Today it is my assignment to post the blog for Economic Empowerment Fellows Program and is really great opportunities for me to be one of participants in this program. It is really memorable day for me since it falls Myanmar New Year and my friend, KUNTHY who hails from Cambodia, wrote how Cambodia celebrates the New Year at her blog. It is very similar to our country and I really miss my home and thought how I did spend my previous new years. Being in Myanmar Citizen, I am so proud to have celebration of Our New Year Festival, called as Water Festival or Thingyan Festival.
As soon as I woke up this morning, I called to my home and sent my wishes and respects to my parents to have healthy and happy long life. At that time I remembered myself that I am staying with my lovely host family because I feel like I am staying at my home. I took American traditional breakfast prepared by Mr and Mrs Hampton together with my fellowship housemate and it is really delicious and it makes me to remind my mother who always do breakfast for me. I am really surprised to know how elderly people live independently and happily their life to each other in US while most elderly people in my country live with their children or anyone who can assist to them. It is learning of American Culture of Individualism and how they maintain of their health.
Being professional in Banking, I am so great to have coordinator, Ms Leslie who works at First Interstate Bank (FIB) at Missoula. We have been discussing and exchanging about policy and banking industry in Myanmar and US since my 1st day at Fellowship. It came to know that fundamental of concepts are same like consideration of risks and criteria of lending but improvement and development in system and technology in US make Financial Industry drive to most effective to Economy. I am so impressed in technology like Remote Teller Station and it is very convenient for customers not to wait to get services. Our Country Banking industry is infant stage and it reflects 1950 Banking Industry in US that had manual payment settlement clearance. In US, I have learned that market is open market and regulations are just parameter to comply it. At our country, Central Bank is setting interest rate and pricing. Besides all processes and transactions are recorded in manual at our country while everything in US is based on technology and it makes bank to have less costs, accurate data and easy to reference. I am taking this as advantages and when I am back home, I am going to implement technology base for all of our processes with the assistance of my US counterpart.
Another area we have talked about is lending and how FIB has accessed their lending process. I have participated the meeting with one of their client who like to cooperate together with FIB for lending businesses and it is really admired to know how FIB team raised very aggressive questions to protect bank’s interest and customer’s due diligence. It is great experience for me listening this conversation and I have in mind that I am going to prepare template for my marketing team so that they know how to access to customers.
In addition, I did pay visit to Customer of FIB, who manufactures the dental equipment products and provides work for disability people, and I got a chance to listen from Customer’s view. They have been dealing with international customers and they have more concerns about fluctuation of Foreign Exchange Rate and Inflation. Nowadays market is very competitive globally and they always think how to minimize the costs and for example instead of placing cash deposit at Bank, they have settled the payment to their suppliers by enjoying discount and they are thinking to hedge currency in order to save their loss. It will be happened in my country one day and we have to think for solution to survive our bank in long run. We should create more products availability and feasibility to customers so that customers will always be with us.
Finally I attended board of directors meeting of Missoula Art Museum and it is so amazing building. It is really different what I have impression since it is displayed of arts and statues. All member of Board of Directors shows their enthusiasm about long term successful of Museum even it doesn’t get their own benefits but they are really enjoying working and discussing. They have talked about future plan like having strategic committee to be in force. I really admire to them how they contribute their precious time and valuable thinking for development of community and society. I took note how they are unity each other even they come from different background to achieve goals. As myself, I need to try to be more valuable person to community and I did enjoy spending time with them for dinner by sharing knowledge and expanding my networks. I am really happy to share what I know and learn and will keep posted again soon.