The Young Professionals Program (YPP) is a starting point for an exciting career at the World Bank Group.
It is a unique opportunity for younger talent who have both a passion for international development and the leadership potential to grow in fascinating top technical and managerial roles in the World Bank Group (WBG). The program is designed for highly qualified and motivated individuals skilled in areas relevant to WBG technical/operations such as economics, finance, education, public health, social sciences, engineering, urban planning, agriculture, natural resources and others.
To be competitive for this highly selective program, candidates need to demonstrate a commitment to development, proven academic success, professional achievement, and leadership capability.
We value diversity in our workplace and encourage qualified men and women with diverse professional, academic, and cultural backgrounds to apply. Since its inception, the YP program has hired over 1,700 people who hold or have held positions ranging from entry-level to vice presidents and managing directors. It is a unique opportunity to experience development and gain exposure to the World Bank’s operations and policies.
Every year, around 45 applicants are accepted into the program. Young Professionals are offered a five-year renewable term contract, spend 24 months in a structured development program, and enjoy a variety of benefits and opportunities.
The following are the minimum requirements to be eligible for the Young Professionals Program.
- Citizenship of a member country of the World Bank Group
- Be born on or after October 1, 1986
- A PhD or Master’s degree and relevant work experience
- Fluency in English
- Full proficiency in one or more of the WBG’s working languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish is desired but not required
- Specialization in a field relevant to the WBG Technical/Operations such as economics, finance, education, public health, social sciences, engineering, urban planning, agriculture, natural resources, and others
- At least three years of relevant professional experience related to development or continued academic study at the doctoral level
To be competitive for the limited number of positions, a combination of the following credentials is highly desirable:
- 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
Young Professionals are expected to make significant contributions toward their unit’s work program while they gain a broad overview of the WBG’s policies and work. As part of their two-year program and in line with their units’ business needs and Young Professionals’ interests, they are expected to undertake a business driven “stretch/exposure assignment” where they will gain valuable on-the-job experience.
Young Professionals in the Operations stream are likely to join colleagues on field business trips, also called ‘missions,’ in developing countries. These missions present invaluable opportunities for Young Professionals to experience firsthand the challenges of global development, understand key aspects of our work, and get exposed to WBG’s clients and their problems.
A comprehensive development curriculum has been designed to ensure that YPs develop a WBG mindset, quickly gain the foundational learning needed to understand and contribute to the WBG, and build the competencies required at an officer’s level: collaboration, leadership, integrative thinking, and innovation skills, while strengthening a culture of continuous learning.
The curriculum includes a blend of learning activities in a WBG cohort, small groups or individually, ranging from on-boarding activities, e-learning, cohort discussions with WBG leaders, leadership training, to career development conversations, and networking opportunities.
Coaching and Mentoring
YP Buddy: Before they join, Young Professionals are assigned a YP buddy from the previous year’s group, based on their professional interests and cultural background. YP buddies help new recruits to better settle in the new organization and location, as well as to understand the expectations and challenges of the program.
Technical Buddy: In their hiring units and within the YP’s first week, an experienced colleague is assigned as a “go-to person” to answer technical questions in their fields.
WBG Mentor: In their second year, once they have settled into their jobs, Young Professionals are offered a mentor—a technical senior colleague—with whom they can discuss career options, “stretch/exposure” assignment opportunities, and gain insight into the organizational culture.
Peer-Coaching Groups: At several points during the year, Young Professionals meet in small subsets of their cohort to exchange—in a safe, intimate, and virtual format—some of the challenges they are facing and receive coaching from their peers, sometimes accompanied by an executive coach or an HR professional.
Youth Program Team: The Youth Program Team is dedicated to recruiting and helping integrate Young Professionals into the WBG. It coordinates activities designed to support YPs, including mentoring and guidance, helping formulate career strategies, and others. The Youth Program Team is a one-stop shop for Young Professionals looking for support and guidance.
Compensation and Benefits
Salary: As an entry-level professional in the WBG, Young Professionals are offered an internationally competitive salary, based on their education and professional experience.
Health, Life, Accident, and Other Insurance Programs: Young Professionals and their families (including declared domestic partners) may choose from three comprehensive medical/dental benefit plans. The WBG also provides basic life and accident insurance to all staff at no cost, and staff can elect optional life and accident insurance plans. The WBG provides disability and workers’ compensation coverage to staff at no cost.
Pension Plan: The WBG sponsors a comprehensive pension plan for eligible staff. Upon separation from the WBG, either a lump sum or a pension will become payable to the staff based on eligibility.
Relocation Benefits: These benefits are only applicable to staff who are not residents of the greater Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area at the time of appointment.
Relocation Travel: The World Bank will bear the cost of one-way transportation of staff and immediate dependent family from the staff member’s residence.
Relocation Shipment: You may choose to have the World Bank handle your shipping arrangements or you may elect the Optional Shipment Grant.
Relocation Grant: A one-time grant is included in the first paycheck to cover the cost of relocation.
Mobility Premium: A financial benefit is provided for a fixed period to cover expenses associated with being an expatriate staff member, based on family size and nationality. This benefit is not available for U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents who are based in Washington, DC.
Tax Allowance: U.S. staff receive an additional quarterly payment to cover the federal, state, and local income tax liabilities on their World Bank Group income. Expatriates and U.S. permanent residents do not incur U.S. income tax liability and are thus not eligible for this benefit.
Financial Assistance: The World Bank Group offers several financial assistance programs, including a two-year interest-free settling-in loan to those who relocate upon appointment.
Competition is keen. We receive thousands of applications for a limited number of positions. Most candidates exceed the minimum criteria.
- June–July: Application period
- June–September: Review of applications to ensure that candidates meet the eligibility criteria. Update of status to all candidates (candidates moving to the second round and those who are not moving forward)
- October: Technical review of second round candidates. This review takes a closer look into the application packages and determines those candidates who will be selected for interviews
- mid-November–late December: Status update to candidates (those invited to interviews and those who are not moving forward). Interviews are scheduled at WBG headquarters in Washington, D.C., USA and our office in Paris, France
- December–January: YPP interviews: learn more about the YPP interview process
- February: Decisions and offers are communicated
- September: New YP cohorts start
We assess candidates based on three main competencies:
– Commitment to Clients
– Results Orientation
– Integrity and Ethics
– Technical Expertise (Depth & Breadth)
– Strategic Perspective
– Problem Analysis
– Listening and Communication
Further on, we ensure that candidates have the ability to work in multiple sectors.
Format of the Interview Day
The interview is a full-day event. Those invited to interviews will be asked to come to the WBG from 8 am-5:30 pm.
The interview consists of:
(1) Interview: a 1 hour interview with a panel of three senior technical experts in the field of expertise of the candidate; and
(2) Assessment Center: either a morning or an afternoon 4-hour group assessment center (AC). The group assessment center is done with four other candidates. It consists of a series of individual and group exercises related to an international development case study that is given to the candidates at the start of the AC
– Check this video to learn more about the assessment center from a Young Professional alumn
The application for the 2019 Selection Process for the Young Professionals Program at the World Bank is open from June 14 – July 31, 2018.
Before You Apply, please ensure that:
- You meet the minimum requirements for eligibility for the Young Professionals Program and,
- You have all the information at hand including key dates, an updated Curriculum Vitae (CV), Education Certificates/Transcripts, PhD Dissertation/Master’s Thesis topics (short summary), if applicable, and the Application Essay ready to be uploaded
Application Essay for the 2019 Selection Process
“To meet the goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, the World Bank must work with countries to help them achieve their development priorities. Doing so will take financial resources, certainly. But it also requires data, evidence, and knowledge on how to best use those resources for development gains. It demands a long-term commitment to see those investments through, from conception to completion.
The World Bank brings all of these elements—financing, knowledge, experience, and commitment—to each of its partnerships with countries that aspire to grow their economies and provide greater opportunities for their people. As an institution with 189 member countries, we have an unmatched global reach that gives us the ability to work across countries and continents. We use our convening power to amplify the voices of developing countries by bringing together international, national, and local leaders with stakeholders to share knowledge, leverage relationships, and partner for solutions. We provide a wide array of financial products, technical assistance, and support for countries to apply global knowledge to the challenges they face. By working with countries to implement development projects over the long term, we help to ensure that growth is not only attainable but sustainable as well.
Three priorities guide our work with countries: accelerating sustainable and inclusive economic growth; investing in people to build human capital; and fostering resilience to global shocks and threats. Working across interconnected sectors, with an increasing array of diverse partners, we aim to improve the economic prospects of countries and people around the world.” (Extract from the 2017 World Bank Annual Report)
Given this context, describe in fewer than 1,000 words, how would you contribute to the meet the WBG goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity?
This checklist is meant to facilitate your application experience.
- Use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Internet Explorer 10 or higher as your browser
- You will be asked to register for an account and provide an email address. Ensure it is spelled correctly and will be working for the next year or so, since this will be our main channel of communication with you
- You must complete your application in a single session and will be able to submit it only if you have uploaded all the required documents and answered all the questions (all questions marked with an asterisk—*—are required). Do not use any special characters in the application (e.g accents, cedille etc) as it may prevent your application from moving forward
- Provide the most current contact information, including your complete phone number (country code + city code + number). The information should be valid for one year. If your contact information changes during the selection process, (including personal address), it is your responsibility to email us the updated information
- Please attach the following documents (mandatory):
o Education certificates/transcripts
o PhD dissertation/Master’s thesis topic (short summary), if applicable
o Application essay
Files should not exceed 5 MB each and should be in the following formats: .doc, .docx, or .pdf
Once you submit your application, you will not be able to make any changes/updates.
Upon successful submission of your application, you will receive an email confirmation along with a YPP ID number.
Applicants will be informed of their status as the process moves along.