The World Bank Reviews

Updated 23 August 2014
Updated 23 August 2014
290 Reviews

3.5
290 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim
95 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance is great, together with the benefits and people (in 19 reviews)

  • The work environment differs greatly within the Bank (in 16 reviews)


Cons
  • Consultants comprise over 60% of the workforce at WBG headquarters, with no benefits or job security (in 13 reviews)

  • No benefits and little job security (in 10 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 for 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 for more than a 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.  

    Operations Officer

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

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

    Pros

    Great place to learn, develop solutions and make a difference.
    No tolerance for mediocre performance
    A large number of subject matter experts are available to call on. World Bank invests heavily in training and gives opportunities to rotate between different departments. HR will work actively with you to address career as well as personal issues.

    Cons

    Unbelievable high amount of travel. If you are in a different time zone, it does not matter to HQ. 16 hours during travel is routine. Most trips are three weeks long, covering 3-4 countries, making it exhausting.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have rolling deadlines. Too much bunching of projects at end of each quarter.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Good place for PhD students to get hands on experience.

    Former Employee - Short-term Consultant (STC)
    Former Employee - Short-term Consultant (STC)

    I worked at The World Bank as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Quite flexible schedule. It's a good start place for fresh graduates.

    Cons

    I don't have any complaints so far about the jobs that I've done with the Bank.

  6.  

    Overall a stimulating and rewarding place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Much of the job satisfaction derives from the fact that it's a mission-driven organization whose goal is to reduce poverty and raise the standard and quality of living in the poorest countries of the world. And, it is a stimulating intellectual environment - the multitude of issues that the institution works with alone makes it an interesting place to be. It's full of very smart people, very well educated, most of whom are genuinely engaged and care very much about fulfilling the organization's mission. Many, many opportunities to learn, super interesting colleagues, travel, a truly global environment, excellent benefits - maybe not as good as in the past but still in the top tier, including leave policies that model the Europeans more than the Americans.

    Cons

    One's experience here can vary considerably depending on who you're working with. I had almost without exception excellent managers who genuinely, actively supported my professional development. But I have colleagues and friends who didn't have such good fortune. Additionally, it relies excessively on short-term contractors and consultants, it is very difficult (or at least it was, at the time I left) to get a permanent, full-time position. There's also no getting around the fact that it's a bureaucracy, which all large organizations inevitably are, but this one perhaps more so than some corporations because it's literally political: the board of Executive Directors consists of representatives of the member countries, who meet not just once a quarter like many if not most corporate Boards, but rather twice a week in full committee. Geopolitics inevitably drives a fair amount of what happens here, but that's also partly why it's such an interesting and stimulating place to work.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    It is a very diverse work environment that is open to growth and learning.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Support Staff Level II  in  Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - IT Support Staff Level II in Washington, DC (US)

    I have been working at The World Bank full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The Bank gives you opportunity to expand you knowledge in IT with training courses and forums.

    Cons

    There are times where there is nothing to do.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    Top notch professionals, fulfilling work

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

    I have been working at The World Bank as a contractor for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The creme of the crop in terms of intellectuals. Great exposure to international affairs. Love the lectures, panels and love of learning at the Institution.

    Cons

    Internal politics, hierarchy and bureaucracy rule. Staff and consultants don't have equal benefits, treatment and opportunity which creates a rift and tension.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be transparent, get rid of managers with no people skills, communicate better with employees. Have fair hiring practices.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    JPA

    • 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 full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    This is a great place to begin your international career. My manager gave me a lot of opportunities for international work and I ran with them. Traveling to the client countries and engaging client governments made the work more meaningful.

    Cons

    Uncertainty of what to do after the experience. The JPA was a non renewable contract. It is a shame that one has to leave the bank after learning about the organization. Some of the work is not transferable outside. There was some favoritism /bias towards people whose countries had trust funds. They tended to get nicer projects and more high profile opportunities. There was some work place bullying and there was little intervention from management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Formalize the JPA program. Very talented young people. Try to have a training program like the YP. Hire from a diverse pool and make the hiring process more transparent.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great Mission carried out by talented and dedicated staff

    • 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 for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Diversity and experience like no other. Great purpose and mission, you do feel you are making a difference in the lives of others. Personal growth and compensation is the best I've experienced.

    Cons

    Reorganization is creating uncertainty of personal growth and career advancement. The mission is great and staff are onboard with it however there is a lot of change to contend with all at once.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    International and multi-cultural work environment.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at The World Bank

    Pros

    Opportunity to work in an international environment, good work life balance.

    Cons

    Very Bureaucratic system. Nothing like working in a fast paced environment like in the private sector so prepare your mind to work at a much slower pace.

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