The CHEF Finance Intern: Seeing the Financial Side of a CDFI

Nicholas Kubala is a Finance and Insurance double major at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). For the summer, he is also a CHEF Intern at Fahe, meaning that he gets experience in his chosen field at the benefit of Appalachia. Currently, Nicholas serves Appalachia as the Finance Intern at the Fahe office. He grew up in Richmond, Kentucky, a mid-sized city between Berea and Lexington. Richmond has a thriving Richmond Centre and is home to many businesses, from retail to restaurants. Richmond is a University Town, and a large one at that, due to EKU’s influence on the area. There is plenty of demand for the locations there due to the university as well as the town’s growth.  “You wouldn’t really think of it as Appalachia, but you still get the traditions of the area here,” he says, addressing the urban landscape.

While Nicholas did not grow up immersed in these traditions, he respects the culture of the region and recognizes their importance. He finds Fahe’s mission to be very powerful, as eliminating persistent poverty is a huge undertaking. Furthermore, he appreciates the services that organizations like Fahe provide for Appalachia. As a matter of fact, I asked him what he liked about working for Fahe. “I’ve been really impressed by their numbers; it’s great that they help so many people,” he replied.  “It’s kind of nice to see where your work is going.”

This is the first time that he has worked in a nonprofit, and while his long term goal isn’t to pursue a career in nonprofit work, he hopes that he will gain a better understanding of what career he will likely pursue by serving as a CHEF intern. “I’m still not sure if I would like to go into personal or corporate finance, and this experience is a good way to gain an understanding of how a nonprofit organization runs. I think what I end up choosing will have a lot to do with what goes on in the day-to-day.”

In addition to seeing what that day-to-day consists of, Fahe is giving Nicholas the opportunity to work directly under the company’s CFO, Brittany Murphy, to gain a different kind of finance internship experience. “Working under the CFO is a great opportunity, and I wouldn’t get it at very many places as an undergrad.” Currently, Nicholas is working with Brittany to provide the Finance Team with information on state laws of mortgage programs. This will assist Membership as well as Fahe’s JustChoice Lending and Consulting Teams with their missions of home ownership as well as eliminating poverty.