Alexey, Counsel, Energy Policy and Energy Law
I’m from Russia.
I currently work in the ECA region which is Europe and Central Asia. I think this is a unique place which gives you this feeling of belonging, to solving the world’s most important issues—whether it’s fighting with poverty, or gender equality, or lack of infrastructure—you actually see, here, by working at the World Bank, how these issues are inter-related with each other. And you can actually have an impact. And you can actually work on solving these problems.
And I personally work, for example, in the Energy and Extractives Global Practice. And even, you know, building a power plant, you can actually see how these issues are inter-related—climate change, gender equality, lack of infrastructure. And you can actually have a contribution toward solving all these issues, or at least trying to solve them.
I'm in the Energy and Extractives Global Practice. So, I’ve actually started my work at the World Bank as a counsel, as a junior counsel. So, I help teams, different teams in the ECA region, advising them on different issues of energy policy and energy law and also on operations, as well. Because I have an understanding of how the Bank works internally and externally. So, you know, yeah, on different stages of the working cycle, I’m giving them advice, and I’m also helping to structure the projects, implement them, and supervise them as well.
The main advice would be to be persistent. A long time ago when I applied first to the World Bank, I think I was maybe 23 or so. And I failed, obviously. And I think that that time I thought of myself as extremely experienced and a very wise person, but obviously, I think, the Bank didn’t think so. And so for a while I think I was a little bit disappointed and not motivated to reapply. But at the same time, while you are becoming more experienced, while you are becoming more knowledgeable as well. Then you realize probably it's a good time to apply. And just see ... and I did that. And even without having any connection to the Bank. Without knowing anyone, I've actually succeeded—to my surprise, at that time.
Right now I don't think it's a big surprise, you know, to apply and to get admitted without having any connections. But, you know, at that time, it was really surprising to me. Ah, so yeah, just be persistent. Never give up, I think it's universal advice, not only applicable to applications to the World Bank but also it's life advice.
And believe in the purpose of this institution as well. Because, you know, if you are here to earn money—only—probably that's not a good institution for you, not the place for you. If you are here to try to solve the problems, to try to have an impact, and even to try to contribute toward this goal of eliminating poverty, then that's a good place for you.
I worked in the private sector as well. And I think the genius of the World Bank is also that it provides you a very good life/work balance. Although, you know, I would advise our applicants not to rely on this and not to expect that you would be working only from nine to five--because you will probably work extra hours, as well. But at the same—and overall in general, I think this is the best place or probably one of the best places to have a nicely balanced day and a nicely balanced life. So, our lives are not only about work. It's also about our friends. The city—actually Washington is one of the, at least to me, the most convenient, most cozy cities in the world. So it also matters to me.
It is! I mean it is. At least in Washington, DC all the offices of the World Bank are completely accessible, and I don't find any problem with navigating the buildings. And you know, I've also—I've been on a mission, actually Africa, a few year ago. And I found that one of the offices, in Addis, which is the new World Bank's office, is completely accessible as well. And so right now I think the Bank is trying to kind of accommodate all of the regional offices and to bring them to a certain accessibility level. So, yeah, I mean I like this about the Bank, and I like that this issue is also under attention.
Right now, you know, it's probably really hard to say, you know, really hard to see these things. At the same time, for example, I work on this one project called CASA-1000: a big transmission line that goes through four countries in Central Asia and South Asia. Right now it's on preparation stage but at the same time it's, I can see how it impacts the whole region. About how just bringing light to Afghanistan, for example, I am sure it will change their life completely. You know, we call these projects at the Bank "transformation projects" and really it is. It will definitely change the landscape, it will definitely change the lives of these people. My role right now is definitely probably minor at this time, just understanding this, just realizing it, actually makes you feel very comfortable and very ... inspired! By just—toward these projects, by realizing that you can actually—by working on these projects—you can actually contribute to improving lives in the region, and, you know, bringing light. Bringing, you know, with light comes education. You actually feel inspired, and I feel this is what makes this place beautiful and you feel inspired by what you do.