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Alumna Applying Skills from Parami to Work towards Agricultural Economic Development

After graduating from the Parami Leadership Program (PLP) in 2018, Yamin Phyo landed her career working at Proximity Designs. While working at the organization, she discovered her new interest in agricultural economic development, in which she aspires to get involved in making a change. Yamin talked about how she gets involved in the agricultural economic development sector and shared how she applies the skills gained from Parami in the workplace. 

Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Yamin Phyo. I graduated from National Management Degree College-NMDC with a bachelor's degree in business management. I am currently working at Proximity Designs as a Donor Reporting Associate. I am one of the Parami alumni from the 3rd Cohort. 

How did you get into this field? Could you please highlight some of the projects you have worked on? 

I applied for a job at Proximity Designs right after graduating from the PLP. I learned about Proximity when studying at Parami.  As a Donor Reporting Associate, my primary responsibility is preparing financial reports for restricted grants. There are specific areas that restricted donors would like to contribute their funds. In that case, I have to follow up with the project team leaders whether they started their projects at the beginning of the budget and pull out all the expenses spent on those specific projects. Apart from donor-related projects, I have had a lot of experience participating in research projects like customer impact surveys, new product pilot studies, traveling to agricultural regions, and interviewing farmers.  

What is the most rewarding or enjoyable part of your job?

Communication with other staff across different teams in Proximity. We have quarterly donor reports, annual reports, and other reports. We have to meet with other team members to get the data and update their plans during the upcoming quarter or their milestones. I like communicating with different teams and getting to know how they have been working in their respective field and the overall picture of the organization's operations. 

What are the main concepts learned from the PLP that you have applied in your workplace and daily life? How did you feel the PLP prepared you for the workforce and the real world? 

Critical thinking, improving interpersonal skills, and communication skills. As you already know, Proximity's culture is pretty much similar to what Parami's having. People are open, and the employees and employer have a close relationship, so are the managers. I used to be someone who didn't talk much to strangers and always felt scared to approach them. But, Parami totally changed me. I'm not afraid to make new friends and speak to strangers. I always feel thankful to Parami for helping me in finding a better version of myself. Also, when I was at Parami, all the lectures and assignments were in English. My English skills have improved a lot. 

Can you share a memorable in-class or general PLP experience that you found meaningful? 

Many things! Kalaw trip, Performance Art, short trips, and watching a movie together in the class. I want to choose the Kalaw Trip among all the memorable moments. I think I became closer with all my friends after getting back from the trip. We spent 6 days together. We talked a lot and shared our past and future along the way from one village to another. Talking to villagers was a very precious memory. We learned and enjoyed ourselves together throughout the trip.

We visited "National Races Village" and "Hlawga Park." It wasn't for fun at all. The teacher gave a topic in advance which we would have to present after getting back from the field trip. I remember that we went around all the places and noted everything down as much as we could. I have been to more places and seen many wonderful things which I didn't even know existed in my previous visits. 

What is next for you?

I really admired what Proximity is doing and its mission. My role in the future will be in the development sector with an emphasis on agricultural development. I'm also planning for further study to learn more about development studies in the agricultural economic sector. Why? - My conversations with rural farmers inspired me to do all I can to better the lives of farmers living in poverty. Also, agriculture plays an important role in the country's economic development. I have a strong desire to develop my country's agriculture sector and create more opportunities for farmers. 

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