“I’m somebody who needs to make a contribution to a meaningful purpose.”

Myriam discusses her position as a Program Manager for our Young Professionals and Analyst programs.


Myriam, HR Program Manager

I'm from France.

My scope is global so it’s really for the entire World Bank Group and regions as well. And that includes the World Bank Group YP program, World Bank Group Analyst program, and World Bank Group internship programs as well.

I’m somebody who needs to make a contribution to a meaningful purpose. So I was … I studied political sciences and my main interest was around public goods, global goods. And the World Bank Group is a good place to do that. Plus I was lucky enough to be able to focus on how we develop talent and that has really become my passion and my whole career path at the World Bank Group—throughout my career at the World Bank Group, I should say.

Favorite thing… The people. People are my favorite things at the Bank. I think that they are—we are all coming from different places. Most of us are really ex-patriots and that means that our families really are the people we are working with. Sometimes people find this a bit overrated but I find there is a quality of relationship, a quality of profile of people I am working with that you cannot find anywhere else. And I really think that overall that’s what keeps me coming to work—it’s meeting these people, working with them, finding solutions together, and so on—they are the people.

I think we want to have people who are, obviously, very smart because we have very complex issues that we need to address. We want to have people who are self-starters; people who have the learning agility that will help them to not come with all the learning of the world that they have, that they need to have from the get-to. But people who will be able to adapt—adapt to different social environments in which there will be people who can address both the farmer as well as the prime minister or the minister. I think it’s these kinds of abilities of handling different types of social environments in an easy way as well as people who can also cope with jetlag, time difference, who can … with tiring travels or …

You know, I think these are pretty demanding jobs that we are asking people to do, but some people need to have that learning agility. And then we want to have people who are really looking for solutions—people who want to be on a beautiful future for everyone. And people who look in a more collective way. So I think the World Bank Group is not the place where people just work on their own. Sometimes people say that’s too much, but I think that the work that we do is so complex and it requires really to leverage the expertise of many different people so collaboration skills are essential. Absolutely essential. You cannot survive without collaboration skills.

We are working on the recruitment of the World Bank Group Analysts. And this is our first program so we’re developing a very exciting development curriculum that will be offered to these people as well as to the new World Band Group YPs. And we are trying to build the kind of learning foundation anybody should have as a World Bank Group citizen, on the business, on soft skills, on a range of issues. I think that we will have something that is very hands-on, very on-the-job, and we’re trying to find the right balance between what is classroom training, what is on-the-job learning, what is at your own pace, and so on. It should be really quite exciting for people who will be coming in!

The World Bank Group is really a place for people who want to have a meaningful purpose. I’m seeing that over and over, and I think that people … In my previous job in leadership development, when we had these programs for high potential staff members, and people would find their strength again, find the energy again, when they were able to tap into that purpose again, when they were able to see the impact that the World Bank Group has on the ground and so I think that purpose is really, really important.

It’s a great place to work. I think there are many opportunities now. And I think that things are changing; things are changing, things are a little bit different; and we need these […] from the newer generation. They have a different way of looking at it, they don’t necessarily so as doing forever: their life at the World Bank Group. That’s perfectly fine. We are just looking for people who …. A great contribution to us for a period of time and maybe come back later and have a better sense of that. But it’s a good place to be now.

To be honest, I think it’s a challenging place because you have to really be quite available. And when you have to talk to your colleagues in Asia usually you are talking at 10pm your time or 11pm your time so you have to make the time for that. But I also feel that this is a place where you can also, you know, you can leave early. I leave personally at 5pm, go and take care of my kids, and then I’m logging in again, doing my work again afterward, but I have that flexibility. I know that I have my sacred time with my young daughter and my young son—and then I can go back. So I know that I have that flexibility. And I think that people are quite considerate when you are talking about the family events that might be happening, because when your parents are sick, and you need to fly home, and people understand that. And you might need to work from home. I think there are quite a few things that are available and I think that it’s also for ourselves to pace ourselves.

I think that many of us tend to be too driven and a bit too maybe workaholic in some ways. But I do think there are quite a lot of tools that are available that no other organization offers.