Undergraduate Studies student Anusha Hasan, winner of the 2014 Summer Exploration Grant, is using the funding to travel to Bangladesh and explore her interest in finance. Hasan secured an internship with BRAC, an international development organization that equips communities with tools to combat poverty. She will be working for the microfinance arm of the organization, which provides financial services including small loans and savings.
In her grant application, Hasan wrote, “Before making a decision that will impact the rest of my life, I want to take this summer to explore my interests. I hope to feel confident about my decision to choose finance as my major after my internship.”
For the first portion of the internship, Hasan will train to be an ambassador at BRAC’s head office in Dhaka, Bangladesh. During the second portion, Hasan will visit villages and meet with people who have received microloans, a small loan given to new or growing small businesses.
“The ability to travel to foreign countries and work on real problems gives students the opportunity to put into action all that they have been learning on the Forty Acres,” said Undergraduate Studies Dean Brent Iverson. “At the same time, it helps students to find their own academic and career goals.”
Hasan will begin her second year at UT this fall. As a member of the UT Rotaract Club, Hasan organized a three-day fundraising event on campus for Polio. She is also a member of Planet Longhorn, an organization that connects Longhorns around the world. She has worked as a receptionist at the Sanger Learning Center since January 2014.
“Anusha’s commitment to excellence in her academics, as well as her extensive volunteer work is most impressive,” said Kathy Uitvlugt, senior program coordinator for the University Honors Center in the School of Undergraduate Studies and head of the grant selection committee. “We’re excited to see where her internship in Bangladesh takes her.”
Grant applicants must be enrolled in the School of Undergraduate Studies. Students submit an application with a current resume, a personal statement describing their goals for their summer experience, a current transcript, a budget not to exceed $2,000, and a letter of recommendation from a professor or TA. If granted the award, the student will submit a brief report after the experience, detailing the value of their experience and how the funds were used. Learn more about the grant and application process.
Past Summer Exploration Grant winners have used their grant money to teach English to elementary students in Peru, provide medical and dental services in Honduras, and work with doctors in Tanzania.