Meet Vanessa Merker, former intern at LMDF

Tell us a bit about yourself?

In short, I am a curious and adventurous person who feels very comfortable in international environments and in company with people who make me think differently.  I was raised in a cultural mix of Luxembourgish, Filipino and Belgian influences and studied Econometrics/Economics in the Netherlands, Australia and Spain. To find out what I would like to be doing professionally, I gained experience in NGOs in developing countries, a think-tank in Brussels, a bank in Luxembourg and at a European Institution. In my free time I love dancing, running, hiking and eating!

What made you decide to apply to the LMDF?

After an Internship at the EIB Microfinance department and my work for an NGO in South America I was convinced I should continue working with developing countries, maybe coupled with economic or financial analysis. While screening through different Microfinance related entities I was amazed about how LMDF was set up. You have a great variety of players being involved with the entity: the government, ADA as an NGO and many big players I know from the financial centre in Luxembourg. I felt connected to their strategy and vision, thinking I could contribute and learn from them in the fields of Microfinance, financial analysis and getting a good insight on how my little country does in its work with developing countries.

How did the internship fit into your future plans?

The combination of finance and the work with developing countries is a good fit to my previous work experience and I feel very comfortable with staying on this track. I would like to gain more in-depth knowledge on the financial analysis side and definitely target the area of developing countries in the future.

What projects have you worked on while at the LMDF?

I came in when LMDF was in the middle of organizing its big event so I helped in the communication side of it. I have also contributed in drafting the annual report and in parallel I helped on the social media efforts of LMDF. On the other side, I had the chance to have a look on different investments and their underlying research, which were discussed in the committees.

What’s the best thing about working for the LMDF?

The best thing is the relationship in the team and literally sitting on the same desk together. It makes things more efficient, assessable and it is easier to elaborate on new ideas. Even though it is a small team, you still get to know a lot of different people as they walk in and out the office. Another great point is using all the languages I know everyday, which is a good training and very useful when being in the ‘Maison de la Microfinance’.