Working at the World Bank through the eyes of Senior HR Specialist Mary Amanda Reinauer

Working with a multilateral development bank, such as the World Bank (WB), can be highly attractive. But only some are meant for such a career. What about you? Are you cut out for the World Bank? Let our interview with Mary Amanda Reinauer inspire you.

End poverty
Chloé Favre


Stagista accademica (2022)

At a glance

Mary Amanda Reinauer is no newcomer to the World Bank; she has been working there for over 22 years. When asked what she values most about working at the WB, she acknowledges the powerful and vital purpose that drives the institution, its dedicated and hard-working employees and, above all, their diversity. Indeed, over 170 countries are represented on the World Bank's staff, making it one of the most diverse institutions worldwide in terms of nationality.

In this interview, you will learn more about the WB, the profiles sought and current opportunities. Mary Amanda also reveals what working in the institution is like from her own perspective.

Mary Amanda, people with a vague idea of the World Bank usually associate it with a private banking institution. How does the WB differ from a private sector company?

Mary Amanda Reinauer: While the World Bank is technically a bank in the sense that we loan money, we also are a knowledge organisation with deep expertise in all technical areas of international development. The mission of the WB is to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. We are actively working to reduce the share of the global population in extreme poverty and increase the incomes of the poorest people in every country.

We are a knowledge organisation with deep expertise in all technical areas of international development.

A large institution like yours is certainly looking for a wide variety of candidate profiles. What work areas do you focus on?

On the one hand, we are looking for technical specialists in all areas of international development. Examples include health, education, transport, energy, governance, climate, digital, etc.

On the other hand, we have many 'back office' functions that help run a global organisation that employs over 170 nationalities in more than 130 country offices. This ranges from accounting to IT, human resources, legal, security, etc.

We are looking for both technical specialists and support functions.

End poverty

As the World Bank recruits globally, applicants must expect competition. A somewhat provocative question: what are the odds of getting a job? Isn't it like winning the lottery?

Winning the lottery is a matter of chance; getting a job at the World Bank is not. Although recruitment is competitive, we are always looking for qualified and diverse candidates with the required skills and motivation to live and work in the places where we operate. In other words: interested candidates with a relevant profile are strongly encouraged to apply!

Interested candidates with a relevant profile are strongly encouraged to apply.

Working with the World Bank can be very rewarding. Compared to smaller institutions, is it possible to see the impact of your own work at the WB? Many professionals value seeing "the fruits of their own labour"...

The World Bank is involved in all aspects of international development, including working with partners, donors and recipients of WB loans, grants and technical expertise. Anyone in the field, whether stationed there or visiting on a mission, can see the impact of WB projects daily.

© Allison Kwesell / World Bank (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

What are the opportunities for further development within the World Bank?

The World Bank supports career development and mobility within the institution. WB Operations staff are expected to remain global experts in their field and to rotate every four years. In addition, the WB is increasing its footprint in our field offices, and we prefer staff to have at least one assignment in the field, especially in a fragile state.

The WB is increasing its footprint in our field offices.

Anything else you would like to mention, especially about employee support?

Regarding employee support, the World Bank fully supports work-life balance and offers flexible working arrangements for both short- and long-term accommodation. Providing support to families moving to a new duty station is crucial to the WB. In addition to the Global Mobility Team specialising in relocation assistance, various programmes are explicitly designed to help staff and their spouses transition to a new duty station.