training usually takes place in the credit department. Trainees accompany loan officers and/or build up their own portfolio of microloans. This enables trainees to acquire a good understanding of the micro lending technology as well as the products and customers of the bank. For most trainees, the work as a Loan Officer is a challenging but very rewarding experience, especially in view of future tasks in management and consulting roles.
The training also involves getting to know non-credit departments of the bank, namely the retail department (Client Advisors, Cashiers, Back Cfficers) and head office functions. Also, trainees participate in branch and bank activities that take place in the course of the trainee programme.
Finally, as a preparation for future management tasks, assisting the Branch Manager, participating in soft skills trainings, and taking on some consulting and management tasks in the LFS team are valuable experiences.
What happens after the traineeship?
Upon successfully completing the training, Junior Banking Advisors could typically expect to take over responsibility for a group of staff of an AccessBank or a department, including responsibility for the achievement of results. Your objectives would be to actively develop the business and to develop, train and coach local staff. Once the department or branch gains self-sufficiency, the consultants can move on to new positions in the same or other projects.
Trainee story by Rajesh Rani, AccessBank Liberia
"By being exposed to the job of a Loan Officer in the field, I had to leave behind (at least for a moment) most of my academic knowledge, my professional experience (in offices, headquarters, etc), what I had read and studied about microfinance and allow myself to “surrender” to the real world of microfinance. For me, the on-the-job period as a Loan Officer provided by the training programme at LFS was the most valuable experience of all. No matter how much you read, research or study about microfinance, there is simply no substitute for doing it yourself. In retrospect, besides having enjoyed the intense interaction with the clients in the field, I feel that the training at LFS has given me a very good foundation for a career in the microfinance field."
What you should be prepared for
- As LFS Banking Advisor and during the training, you will spend more time in markets and in clients' shops and houses than in an office, especially in the beginning of your career.
- The work within local teams requires a high degree of intercultural sensitivity, communication and leaderships skills. Those have to complement the obligatory technical skills.
- A career with LFS involves long-term stays in developing and transition countries.
- LFS tries to consider country and regional preferences of LFS Trainees and Banking Advisors; however, they may have to be subordinated to the capacities and requirements of projects and the company.
Required skills, qualifications and experience
- Masters degree in economics, business, microfinance, agriculture or finance-related field
- Apprenticeship in banking would be advantageous, but is not a must
- Interest in a long-term career in the field of microfinance
- 1-2 years professional experience, including first relevant experiences, e.g. in SME and/or Agri-Finance, Branchless Banking and (Corporate) Finance would be an asset
- Living or work experience in a developing or transition economy is highly desirable
- Excellent command of English and preferably one of the following languages: Russian, French, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese. Additional languages would be an asset.
- Motivation for a long-term assignment in a developing or transition country
- Evidence of a sense of responsibility, creativity and commitment to excellence
How to apply
Applications, including a covering letter and CV, should be handed in online