“The World Bank is a fantastic place if you have a global mindset and if you care about the planet.”

An investment officer at the IFC, Carla is involved in solar power development and clean tech. She was hired by our Global Transaction Team program and worked out of our Hong Kong office for four years.

Carla, Investment Officer

I'm Brazilian, I'm from Brazil. 

I work for manufacturing and agricultural service, global, in Washington, DC.

I think the World Bank is a fantastic place if you have a global mindset and if you care about the planet you live in. You have, number one, a very interesting community here. You have over—you have people from over 100 different countries working together toward solutions for development. You have a staggering amount of knowledge. You have the possibility to work on innovative projects that are at the forefront in the markets where we operate and last, but not least, we have an incredible mission toward poverty reduction. And I feel very proud to be part of this family with this sort of mission. 

I'm working a lot on the solar sector. I think the solar sector is growing 20% a year. I think the market is ready to boom now. We are trying to work on transactions that are very innovative and bring innovative financial solutions for emerging markets to adopt solar, especially for commercial and industrial rooftops. 

I joined in Washington, DC, but I moved to Hong Kong where I covered Asia, especially China, during almost four years as a development assignment as part of GTT program

I think, number one, people apply for this job you need to have a global mindset. It has to be people interested in the planet, in things that are happening in the world today. I think that this is very important. 

I think that, number two, obviously you need to have ability to work with development and also with finance, you know, capacity to analyze sectors, industries, and ability to deal with people. Because, as I mentioned before we are over like 100 people with different nationalities so it’s very important to work as a team.

I'm an investment officer so I work with investments and transactions, specifically related to climate, renewable energy, solar, and wind, climate, energy resources, and anything with energy efficiency or clean tech.

I think we are in a very good position to create solutions in the markets [where] we operate. I think if, I think that the demonstration effect that the Bank has is it's very powerful in emerging markets. At least from IFC's perspective, if you influence some specific companies in a sector they can create, really, a ripple effect. And, when you see other industries, they are adopting best-in-class standards for environmental, for corporate governance, specific standards for industries and so on and so forth. So we have this power and we have to know how to use this in the proper manner. 

I think I have two favorite things that, you know, I wake up and I come every day and I think one is the people that I work with. I think it's so rich to learn from all these people, the experience are so diverse, are so wide and so—I think I come to work every day and I learn from these people. 

And the second thing, I think, is the capacity that we have to be working on different things and innovative transactions, I think we have this mandate to work on new things. We have these possibilities, explore this market, create new products, new solutions is something that really excites me and drives me.

You have to articulate well why you care about development, why development is important for you and what’s your view about development. And when I talk about development it can be general or it can be very specific. You can talk about development in education, in climate change, in health, in infrastructure. I think it's important that you have a view of how you can contribute or how development is possible and how banks and all the stakeholders can help in different ways. 

A very good thing about the IFC and the World Bank is the possibility that you have to change regions, change sectors, and gather experience with different people that are in different departments in sectors so there’s cross knowledge. I think this is something very powerful over all in organizations, in banks, and in the private sector—you are asked to focus on specific regions, countries, or sectors. And here, yes, you have to do that, but you also have the possibility to move. And I think this is very powerful in your career if you look at it long term. 

I'm a lawyer by training, and I worked several years also in the investment banking from the financial side so when I graduated from my Master's I thought I really want to focus on emerging markets. And I thought the World Bank with its development mandate in emerging markets is the best place that I can use my legal experience and also the financial experience. And so combined it really leverages my capacity to help project in this market.