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World Bank Internship - Statement Of Interest

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World Bank Internship - Statement Of Interest

September 21, 2021

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

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As you know, submitting a Statement of Interest (SI) is a World Bank Group (WBG) Internship Program requirement. With that in mind, it is fundamental that you take time to prepare a truly effective statement of interest, especially since this is the main document when applying for the World Bank Internship Program. It should complement the information presented in your CV and you must make sure there are no discrepancies between these two documents.

Nevertheless, there is nothing to be ashamed of if you do not know exactly what this document is. In fact, it is a fairly common doubt! If this is your case, you have possibly turned to Google and typed: What is a statement of interest? What is the difference between a statement of interest, a cover letter and a statement of purpose? However, it is possible that your doubts only increased after this search. That is completely understandable.

That is why we have prepared an entire chapter in the World Bank Internships eBook dedicated to explain, in detail, what the World Bank expects from this document. With the information presented in this chapter, we expect to help candidates to write an effective statement of interest so as to make their candidature stand out in the World Bank Group Internship Program selection process. This article is only a brief sample of what can be found in our eBook.

Statement of interest: the search for a definition

A World Bank Group Internship Program candidate may ask: What are the differences between a statement of interest, a cover letter and a statement of purpose? At first glance, they may seem like different names for the same document. In other words, it may seem that writing a statement of interest is not very different from preparing a cover letter. However, these documents have differences besides their names.

Knowing exactly what the World Bank Internship Program expects from its applicants’  statement of interest is a very important step when applying for its selection process. Because of that, this document is thoroughly explained in our eBook, which also provides you with two samples of strong statements of interest.

We will start this article by giving a short presentation on the most widespread understanding about each of these documents (statement of interest, cover letter and statement of purpose) to then explain the World Bank Group’s understanding of a statement of interest.

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Cover Letter X Statement of Purpose X Statement of Interest

A cover letter is a one-page document submitted together with a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume and the other documents required for a posted job opening. As its name suggests, this document serves as a “cover” for all of these documents. This document should be submitted for any job selection, unless the organization explicitly states it is not required. In the case of the World Bank Internship Program, this document is superfluous.

The statement of purpose (also called a letter of intent or research statement) is a document that university selection committees frequently request, especially for graduate programs. In this document, candidates should present their skills, academic interests and experience that justifies their application and makes them a promising student or researcher.

A statement of interest (also called a letter of inquiry or prospecting letter) is a document job seekers send to organizations that do not have open selection processes at that time. The aim of this document is to indicate the applicant’s interest in a certain organization when a job vacancy opens with their profile. In other words, what a candidate is seeking with this document is to introduce themselves to an organization and inquire about a potential job vacancy.

This type of document can be used in varying situations. For example, imagine you have moved to a new city and would like to inquire about possible jobs with your professional profile but there are no vacancies at that time. In this case, you could leave a statement of interest at the companies you are interested in, introducing yourself and making yourself available for any future opportunities. A statement of interest is an excellent way of showing your proactivity and assertiveness.

Unlike a cover letter, this document seeks to present the candidate’s fit with an organization or department and not with a specific vacancy. It is usually accompanied by a CV, but not necessarily.

The following table presents a summary and comparison of the objectives of these three documents.

  Statement of Interest Cover Letter Statement of Purpose
Objectives Inquires about opportunities at organizations that do not have open selection processes. Presents the candidate (their professional experience and skills) as the right choice for a specific job vacancy. Presents the candidate, (their academic experience, personal profile and motivation) in order to enter an academic program (usually a graduate program)

Despite the differences presented in these three documents, the fact is many human resources departments and selection committees use these names interchangeably. For example, you may find graduate programs requesting a “statement of interest” instead of a “statement of purpose”. This confusion leaves candidates not knowing exactly what to send when one is requested. It seems to us that this is the case of the World Bank Group internships, since it is clear that the statement of interest the Bank requests has another objective than the one presented here. Afterall, what is a statement of interest for the World Bank Internship Program? Find the detailed answer to this question in our eBook! There you will also find tips on how to structure your own statement of interest and what to include in it.

A World Bank Internship Program Statement of Interest

Certainly, the World Bank Internship Program, requesting a statement of interest, is not referring to a letter of inquiry, as seen here. Therefore, it could be said that what the Bank expects is a hybrid of the three types of documents presented in this article. This means that the statement of interest the World Bank Internship Program requests is a document in which the candidates must:

  1. Present their skills, professional experience and academic profile;
  2. Highlight their fit with international development, the World Bank and the unit selected for the internship;
  3. Present the contributions they intend to make to the Bank when working as their intern;
  4. Inform the positive impact the Bank internship will have on their professional career and academic research.

In the statement of interest, the candidate should show their enthusiasm for taking a World Bank Group internship and present the credentials that qualify them as the best choice the recruiter could make.

The World Bank Internship Program team seeks to evaluate the following aspects of the candidate from their statement of interest: technical knowledge, skills, knowledge about the organization, cultural fit and communicative capacity.

To help you prepare this important document, a suggestion for its structure and content is presented in the World Bank Internships eBook.

Tips for writing an effective statement of interest:

Writing a statement of interest for the World Bank Internship Program is no easy task. most candidates tend to submit very similar documents, with no originality. It is important to adopt a series of strategies so as to produce a truly effective and original document. If you want to know how to do that, we highly advise you to purchase our eBook! Two samples of statements of interest are also provided to serve as inspiration for yours. 

Some of the strategies we teach you in detail are the following:

Brainstorm and define a theme for your statement: Start to prepare your statement of interest by brainstorming, which could be done by answering all the questions listed in our ebook. Based on these answers, think of a “theme” to guide writing this document. This theme refers to the way you wish to project yourself to the WBG. Certainly, your statement of interest will not be able to fully present you but it is important it portrays you in a way that is compatible with the World Bank Internship Program’s interests.

Tell a story: With the “theme” defined, write your statement of interest so that it tells a story, or rather your story. People tend to appreciate reading this more and have a greater connection to the text when they are involved in a story. This is no different with the recruiter in a job selection process. By telling your story in your statement of interest, the recruiter will certainly be involved more easily in your document.

Be yourself: just because you are telling a story, you should not invent facts about yourself. Never lie. Remember that facts presented in a document can be checked during the selection process and the recruiters also have extensive experience and are able to easily recognize facts that are not true. Therefore, if you are not honest, as well as not being selected, your reputation will be tarnished.

Show you have the right organizational fit: When you are writing your statement of interest, customize it for the World Bank Group. Organizations, even those that work with international development, differ from each other, with varying cultures, structures and approaches to development and vocabularies, etc. Therefore, it is important to demonstrate you know the organization well and your profile is the right fit for it. In order to fully explain your fit with the organization, you must study it and investigate its projects and publications. We recommend you read chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the World Bank Internship eBook to help you with this task.

Quantify your story: If possible, present numbers in your statement of interest to make your story more concrete. There is nothing better than numbers to install confidence in the information you present. Quantify the results achieved from your actions in order to help the recruiter gain a better idea of the scale of your impact.

Review your statement of interest: It is fundamental you have an organized text without any grammatical and spelling mistakes that correctly uses words and technical jargon.

Following the tips and suggestions given in the World Bank Internship eBook, a candidate will be able to prepare an effective statement of interest, increasing their chances of entering the World Bank Internship Program. In this eBook, you will also find two samples of statement of interest!

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