Commercial Bank Association (CBA) Grameen Bank Internship Program
datetime:2014-04-24 15:00:00

In January and February 2014, Peking University Commercial Bank Association (CBA) led more than 30 students from the HSBC Business School, divided into two groups, to Bangladesh for an overseas internship at the Grameen Bank. The program was widely publicized at the PKU Shenzhen Graduate School as well as the PKU campus in Beijing. The best students from a pool of hundreds of applicants were chosen for the program. The internship program with Grameen Bank is one of the flagship programs of Commercial Bank Association and has been running successfully for four years. 

The Commercial Bank Association has also successfully requested Nobel Laureate Mr. Muhammad Yunus to serve as its honorary advisor. Mr. Yunus expressed his satisfaction for the success of the program and commended the organizational skills of the CBA. He also expressed his desire of visiting the PKU Shenzhen Graduate School in the future. Mr.Yunus spoke highly of the international vision and spirit of humanitarian mission of the students from Peking University.

The Grameen Bank was started by Mr. Yunus in 1974 and has now grown to become the biggest microfinance institution in the world and its business model has been adopted by similar institutions all over the world. In 2006, Grameen Bank and Mr. Yunus were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their crusade against poverty in Bangladesh. The loans given by the bank do not call for collateralsor guarantors. Instead, it asks for joint guarantee in groups of five members so as to form a mutual supervision mechanism. At the same time, it takes in group funds and compulsory savings in proportion to the amount of the loans as the risk funds.

The internship program spanned over two weeks, during which the participants visited the headquarters of Grameen Bank, the grassroots organization of the bank and the institutions and organizations of Glemi family (Grameen Family) directed at poverty alleviation. Students also attended informal discussions and meetings with the current CEO of the bank and discussed future possibility of emulating the Grameen Bank model of humanitarian approach to loans and excellent risk management techniques in Chinese financial system 

During the visit, the students also participated in the Social Business Model Design Conference organized by the Grameen Bank. The students took an active part in the discussion and gave their suggestions to the promoters based on their own understanding and knowledge. After the meeting, the students discussed more about Grameen Bank and social business model with Dr. Yunus. 

After returning to China, all of the students said that it was a memorable experience during which they learned a lot and they were very grateful to CBA for arranging the internship. The program was a learning experience for the students as they had to overcome language and cultural differences to successfully enjoy their time in Bangladesh and all the students feel better prepared to handle multicultural surroundings after this program. 

Translated by Song Dan
Edited by Sunny Mewati