The World Bank

  www.worldbank.org
  www.worldbank.org

The World Bank Reviews

Updated December 15, 2014
Updated December 15, 2014
321 Reviews
3.5
321 Reviews
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The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim
109 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

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    good experience.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at The World Bank

    Pros

    great exposure to world bank work at local offices.

    Cons

    they do not provide any training

  2.  

    Excellent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Analyst in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Associate Analyst in Washington, DC

    I worked at The World Bank full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Collegial environment, great people, great benefits. I really enjoyed my time here and found the networking prospects to be excellent. This was a wonderful first job with lenient hours and great colleagues. People here really care about helping others and the network after completion of the program is top notch and opens up many doors

    Cons

    The work can get tedious at times but this is true with any first job. The system can be very bureaucratic and many people within the organization are only given very short term contracts now so job security is an issue.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    give longer contracts, more job security

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Exciting operational work, but tainted by a large beauracracy, nepotism, and a laissez-faire attitude to young people.

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

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent renumeration packages for staff & ETC/ETTs. Working with country clients is challenging and exciting. Colleagues are intelligent and every day is a great learning experience. The work itself can be extremely engaging and challenging. Work life balance can be good if the travel schedule isn't too onerous.

    Cons

    1. Unbearable organizational hypocrisy and highly unequal work place, while touting shared prosperity. STCs have been sidelined in the reform process, although its a major HR problem. STCs, particularly those with G4 visas can only work for the Bank if based in the US, but are excluded from mailing lists, have no benefits, sometimes have problems getting decent rates approved, and often end up working for free given the 150 day limit per FY. Management seems unconcerned about addressing this or even integrating those STCs who spend their full time supporting the goals of the Bank and its clients to the process. Young people have a hard time breaking in. The young professional program is seen as the only way in, but excludes young people who have passed the age limit for entry. Furthermore, the Bank is very top heavy and this hasn't seemed to change with the reform process.

    2. The Bank seems to be becoming more centralized, with decision making being centralized with Global Practice Directors (some of whom are really out of touch with regional nuances and have limited understanding of client engagement) and senior management. This is highly inefficient.

    3. Too inward focused: Many staff believe the Bank is the end-all and be-all of existence. This is particularly true of senior staff who have worked at the Bank for most of their lives. There is little engagement with other agencies on the ground on some projects. Some senior management staff are really out of touch with country contexts, but are responsible for determining work programs and budget allocation. Much could be learnt from what other development partners are doing, and while there has been some improvement recently, more could be done beyond a brown bag lunch here and there.

    4. Working on internal bureaucratic procedures can be time and energy consuming. Persons working on projects end up spending most of their time on Bank processes. It gets quite boring and frustrating when the bulk of your work involves Bank bureaucracy.

    5. Some of the people I work with at the Bank are the brightest and best in their respective fields. However, having worked at several organizations, I can safely say that the level of gossip and trash talking other colleagues I've experienced here surpasses anywhere else I have worked. You really need to be careful with what you say to colleagues.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Address the STC problem immediately. There are 2 types of STCs, (i) genuine consultants in the field and (ii) HQ and CO based STCs (many with G4 visas) that show up to work daily, despite the 150 day limit; have strong client relations; are mostly young people; are committed to the Bank's goals - yet are treated like untouchables in a caste system. The Bank can't be talking about shared prosperity to clients, while ignoring such an exploitative environment.

    Promote more opportunities for young people - and not just through one hiring option that's limited to young people within a specific age range.

    Hire more diversified staff - in terms of educational background; nationalities (some are over-represented, others not); etc.

    Get senior management (esp at the GP level) out to countries more and engaging a bit more with clients.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Consultant

    • 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 as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    The amount of talented and multicultural staff is endless
    Interesting talks and discussions every day

    Cons

    Being a consultant comes with no benefits and a limitation of only being able to work 150 days a year
    It is vital to know who you will be working with and in what area as the re-shuffling has brought much change

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Revise consultant terms and conditions

    Negative Outlook
  6.  

    Research role, support project teams

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

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Multicultural and international environment that offers meaningful work and lots of professional development/growth

    Cons

    Progression is stunted with clear ceilings and dead-ends for people without advanced qualifications.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stronger transparent leadership needed to clear toxic atmosphere of belt tightening exercise

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    "Being a contractor at the World Bank"

    Former Employee - PC Technician/Imaging
    Former Employee - PC Technician/Imaging

    I worked at The World Bank full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Meeting new people from around the world and assisting clients with technical issues.

    Cons

    No benefits. Management requested that you be 30 minutes before your assignment for this assignment,

  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Love my time there...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Infrastructure Specialist in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Infrastructure Specialist in Washington, DC

    I worked at The World Bank full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Loved the place. Awesome colleagues, varied areas of work to keep you interested. Very intellectually challenging and will keep you on your toes.
    They really take care of their staff. When I decided to quit - Massive questions - What can we do to make your life better? Why quit? don't quit. Take leave of absence, upto 2 years, and we will hold your position!

    Cons

    The usual problems of a large bureaucracy. Weird fund management. It is easier to expense a $5,000 trip to my budget than to get reimbursed for $80 book.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop excessive use of short term consultants. Adopt employment policies of UNDP. A series of term positions, but at least give them benefits.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    My first job after school, a great experience.

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

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The main pro of working at the WB: people do care about having an impact and making the world a better place.

    Cons

    The main con? Dealing with government in such a large organization can be frustrating. The WB needs some red tape but things move slower than in the private sector (although you can be pretty busy as well).

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Interesting work, if you can deal with the bureaucracy

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

    I worked at The World Bank full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Job content and mission are great, as are colleagues. Lots of bright, hard-working people from around the world. Great opportunity to travel and influence policy at the highest level. Good job benefits

    Cons

    A slow-moving bureaucracy. Very political and not very meritocratic. Hard to advance other than through office politics. Undergoing a painful and pointless reorganization.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    A great place to work.

    • 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 10 years)

    Pros

    A great opportunity to work in a global environment and doing good.

    Cons

    It is a very competitive place with many highly educated staff. It can be difficult to advance your career.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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