Life as an Intern at Kiva by Nitya Agrawal

by tuftsigl
Jul 20

I have now been interning at the Kiva headquarters in San Francisco since mid-May, and I absolutely love it here! Every morning I wake up at 6 am to take a bus and then the Caltrain from Palo Alto, where my relatives live, to the city. The train is always filled with professionals working at all sorts of cool companies and start-ups in San Francisco. Dress culture is more casual here, so I tend to see a lot of people in jeans bent over their laptops.


Once I arrive at the office, I’m comforted by the large, open space and the green color on all the walls. I usually stop to say hi to some of the interns. There are around 30 interns working for Kiva this summer in San Francisco. Every day, I am constantly amazed at the company I am lucky to have here. The interns are so friendly and come from all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Paraguay, Syria, India, and London. Many of them are now studying here for their Masters or have settled here. They all have such fascinating stories of their travels and past places they have worked at. It is wonderful that an organization that does so much international work has an international staff as well. 


Kiva is a huge non-profit and the interns are placed in many teams within the organization. I am working with Kiva on the Review and Translation Program (RTP) team. Kiva currently has around 400 volunteers around the world that edit and translate loans for the Kiva website. Loans come into Kiva from 86 countries. Kiva translates loans into English from these four languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian. The rest of the loans come in as English and our editing volunteers look over those. Our volunteers also check the loans for any issues in borrower privacy, photo quality, or information provided.


As an intern with the RTP team, I am in charge of producing content for the monthly volunteer newsletter, monitoring the volunteer forum for issues in the loan review and translation process, creating volunteer training materials, and managing the volunteer monthly awards. At Kiva, I am learning so much about working on a team, staying organized, and handling many tasks at once. There are also always fun sessions and activities for interns, such as talks featuring staff members, potluck lunches, an intern shadowing program, etc. One day, we even got to visit a borrower in San Francisco who had received a Kiva Zip loan to open her own Vietnamese sandwich restaurant. I love it here, and I cannot wait to see what else I learn and accomplish in these last two months!




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