Once selected, the young professional is offered a five-year renewable contract, in which the first twenty-four months are part of the World Bank YPP curriculum development program. This program is structured according to four key areas: I) professional experience; II) field trips; III) training and IV) coaching and mentoring. The program’s aim is to promote the young professionals’ career development (both technically and competences), facilitate their integration into the World Bank’s work and culture and establish networks. Each of the program’s key areas are explained below:
Each young professional is assigned to a World Bank unit and s/he is expected to make significant contributions to the organization while settling in and developing a better understanding of its work and policies. At the end of the first year, the young professional will undertake a “stretch/exposure assignment”, which is a task or project beyond their current level of knowledge and skills, challenging and removing them from their comfort zone, in order to deliver learning and develop skills. The stretch assignment could be cross-support for another unit, global practice or a complete rotation between units. In other words, the WB YPP seeks to offer the young professionals the opportunity to gain a more holistic vision of the Bank.
Given the World Bank’s geographical scope of activity and the nature of its work, it is expected that the young professional will make frequent field trips (also known as missions) to developing countries. These missions present invaluable opportunities for the young professionals to gain in loco knowledge of the challenges of global development, understand fundamental aspects of the World Bank’s work and deal directly with its clients.
The number of trips to be made by the young professional will vary according to the assignment which was designated and the unit to which s/he is attached. In addition, young professionals who work in managerial areas usually travel less than those who work in operations areas. The trips may take between 20% and 50% of a young professional’s working hours or between 80 and 110 days abroad.
The first two years of the World Bank YPP comprise curriculum development, which was structured to ensure that the new young professionals develop the organization’s mentality, quickly acquire the knowledge required to understand and contribute to the WBG and strengthen the competences required for the position (collaboration, leadership, integrated thinking and innovation skills).
Curriculum development covers various learning activities, such as on-board training, e-learning, discussions with WBG leaders, leadership training, career development talks and networking opportunities.
When they start working at the WBG, the young professionals receive their first two-week training course, which seeks to get them acquainted with the new organization and provides an overview of its operations.
Coaching and Mentoring
The World Bank YPP also offers coaching and mentoring programs to the young professionals, such as:
YP Buddy: A YP Buddy is allocated to each young professional before entering the program; this is a young professional from the previous year, with similar professional interests and cultural profile. The YP Buddies assist the new recruits to become established in their position and the organization and also to understand the expectations and challenges of the program. In addition, links are created between the cohorts of young professionals.
Technical Buddy: When starting on the World Bank YPP, a Technical Buddy will be designated to the young professional; this is an experienced colleague from their area of expertise, who will serve as a reference point for answering technical questions from their field.
WBG Mentor: In the second year of the program, a WBG mentor will be designated to each young professional; this is a senior technical colleague with whom s/he can discuss career options, stretch/exposure assignment opportunities and obtain a greater understanding of the organizational culture.
Peer-Coaching Groups: At various times throughout the year, the young professionals meet in small groups to share (in a safe, friendly and virtual format) some of the challenges they are tackling and receive peer-coaching, sometimes followed-up by an executive coach or HR professional.
Youth Mentorship Program: The Youth Program Team is dedicated to guiding, assisting and integrating the young people who work for the World Bank Group (not the young professionals exclusively). A range of activities are carried out, which seek to support the young professionals and help them to formulate career strategies.
See also our material on the World Bank Paid Internship 2018/2019.