Career Profile: Consultant Communication Department World Bank
Consultant Communication Department World Bank in Washington
Pro’s and con’s
The great thing of working for the World Bank is that you are working in an international environment. You work with people from a lot of different countries, with different cultures, which of course can also be a disadvantage at some points. In addition, the work itself is really diverse. The management will give you the scope to learn a lot and be creative in finding solutions.
The drawback of the World Bank is the hierarchy. A lot of consultants at the World Bank have a short-term contract. Often only the higher positions have a permanent contract. The World Bank offers a lot of opportunities for people with a technical or economical background, but it is difficult to get in. Especially for the permanent positions, worldwide people are applying for these positions. Applying for a position as a consultant is easier.
Moreover, the World Bank is a huge organization, with a lot of bureaucracy. When I have to write talking points for the manager there are first five other people who have to check it and adjust it with their comments.
• It is important to be flexible, to be able to adapt to people with who you work but also regarding your project.
• Working for the World Bank also requires to have certain knowledge about the world. You can be educated academically, but in the end it is also about the underground experience you acquire through internships or volunteering work. In the American labour market these practical experiences are significant. Doing an internship is important for you curriculum. And it is the only way to get names of organizations on your curriculum, and even more important, to get to know people and expand your network.
You are encouraged to work yourself up the ladder. The employees with a permanent job have certain advantages, so you get stimulated indirectly as a consultant to invest in your capabilities. This is also very depending on your manager. Some encourage you to do this, while others do not really care as long as you do your job.
Working as a consultant at the communication department entails, among other things,
preparing communications material, maintaining the website, preparing brochures, preparing
presentations for the management, drafting the newsletter. You could execute these tasks for a
new project, such as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), but it
will be also aimed at the whole organization, the World Bank Group. In this function you will
work a lot with external affairs and other departments that are working on the topic of social
The Master’s degree in IRIO is certainly useful. Maybe not so much regarding the several
theories about how the world works, but definitely getting the required global vision and knowledge of law, economics, politics, etcetera. The programme contributes to your ability to think critically. Some people are used to thinking within their own expertise, for example, economists who often only think in numbers.