The World Bank

www.worldbank.org
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The World Bank Reviews

Updated March 4, 2015
Updated March 4, 2015
214 Reviews
3.4
214 Reviews
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The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim
214 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance can be good if the travel schedule isn't too onerous (in 23 reviews)

  • Great internarional work environment and opportunities to travel (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • no benefits, cannot work more than 150 days per year so many end up working for free (in 18 reviews)

  • The culture does not favor the growth of junior staff, especially short-term consultants (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

214 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1.  

    Worked as an intern in private sector development focusing on Africa. Enjoyed it greatly.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The World Bank

    Pros

    The team I worked on here was very results oriented. I was encouraged to work creatively and was rapidly assigned additional responsibility according to my ability to take it on. I was immediately able to make valuable contributions and have my work recognized.

    Cons

    I didn't personally experience many cons, though I heard about some. Typical cons I hear are that it is hard to get a staff job, and that things can be overly bureaucratic. My unit was not overly bureaucratic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compensation could be improved for entry level workers to make more competitive with private sector opportunities. Also, benefits for consultants could be better. For example access to the gym would be appreciated.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    The Bank is a very exciting place to Work but Managing to move up in The organization can be tough.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The World Bank

    Pros

    The satisfaction of seeing developing countries innovate or implement new strategies is very rewarding.

    Cons

    Does not want permanent employees but getting part time contracts and policies that do not allow continuation of tasks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The rotation of upper management is good but not often practiced. Also tasks are constantly redistributed to other task team leaders unnecessarily which is hard to see fruits of project preparation vs completion.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Reorganizational Mess

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The World Bank

    Pros

    Solid benefits (though eroding) and a great mission

    Cons

    Current sr. management is changing the entire institution for the sake of change without any evidence that the new structure will be any more efficient. Driving talent away while politically connected stay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5.  

    So so

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The World Bank

    Pros

    Multi-cultural environment - smart people. very international.

    Cons

    A bit stuffy and bureaucratic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the cons.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good first working experience for a year, but not suitable for a long term career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    - motivating working environment
    - possibility to meet the world experts of development economics
    - development of analytical skills and possibility to publish working papers

    Cons

    - little responsibilities
    - no job security
    - little interactions, most of the work is data analysis

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great people, bad systems

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Exposure to people of very varied backgrounds and origin
    Sometimes interesting work
    (Probably) work for greater good (reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity)
    Great benefits IF you can get the right contract type.
    Good job mobility.
    Quite family friendly, but some positions require a lot of travel.

    Cons

    Sometimes really slow and bad systems
    Incredible inequality between staff and consultants (people doing the same job but with different contract types can vary by more than 100%)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reduce salary and inequality differences
    Keep staff more accountable, especially on response time.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    What it's like to be a short-term consultant (STC)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC
    Current Contractor - Short-term Consultant (STC) in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    One of the only ways for young (under 40) people to get into the World Bank. There is no guarantee however that this will translate into more formal, permanent employment.

    If you look at other development NGOs, it generally pays better (but see my caveat below about maximum days you can work).

    Colleagues are generally very smart and worldly. This does not mean, however, that they are competent or caring.

    Interesting and important issues. It's a big institution so there is always something new to learn and there are lots of free talks, conferences, etc to attend.

    Cons

    The World Bank enjoys immunity from domestic judicial processes so this means that the terms of your employment is not, in any way, protected by US labor law.

    You are cheap, fungible and therefore disposable labor. You receive no benefits (no paid sick, vacation or holidays, no health insurance, no transportation, no pension, and as US citizens you pay your full tax burden as self-employed).

    You are paid on a time vs. deliverable basis (days) which means TORs are written very generally and even if they are not, you can be expected to do work that is not in your contract.

    While you can contractually only work 150 days per fiscal year, there is often an expectation that you work more-- for free. (i.e. a manager will ask that you work throughout the year but only with pay for about 1/2 of that time).

    Because historically STCs were the way to enter the Bank and get more permanent positions, you will feel pressured to take the abuse and exploitation with the elusive and non-monetized value of promise.

    Individuals are generally not bad but they are the product of the institution's system of incentives: your managers may understand it to be "unfair" but they have to operate within the system.

    But then there are those who really are bad and will use the systemic problems to screw you over (ie. give you a contract but randomly cancel it or change the TOR because again, you have no legal recourse and are replaceable.)

    If, after this, you are still interested in becoming an STC, you can safely know that there is zero transparency about the process and is highly founded on nepotism. Positions are probably 99% word of mouth and not posted publicly and even internally, most of them are not announced.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Human capital is your greatest asset and yet it's the most underutilized. People are leaving in droves. You are losing your best talent and when you look demographically, the Bank is aging, and you won't have people you need in the future.

    Hire more ETCs and less STCs. Let the ETCs follow a clear predictable track to employment with a clear career manager and mentor. In other words, invest in people.

    Negative Outlook
  9.  

    Depends on the unit and a manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The World Bank

    Pros

    Exposure to learning and opportunity to do innovative work

    Cons

    Little room for advancing and getting a permanent position

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Amazing on many fronts; but it is a Governmental Institution.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Multi-cultural, inter-disciplinary staff which makes for some of the most engaging working environment. Good exposure to international development in many fields. Great opportunity to travel to developing countries in engaging ways. Many opportunities for career advancement only with the right (past or continuing) education - experience alone is not as valued. Great pay and benefits (even though they have decreased since the late 1990's)

    Cons

    If you are dedicated and hard working, the organization will quickly hone in on you and unload all the work not done by the less productive staff - then work-life balance is close to non-existent. The work can also be overwhelmingly about pushing papers (red tape).
    It is a huge bureaucracy run by bureaucrats and politicians; so despite good intentions from operational staff, the work is often slow, inefficient, and frustrating - some might argue incompetent.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    Beauracratic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The World Bank

    Pros

    Diverse workforce, international representation, good group

    Cons

    Limited mobility, highly political, limited promotions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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