The World Bank

The World Bank
Win McNamee / Staff/Getty Images

If one of your goals is to help create change in the world, then an internship at an NGO like The World Bank just might be just your calling.

About The World Bank:

The World Bank Group (WBG) is a family of five international organizations whose charter is to make leveraged loans to poor countries. It is the largest and most famous development bank in the world.  They provided around $30 billion in loans and assistance to developing countries in 2012.

The bank's major mission is to reduce poverty.  They are not a bank in the traditional sense of the word, rather they are a unique enterprise instituted to reduce poverty and support development in Third World countries.   Established in 1944, the World Bank Group is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with more than 10,000 employees in over 120 offices worldwide.

The World Bank provides low-interest loans, interest-free credits, and grants to developing countries and support a wide array of investments in such areas as education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. Their projects are co-financed with governments, other multilateral institutions, and commercial banks, among others, and also facilitate financing through trust fund partnerships from donors.

World Bank also offers support to developing countries through policy advice, research and analysis, and technical assistance.

To ensure that countries can access the best global expertise and help generate cutting-edge knowledge, the WB is constantly seeking to improve the way it shares its knowledge and engages with clients and the public at large.

The World Bank Young Professionals Program

Every year, around 40 future leaders are accepted into The World Bank Young Professionals Program.

Young Professionals, also known as YPs, spend 24 months in a structured training program, and enjoy a variety of benefits and opportunities.  Competition for these positions is keen, with over 8,000 applications each year for a limited number of positions. In order to be ready for the intense process make sure you do everything you can to prepare for success.  Candidates applying beginning on May 1 through June 30, 2014 will join the organization in September 2015.

YPs are enrolled in a two-year program with a “stretch/learning assignment” built in, where they will gain valuable on-the-job experience. As a member of a team they are expected to make significant contributions towards the unit's work program while they gain a broad overview of the World Bank's policies and work.  Internships at The World Bank pay between $2,900 and $4,700 monthly.  Interns have said that it is a great place to learn how the world works and where you can make a positive impact.   The hour-long interview is conducted over the phone with two WB representatives. It emphasizes one's ability to think on the fly and make educated arguments.


  • Professional experience & valuable on-the-job experience
  • Extensive field work firsthand experience of the challenges of global development
  • Participate in a specially designed orientation to integrate into their work teams smoothly and efficiently.
  • Participate in internal and external training activities and seminars
  • Young Professional roundtables covering subjects such as "Integrating into World Bank Teams", "The World Bank's Business Directions" and "Performance and Feedback”
  • A peer mentor to help understand the expectations and challenges of the Program
  • Young Professionals may choose from three comprehensive medical/dental benefit plans available, plus basic life and accident insurance f at no cost
  • Relocation benefits on appointment including relocation travel, shipping, and a relocation grant to cover the cost of relocation.


World HQ In Washington, D.C. with offices in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic Of Congo, Republic Of Congo, Cote D’ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome And Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone,

Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


  • Must be 32 years of age or younger
  • Ph.D. or Master’s degree and relevant work experience
  • Be fluent in English
  • Please note that full proficiency in one or more of the Bank’s working languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish is desired but not required.
  • Specialize in a field relevant to the World Bank’s operations such as economics, finance, education, public health, social sciences, engineering, urban planning, and natural resource management
  • Have at least 3 years of relevant professional experience related to development or

Additional Qualifications:

  • Display a commitment and passion for international development
  • Possess outstanding academic credentials
  • Exhibit excellent client engagement and team leadership skills
  • Have international development country experience
  • Be motivated to relocate and undertake country assignments

Application Checklist:

Register for an account and provide an email address. Note that the application must be completed in a single session - you cannot save an application.

  • Answer all questions completely
  • Provide the most current contact information.
  • Ensure that you have correctly spelled out your e-mail address
  • Attach your detailed CV or resume in English.

Please visit their website to apply online.

When applying for internships be sure to check out Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Cover Letter and The 5 Ways to Improve a Resume prior to sending in your documents.

5 Steps to Improve a Resume:

  1. Organize your information
  2. Highlight your qualifications
  3. Use bullet points to display important information
  4. Include only relevant information and remove any clutter
  5. Make sure your resume is error free

5 Steps to Improve a Cover Letter:

  1. Address your cover letter to the right person
  2. Capture the reader's attention
  3. Make your cover letter stand out
  4. Make sure your cover letter is error free
  5. Ask for an interview at the end of your letter

By following these 10 steps you will be well on your way to getting yourself noticed by employers in hopes of getting called for an interview. The sole purpose of a resume and cover letter is to land an interview, so the effort it takes to improve your documents is well worth the effort.