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Letters from an Intern: Following the American dream, landing at Kiva

April 29, 2020

Meet Elina Pandey, Kiva's Tech Operations intern! She's originally from Nepal, now working in Kiva HQ in the tech department.

2013 was one of the most exciting years of my life and also the year I had the opportunity to make my “American Dream” true.

Coming to America, I won’t lie, was a not-so-easy transition for the first few years. As my parents always tell me: America is the “land of opportunities” for millions of people, including immigrants like us. When I look back at these past few years, I know this to be true. I understand, through my own experiences, the problems and challenges that immigrants face in this country. Despite those challenges and the hardships, this country has also welcomed people from all over the world with many golden opportunities and I, as an immigrant, will forever be grateful for that.

On one hand, I understand that it is important not to forget your roots and culture, but I also believe it’s really important to embrace other cultures and be respectful to one another despite differences. When I look at myself now, this journey has helped me to grow and make me the independent woman that I am today.

I am happy to be where I am today, but as the saying goes: “Miles to go before I sleep!”

Growing up, I always wanted to be a part of a nonprofit organization, whether that be directly or indirectly. UNICEF was always at the top of my mind. Now, when I look at what pushed me to apply at Kiva, I feel like my interests and the curiosity that I always had as a child played a role.

I always wanted to know how nonprofits work and what it actually looks like working for them. Although Kiva and UNICEF work on different projects and have different missions, at the end of the day, both of them work to accomplish a common goal: helping people in need.

I approached my opportunity at Kiva with a mindset that everything I learn here will help me to improve my interpersonal and professional skills and contribute to my career goals. With that being said, I will continue to do my part as an intern in working towards Kiva’s mission and goals.

I am so happy to be a part of the Kiva community. As a Tech Operations Intern, my day-to-day role involves providing service desk support to the staff and working with the IT team to manage hardware/software solutions. I am really thankful to my manager Kofi and the rest of the group for making me feel welcome as a member of their team. Also, it would be unfair on my end if I didn't mention the most “awwdorable” member in our team: Ninja! I bet everyone will agree with me when I say that Ninja truly brings a smile to your face!

Ninja, my manager's sweet pup!

Apart from my work schedule, I like to go on hikes, walk on beaches and do any other outdoor activities that involve nature. Nature has always been like therapy to me. I am really amazed by the beauty of nature and the way it all works. Traveling is also something that has and will always make me happy - which may be why I love the international aspect of organizations like Kiva!

My sisters and I bonding at the Happiest Place on Earth: Disney World, Florida.

So far, it has been a wonderful experience working at Kiva. I am happy to be a part of a community that respects, understands and is kind to one another. With everything going around the world, I feel that it's extremely important for people to be more empathetic.

For everyone that has been a part or played some role in my journey, it’s a special “THANK YOU” from the bottom of my heart!

Interested in interning with Kiva? Find opportunities at kiva.org/careers!