The World Bank

  www.worldbank.org
  www.worldbank.org

The World Bank Reviews

Updated 11 October 2014
Updated 11 October 2014
302 Reviews
3.5
302 Reviews
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The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim
102 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Opportunity to work in an international environment, good work life balance (in 22 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 14 reviews)

  • Job very specialized that doesnt allow you to move to the private sector (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    I am satisfied with my job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Sydney
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Sydney

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

    Pros

    The World Bank is a good employer

    Cons

    I do not have any opinion

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I do not have any advice

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    You have to pay for work travel costs yourself and get reimbursed which can be over $10,000

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Etc
    Current Employee - Etc

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

    Pros

    Pay is good due to tax benefits. Opportunities to travel for work.

    Cons

    Little support or job security. Mostly 12 month contracts that are not renewable past 2 years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decentralize.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    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 (US)
    Current Employee - Etc in Washington, DC (US)

    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
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  5.  

    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 (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC (US)

    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
  6.  

    A great place to work.

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

    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
  7.  

    Love my time there...

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

    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
  8.  

    Beutocratic and slow, but doing great projects

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The World Bank

    Pros

    Great internarional work environment and opportunities to travel

    Cons

    Beuracracy beyond normal, hard to get a staff position

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more like private sector

    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Exposure to high-level work but poor conditions for consultants

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

    I worked at The World Bank as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    High-skilled colleagues, exposure to important issues and policymakers, perceived prestige

    Cons

    The culture does not favor the growth of junior staff, especially short-term consultants. The upper management always seems to be expecting them to "pay their dues," and there is a lot of uncertainty regarding length of contracts.

    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    STC

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

    I worked at The World Bank

    Pros

    great platform, high stake projects

    Cons

    slow turnover, massive bureaucracy, management

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    A dysfunctional organization with a high self-rewarding goal and mission

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Extended Term Consultant in Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Extended Term Consultant in Washington, DC (US)

    I worked at The World Bank as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I tend to believe that the people who work here do so for the motivation of making this a better world, whether it's poverty or environmentally related and that is something very rewarding to have as a job. Whether we actually contribute effectively to that or not, is another question.

    On the less philosophical side, the work-balance is very good, the working environment is relaxed and easy-going (might depend on the region where you work), and depending on how your manager is or Lead Specialist things can get interesting in terms of the cutting-edge projects you can work on the side (though this can be a rarity).

    Cons

    I often like to refer to the World Bank, as the slightly better version of any public government agency found in the developing world, with the difference that they are run by people with masters' and phd's where incentives have made them somewhat slack.

    All this reform (right now there is one happening internally, with re-organizations of our practices and measures for budget cuts and so on) is aimed at trying to make things run better and to deliver our work more efficiently, which is something I deeply applaud, and more so as a young person who has not worked here long enough to get swallowed by some of the dysfunctional incentives you are exposed to as staff. But this reform is doing a comprehensive cleansing of the house without distinction of many of the good elements the Bank has (STC, STT, ETT or ETC), mostly because all of them are not regarded as part of the organization from HR, but a mere temporary work-force that can be dropped at any time. Having been an ETC and STC multiple times I have seen this very closely.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to look more carefully into the premise where they believe that they have the in-house expertise to deliver the program and services to clients. With the humongous bureaucracy and the distorted incentives, many of the staff have lost some of the skills they used to have when they initially arrived, and they usually rely on STC for some of this work. Now that STCs are being cutoff with the budget constraints, the question to be asked is: What will happen with the pyramid for sustaining the real work, and whether our projects will suffer 4-5 years from now with this lack of technical expertise?
    Even if they rely on in-house staff for doing the technical work, do they have the resources they need for doing so? Just look at how difficult is to setup any new software at the Bank. Stata an already outdated software is the only statistical package we have access to (if the unit pays for it). All the innovations in software out there like R, Python libraries, QGIS or GRASS, hydrology modeling software, databases like Postgres, and so on, are out of reach with the Bank's current IT policies and systems.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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