Future Leaders Programme
For Young Professionals
Our Future Leaders 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 Future Leaders Programme
The aim of our Future Leaders 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 in Sub-Saharan Africa or the Caucasus. In the event of excellent performance, the nine-month period of the training programme may be shortened.
An additional goal of the Future Leaders Programme will be to enhance the Trainees' management skills to prepare them for their future management tasks. After the training, Junior Banking Advisors are ready to take over first management responsibilities in another 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 Future Leaders 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 alternative channel projects) and head office functions. Also, trainees participate in branch and bank activities that take place in the course of the Future Leaders Programme.
Finally, as a preparation for future management tasks, assisting the Branch Manager, participating in technical and soft skills trainings, and taking on some consulting and management tasks in the LFS team are valuable experiences.
What happens after the training?
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 (up to several years).
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.
Trainee story by Clémentine Hédan, AccessCrédito Brazil
"After my studies, it was important for me to go work on the field in order to acquire a strong expertise essential to build a long-term career in microfinance. The LFS training program offered the right entry point for that project: it gave me a full picture of the microfinance banks, from the credit operations to the support departments. Moreover, working side by side with the loan officers and learning from them was extremely useful to understand the core business of the AccessHolding banks. I also used the opportunity of the training phase to specialize myself in rural finance and prepare my next assignment as an agricultural banking advisor for AB Bank Zambia, where I am currently based. Given that the banks are quite young, the work environment is very dynamic and I found it fulfilling to participate directly in the operations and help the banks to improve their services."
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 finance or finance-related field, economics, business, microfinance, or agriculture;
- Apprenticeship in banking or finance sector would be advantageous;
- Interest in a long-term career in the field of microfinance;
- First work experience or internships in the field of Branchless Banking, particularly Digital Finance;
- 2 years professional experience, including first relevant experiences, e.g. in SME and/or Agri-Finance, and (Corporate) Finance are an asset;
- Living or work experience in a developing or transition economy,
- Excellent command of English and preferably one of the following languages: Arabic, French, Portuguese or Russian. Additional languages would be an asset;
- Motivation for a long-term assignment in developing or transition countries;
- Evidence of a sense of responsibility, intercultural awareness, creativity and commitment to excellence.
How to apply
Applications, including a covering letter and CV, should be handed in online