Meet the Interns: Joshua Chatman Talks OFN Member Research, His Summer Reading List, and More

Joey Dunn

Each summer, OFN interns make outstanding contributions to the community development finance field, and this year is no different. Our five interns share a passion for OFN’s work and a desire to grow the CDFI industry. To introduce you to these remarkable future leaders, strategic communications intern Joey Dunn is sitting down with a different intern each week. They will talk OFN, CDFIs, summer fun, their personal backstories, and even time travel. We’ve also asked each supervisor to share a few words about his or her intern.  

This week, we learn a little more about OFN financial services intern Joshua Chatman and the role he is playing at the organization this summer.  

Name: Joshua Chatman 

Bio: Joshua is a financial services intern at OFN. Joshua grew up in Colonial Village, Washington D.C. A rising senior at Franklin and Marshall College, Joshua will earn his bachelor’s degree in business, organizations, and society and creative writing.  

OFN Department: Financial Services Intern 

Major & School:  Bachelor in Business, Organizations, and Society and Creative Writing at Franklin and Marshall College 

Hometown:Washington, D.C. 

Hidden Talent: Extraordinary levels of spatial awareness 

“It’s a rare treat to find an intern who already knows about CDFIs! Joshua joined us with a strong understanding of mission-driven lending and now that he is having a chance to apply detailed financial analysis to CDFIs, he will be a terrific advocate for our work going forward. Joshua has been working closely with our team as we monitor our investments in CDFIs in accordance with our tenets of responsible finance.” 

– Lisa Wright – Senior Vice President of Financial Services at OFN

What attracted you to the CDFI industry and OFN?  

A mission-based approach to finance has always interested me. I learned about the CDFI industry during school when I started looking into potential career paths. I was immediately drawn to the industry as it offered an opportunity to align my personal passions with an organization. I have always wanted to pursue finance, but working at OFN gives me a great look into how finance can be used to invest in communities that desperately need better access to capital and resources.  

Tell us about some of the projects you are working on. How will they help OFN and/or the CDFI industry? 

I am checking up on our member organizations and reviewing their recent activity. This involves creating annual reviews, which are used to ensure that member CDFIs are still investing responsibly and in alignment with their mission and with OFN’s mission. I am also working a lot with my fellow financial services intern, Aaron. It is really helpful to have a teammate since much of our work involves learning, and we are able to help each other better understand the industry and the intricacies of our various projects. 

What have you learned about OFN and the CDFI industry that you didn’t know when you started? 

An important fact that I was unaware of before the internship is that the CDFI industry has very few regulations. This has a major effect on how CDFIs do business and manage their accounting. I think the lack of strict regulation is good because it allows CDFIs to be more creative, which is especially helpful since CDFIs each have unique circumstances and need the flexibility to be able to handle those circumstances.   

What are you up to this summer when you’re not at OFN? 

I have primarily been reading, running, and writing when I’m not at work. I am trying to read at least two books a month. My favorite books of the summer include Dear Enemy by Jessica Alexander, I Must Be Living Twice by Eileen Myles, and One Last Thing by BJ Novak. Lastly, I have enjoyed using my free time to write some of my own poetry. 

If you could travel back in time, where and when would you travel? 

I would go back to 1988 to watch Doug Williams lead the Redskins to their second Superbowl win. It has been tough to be a Redskins fan in this era, so time travel might be the perfect opportunity to see my favorite team in all their glory.  

What are you going to take away from this experience at OFN?

I learned how different nonprofit accounting is in comparison to traditional accounting. My lasting impression of OFN and CDFIs is very positive. They have really stepped up to the plate and are unyieldingly doing the work that needs to be done despite all the institutional barriers that limit underserved communities’ access to capital. 


Learn more about OFN’s internship program and other career opportunities at OFN.