Monday, 22 October 2012

A Day in the Life of ... A Loan Officer from Ecuador

Laura Sarango is a loan officer at fundación FACES,'s partner microfinance institution in Ecuador. She has very kindly taken time out of her busy schedule to describe an average day in her office.

Laura (in the purple t-shirt) with her colleague, Fernando, and loan officers from the Malcatos office

"My name is Laura and my official role within FACES is to provide financial and health education to all of FACES’ customers. I am also in charge of collecting the customer profiles that we send to lendwithcare to be uploaded to their website. When I start my work day the first thing I do is review all the activities that I have planned for the day and write them down in my notebook. I then usually log-on to my computer to check my emails and then log-in to the lendwithcare system so I can check the status of the loans we have on the site as well upload any outstanding stories.

When I have a training workshop with a group of micro-entrepreneurs scheduled I review all the teaching materials that I need to bring to the workshop, I gather the handouts, flipcharts, school supplies and anything else I need and put them all in my bag and then leave the office. If the workshop is near the city then it does not take me long to get there but sometimes these workshops are very far (3, 5 and 7 hours away) and in these instances I have to make sure I have all the materials prepared for the workshop the day before.

When I get to the place where we will hold the workshop, I unload all my stuff and then I start the workshop, inviting attendees to actively participate in the two-hour workshop.  The workshop involves a number of activities that are designed to make the workshop interactive, motivational and thought-provoking. At the end of the workshop there are always a lot of participants who want to know more about the microfinance services FACES provides so I always leave time to talk to them and answer their questions as well as give them some material to read. There are two types of groups we currently hold workshops for: heterogeneous groups of micro-entrepreneurs and heterogeneous groups of people with physical disabilities.

I am usually back in the office in the afternoon and I will check whether my fellow loan officers have forwarded the profiles of the entrepreneurs we have selected for lendwithcare.
When I do not have a workshop planned, I spend much of the workday collecting and uploading profiles to lendwithcare since we have seven offices throughout the southern region of Ecuador and they send us a lot of profiles to be uploaded. I also write reports on workshops we have already held and plan for upcoming ones as well as develop materials to send to potential customers.

On other occasions I travel to the offices of all our agencies to feedback on the process of collecting their clients’ profiles and, together with my colleague Fernando and loan officers from each agency, monitor the progress of existing lendwithcare customers.
That's my job with FACES."
                                                                             - LAURA SARANGO Q

Compiled by Laura Sarango, FACES Loan Officer & Nancy Thomas, Executive

If you have any questions you would like put to our partners overseas for this blog series please email with the subject title 'A day in the life of blog'.

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