Alyssa Pont '16 Explores Finance with a Conscience in Mexico City
Greetings from Mexico City! I am spending this summer interning at the International Finance Corporation, which is a member of the World Bank Group that focuses exclusively on fostering development in emerging markets through the private sector. IFC's main function is to provide financing and advisory services to a variety of partners, from small- and medium-sized enterprises to the region's largest institutions. Unlike other financial institutions, however, IFC's explicit objective in each of its projects is to ensure socially and environmentally responsible development that will eradicate poverty and encourage further market strength. One way in which this commitment is manifested is the customized social and environmental management plan that is incorporated along with the more traditional contractual components in every investment IFC makes.
As an intern in the legal department, I get to work on projects at all stages of development, from participating in initial discussions of the terms of the transaction to completing the final conditions of disbursement procedures. IFC only has two lawyers on staff in the Mexico City office, but we often work with other IFC legal departments, local counsel in the various countries where our clients are based, and international counsel based in the U.S. Through these interactions, I have been able to learn about corporate finance law in Mexico, Peru, Honduras, Nicaragua and Chile, as well as gain an understanding of how the different laws impact investment opportunities and development in these countries.
In addition to having a very international client base, IFC itself has a wonderful mix of employees from all over the world. It has been a great (and challenging) experience to learn all of the different Spanish dialects that I hear throughout the office, and I've picked up a few words in Portuguese along the way as well. The internationality of IFC was especially exciting during the World Cup this summer. As a soccer player myself, I appreciated the passion for the sport here, and I really had to step up my support of the U.S. men's national soccer team, as one of only two Americans in the office. I also have a soft spot in my heart for the Mexican team (no era penal). Overall, my experience at IFC this summer has been an incredible adventure and learning experience, and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for such an influential organization in such a captivating city.