5 insider tips to land a JPA job at the World Bank


You believe you’ve done your part and got a couple of years of work experience in a developing country, and perhaps even have a Master’s degree- the full trappings of a fledgling professional, ready to save the world and launch a career in international development. Your CV is as polished as your shoes that you’ll wear for that nerve-wracking job interview. But where do you apply? You are over the internship route and want to get a taste of the real deal.

The Junior Professional Associate, more commonly known as “JPA,” is the ideal job for you. JPAs are the youngest lot of World Bank employees. We are a notch higher than the lowly intern, but still far from being the next Zoellick.

But there’s a catch. After the two-year contract, one is not allowed to work for the World Bank Group for the next two years. The first crack at this organization though makes for a good career springboard, and get a first taste of international development work and any of its related fields such as the environment, economics, governance and many others.

If you are young enough to still be eligible (that means no more than 28 years old), read on for some tips on making that initial step

1. Acquire unique skills. You graduated with honors, and speak at least three languages. But so do the other 100 applicants who compete for that one coveted position. What other skills do you think set you apart that is relevant to the job? When I applied for my job, I offered them not only practical know-how of climate change, environment and development issues but also my online media savvy required for the job to moderate an online Community of Practice.

2. Stack up on work experience. Get some real work experience related to the field you are applying for. Teaching English in Vietnam may count as international experience, but is it relevant? You might as well volunteer for a non-profit working on community development, and help them write project proposals.

3. Possess a high English proficiency. You might assume this is an Anglophone world view. However, it might be true for it is the common denominator among your colleagues. It Working with your partners in other organizations. You don’t have to be the next Shakespeare. Just master your subject-verb agreement and exhibit an above-average level of technical English especially in your field of work. Are you at a disadvantage to native English speakers? Not really if you speak another international language that is always an asset in an international organization.

4. Write a dazzling application letter. If you write an ok letter, the selection committee will most probably put it with the heap of letters from ok applicants. Impress them, and it will grant you entry to the gate of the application process: a job interview. Make your letter standout for it will show a first glimpse into your writing ability and thought process. Unfortunately, there is no hard and-fast rule on how to write one. It should, however, contain the skills you have and want to highlight from your background and work experience, and how they would be of value to the position you are applying for and the organization.

5. Tap your inside contacts. One of the first questions people ask me who take interest in the World Bank is if I’ve got contacts ‘inside’. I cannot vouch for this tip but probably it will work. I personally don’t have one. In one happy hour gathering, someone even shook his head in disbelief. Ok, maybe I knew someone, but she occupies the same position as I do, meaning she does not call the shots. It is difficult to establish a trend on the effectiveness of contacts. But for someone who got in without one, I can say meritocracy is still alive.

These tips also apply to any job you are eying. Following them, though, is not in anyway an assurance of employment at the Bank or your target organization. As with most opportunities, many other factors come into play, such as timing, number of applicants, and the vacant position. If you have more questions, just hit the comment section below and I’ll try my best to answer them. Click here to apply as a JPA.



  1. Hi Andrew! Thank you for the post! I’m applying for an internship with the WB and am a bit confused with a statement of interest they require. Is there a big difference between a statement of interest, a personal statement, and a cover letter? I’ve written one but it seems to look more like a personal statement. Could you help me with it by reviewing my letter please? My email – inozim90@gmail.com


  2. Hi I’m currently studying Mcom from Delhi university, I would be grateful if you can guide me in enhancing my chances to work in world bank.
    I can’t decide whether a further master degree is required or a PhD.


  3. Hi Andrew,
    I’ve passed the assessments but may need to wait until Devember for an interview… Wondering are all of the 3rd round candidates will be guaranteed an interview?
    Appreciate if you can answer this question!


    1. Hi Heather,

      Congratulations for passing the assessment!

      Right now the HR has the letters and the diagnostic test as basis for the interviews. I can imagine the HR will have to whittle down the number of interviewees based on the test, maybe through a cut-off or percentage points.

      Can you give more information about the assessment? What types of questions it contained and how long it took?



      1. Hi Andrew,

        Thanks for the information! Yea I’m very willing to share my experience. It contains several parts, one of which is deductive reasoning and the rest are personality/behavioral assessments. Time used to complete the assessments may vary since only deductive reasoning is timed. But I spent about 1h and 20min on them. Hope these are helpful.

    2. Dear Andrew,

      Really a Great article. A must before pitching to a WBG role..Can you send me your email Please..i Will need to have your point of view..Thx


  4. Hey Andrew,

    This question is related to the WBG Analyst program. I was wondering you know of ways to study for the deductive reasoning exam ?



    1. I have no idea about the exam itself, but I’m sure any test review books and guides which contain a portion on deductive reasoning would help!


      1. Hi Andrew,
        Thank you for the useful tips on how to land that JPA job. Is it possible for you to review my c.v and statement of interest.I would highly appreciate this. My email address is Mchebiwot@gmail.com.

  5. Thanks Andrew!
    Do you have any tips on the online assessment that comes after the first round? What is to be expected and how can one prepare for it in advance?
    Many thanks!


  6. Hi Andrew,

    thanks for this article. Was just about to submit my application when i came across this article. I would love if you could review my cover letter and CV before i submit my application tomorrow which is the deadlind. my email is gozieikeliani@gmail.com


  7. Hello Andrew,

    Thank you for your very nice tips here. It is really helpful. I am finishing my PhD in Cambridge Uni. I have been interested in international development and would like to apply for the analyst programme this year. I wonder if you could take a glance at my statement of interests before I complete the application process? My email address is sherylj.cam@gmail.com. I will send it to you when I get your email address. Many thanks again.



      1. Hi Andrew,

        I’m sorry to do a “me too”, but you’ve been so helpful here and I have a question about the SoI that I really must ask. Do you think you could spare a few minutes? I’m at tracygdesouza@gmail.com

        Thanks in advance,

      2. Hi Andrew, thanks a lot for sharing. Extremely insightful.
        I am applying for the WB Analyst Program, could i possibly send in my cv and statement of purpose. would love to have your opinion about it.

  8. Hi Andrew,
    Thank you so much for your interesting and insightful text. I have been working in international relations in Latin America after studying a BA and MA in Germany and the UK. I have just gotten into internaional development this year – and i love it. Do you think applying for the WB Analyst Program is reasonable having in mind that my experience has not been in development?
    Looking forward to hear from you.
    Best. Lisa


  9. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for sharing, very insightful. Please I’d be grateful if you could go through my statement of interest for the WB Analyst Program before I send in my application. I look forward to your response. My email address is umonyebuchi@gmail.com

    Thank you.


  10. Hi Andrew,

    I’m glad I came across your blog. So generous of you to be helping out aspiring WB workers!
    I’m applying for the WB analyst program, and I was wondering if you’d have the time to look at my CV? If so, I can send it through to you.
    My email is haquetamara@gmail.com

    Thanks in advance!


  11. Hi Andrew,
    Thank you for making this insightful tips. Do you know the major points the WB wanted to see in the statement of interest? That would be very helpful to know it from a successful applicant.


  12. Dear Andrew,

    I have been reading how supportive your advice and yourself have been to many individuals on this post. Would it possible for me to email you to discuss my options for a WB internship? How can I contact you?


    1. Hi Andrew,
      Just following on my comment above if you have any information on a WB internships, please let me what you would think would be the best approach to be successful in attaining an internship. My email is fazlig@smh.ca


  13. Hi Andrew

    I’m working in deal advisory, KPMG India. preparing for my CFA level II exam in June 2016. I am interested in the role of investment analyst at IFC but I don’t have the required work experience currently.

    Could you please guide me? My id is bhallamanasi@gmail.com

    Thanks for your help!


  14. Hi Andrew- I’ve been looking for advice like this! I plan on applying to the World Bank Analyst Program this February. My background is in economic development- working in numerous organizations and non-profits in Salvador, Brazil. Would it be possible to send you a copy of my CV? Thank you


  15. Hi. thank you so much for sharing your experience.

    I am thinking about applying for the Summer internship, yet I’m just a fresh graduate so I don’t have any real working experience except for some internships I took during the university years. I hope that you could give me some sound advice as to whether I should lean in to apply, or I should take up some real experience at first. Also, I want to send you through my CV. My email is chitchitchit136@gmail.com. Many thank you in advance!


    1. Hi Chow, just send in your internship application. Highlight your previous internships, and tie it up with the function of the department wherein you’re applying.

      Good luck!



      1. Hi Andrew, very helpful article! I landed on this while searching for some advise on applying for world bank internship due 31 Jan 2016. I am presently enrolled in Master’s of Business Administration in Banking and Insurance Management program at the Panjab University, India. Could you please share some thoughts on how to get into this summer internship program. Your tips would be really helpful. Thanks is advance.

      2. Hi Andrew,

        I intend to submit an application for an Investment Analyst position at the IFC and am reaching out to you with the aim of obtaining your kind advice and/or pointers on my existing CV and past experience. Kindly contact me at tner.business@gmail.com, thanks in advance

  16. Hi Andrew,

    I am pursuing Phd at University of Malaya ,Malaysia. My thesis is focused on Islamic Investments. I have done Ms in international banking and finance from UK. My experience includes 7 years teaching of Finance and Acciunting subjects at a premier public sector uni in Pakistan. I have about fours years of work experience, as finance and admin officer, at an International NGO in Pakistan, which focused on providing health facilities to Afghan refugees in pakistan and afghanistan. Do you think i can apply for WB internship highlighting my interest in finance in general and Islamic finance in particular. I mean do they have projects/ departments on Islamic banking and finance. My age is 41 does that matter ? Will b greatfull if you can go through my cv.


      1. Hi Andrew
        i am pursuing CA(Chartered Accountancy) in India and i am in third year of inturnship,(which is compulsory for CA students) and I also completed my graduation. I am highly intrested to get inturnship in world bank. last date for submitting application is 31st january. can you provide me some tips which help me to get selected.
        My email id is:-

      2. Hello Andrew, thank you for this post, I am interested in applying for Internship at the World Bank this summer. I will like to send you my CV for your kind review. Here is my email address: royalseun@gmail.com

        best regards!

      3. Hey Andrew,

        Can i have your email address for a bit of help regarding the application.

        Thank you.


    1. Sharic,
      The man you want to reach out to is Abayomi A. Alawode. He is the Head of Islamic Finanace at the World Bank. I too kickstarted my career at the World Bank as an intern, then worked as a consultant and Junior Professional, and eventually made it into the Young Professional Program. Happy to provide guidance. Feel free to email me at nicolas.g.troncoso@gmail.com.


  17. Dear Andrew,

    First of all, thank you so much for all your insightful comments. I am a Swiss student with a bachelor in economics and I am currently pursuing my graduate studies in business and development studies – with focus on private sector development – in Copenhagen. I am very much interested in the WB summer internship. However, as I do not know anyone who has worked for the WB before, I was wondering whether you could tell me a bit more about your experiences at WB and how you liked it.

    Would be great to here from you! In return, I can offer you to be your tourist guide in Switzerland or Copenhagen in case you visit there sometime 🙂

    btw. my email is: dorin.heid@gmail.com

    All the Best,



    1. Hallo Dorin,

      entschuldigung fuer die spaete Antwort. Wo bist du in der Schweiz?

      I’ll keep that in my list of topics to write about, that is my work experience at the GEF/World Bank.

      Guten Rutsch! Bis dann.



  18. Hi Andrew
    I am really glad I came across your article. I also am on the verge of applying to the world bank African focus recruitment excersice. I would really appreciate it if you can kindly go over my resume and statement of interest. I am looking at a specialist position in Finance and markets, I have 5 yeras+ relevant work experience in central banking, commercial banking, development consultancies and lecturing plus an MSc in investment Finance.

    Please do kindly send an email Addy I can send my documents too.

    Thanks a lot



      1. Please, I am equally trying to get a career in the WB through the recruitment drive in Africa programme recently advertised. Please, any assistance you can offer to get this done through the tips will be appreciated. My e mail: kollykolly042@gmail.com. Thank you very much sir.

      2. Hi Andrew,

        Thank you very much for your tips.

        In fact, I’ve searched and read several tips about writing CV and statement of interest to apply for a job, and I have also applied some NGO jobs but not yet got offer.

        I feel that I do not know how to stress on my strengths and experiences when preparing application, though I am working for an ODA project (development project).

        At present, I am very much interested in a job post of team assistant in World Bank. I really want to have someone who can help to review my CV/ resume in order to improve its quality.

        If you do not mind, I would be very grateful if you can spend some time to help me.

        My email: anhnguyeta15@yahoo.com

        Thank you.

      3. Hi Andrew,

        Thank you so much for the tips. I need your help reviewing my statement of interest and CV before I submit my WB application.

        Looking forward to hearing from you.

        Kind regards,


  19. Hi Andrew,

    I know this is an old post but I do need your help.
    I am currently applying for a role as an investment analyst with the World Bnak (IFC) for an African focused recruitment. I have a month to go for my MBA in Finance, I am 28+, I have 3 years experience in relationship management and wealth management. Do you mind if I send you my resume and statement of interest for your kind review? I would sincerely appreciate the help as this is a dream job and I need to ensure I get things right.

    Do let me know what address to send it to.
    Many thanks.



  20. Hi everyone,

    I try best to respond to your questions about the JPA program. This time I need your help!

    What other specific tips and instructions would you guys like to know more about applying for jobs or career in general? Maybe writing cover letters? What about other aspects of the application process and building a career? Please let me know!



    1. Hey Andrew,

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      I am now applying for the position at the Bank. I would like to know more about:
      1) the process of application; how important it is to reach out people who work in the specific department? Can I contact their (senior) director directly?
      2) cover letter/statement of interest: I am not sure in the application system, which one is the better format.

      Many thanks again!


      1. Hi Track, if you know the senior directly, go ahead. Otherwise I’d refrain from doing so. I’d personally stick to a personal letter but that’s my preference.
        ‘Hope that helps.

      1. Many thanks Andrew for your reply. Saw a WBG Africa Recruitment Drive on the website. Am very interested in Trade & Competitive roles. My experience has been in commercial banking & now central banking but biased in international trade finance. Any idea what the trade & Competitiveness Practice is about at the WBG? Could u know a colleague who works there? Many thanks again Andrew.

      2. Hi Cyril, I am not privy to that program. I don’t know anyone in that department, sorry. Have you tried Linkedin or making a Google search? Also try IMF or IFC which seem to fit your background.

  21. Hi Andrew,

    This is Priya. I am getting a PhD in English from Ohio university in the United States, but my dissertation involves sociological aspects more than theoretical English. I have good research skills and excellent proofreading and editing skills. I have been teaching English over 7 years now in India and the United States. This might be a silly question, but do you think if I should consider applying to the JPA program or more specifically World Bank world professionals program since I am 29+ ?. Is there any where else you think I can apply in the world bank, or possibly start looking in the website? Can you guide me a little bit? Alternately I can be reached at pradague@gmail.com


    1. Hi! I recently read on the WB site that the JPA will be discontinued July 1st. I believe this statement means it has not yet been discontinued?


  22. Hey Andrew,

    Do you think it’s worth applying to the program if you are 29, but just by three months?



      1. Thanks Andrew. I knew / know that the JPA has gone dodo. I guess my question still stands. Is it is still worth applying to the new program?

      2. I cannot speak for the new program. I think the World Bank (and other big organizations) are strict with qualifications, such as age limit. However you might get accepted as a consultant. I know one who applied and is already beyond the age limit. They hired him as a consultant instead. Hope this helps. Cheers.

  23. Hi Andrew!

    Thanks a lot for this tips!
    I am considering to apply for the JPA. I am a lawyer, trained in Russian law and in International Economic Law. As I understand, the position requires strong qualitative and technology skills. Is it also the general requirement for applicants with background in law?
    Is legal experience in Russia and Armenia relevant for JPA?

    I would be very grateful for your answer!


  24. Hi Andrew,

    I recently applied for the JPA, and have an age related question. I am 28 until the end of March 2015, and was wondering if there is a standard time during the year where applications are considered.

    I have been a STC a few different times in different bank departments, graduated top of my class, and have two graduate degrees. I feel that I am competitive, but am unsure if the timing is on my side.

    Thank you for your perspective on this!



  25. I have a question regarding placement.
    Do you have any say on the location of the country you will be working in?
    Do they cover round-trip costs from home to host country? What about accommodation?
    Last question, is the salary enough to live internationally?


    1. Hello virtually venting,
      It depends on the unit that is hiring. Most of the time it’s based in Washington DC. Some country offices also hire JPAs, but they are very few. I’ve met JPAs who spent one year in DC and another in country offices.

      Relocation costs are generally not covered in JPA contracts but you have to double-check that with the hiring unit. Salary is enough to live in wherever you’ll be stationed.



  26. Hello Andrew

    Just to understand , is Teaching career (2 to 3 years) as college asst. professor is taken as good experience in world bank … specially if the teaching is in the area of infrastructure and aviation.


  27. Hello Andrew,
    Thanks so much for the blog and taking time out of busy schedule to read and answer extremely helpfully questions.
    I need some guidance as I don’t have much experience, just an internship program i completed last year and some voluntary work i have done, all under accounting and finance.
    Am ugandan by nationality. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Business Entrepreneurship that i completed in Malaysia and currently pursing my certification as a chartered accountant under ACCA.
    From my educational background, do think i stand chance of getting into the JPA program? Or do i need to have relevant work experience from a reputable instuition/company?
    Also, can i please email you my CV for review.
    Thank again for your time. Am looking forward to your reply.


  28. Hi Andrew,

    thanks for this amazing blog – it’s really useful.

    I am soon to submit a JPA application as I have almost finished my masters, am doing well enough academically, and have researched a couple of areas of the WB which would suit my background.

    However, I have a couple of questions about which referees to put: is it important to choose high-profile or senior referees? Is a lot asked of them in terms of completing some kind of reference form?

    Having contacted the JPA program by email I was told they should be people able to provide information on academic ability, character, but that also:

    “Referees are contacted during the pre-employment screening process (security background check)”

    If they are contacted only towards the end of the process and primarily for a security check I am wondering if its worth chasing my big-name prof (from whom it can be hard to get a reference) and the head of my former economics division?

    Any thoughts would be great and apologies if you have answered this before – I had a look through below but couldn’t see anything.




    1. Hi Joe,
      Sometimes the screening process happens during the recruitment process already. I’d say give the reference who is accessible and could strongly vouch for you.

      ‘Hope this helps.



  29. Hi Andrew,

    kind greetings!

    Currently, I received an offer for internship from the IFC. Its good to have this offer but at the same time I’m worrying for my weak command of English and I am afraid that people at the IFC will ask me (maybe) to do some financial modelling for projects, which I can’t do. Hence, if you don’t mind can you give some insight advices for potential intern.

    Also, I would like to apply for an internships, JPA or YPP programs at the WB as well.

    Therefore, I need to polish up my CV. Could you help with this?

    Thank you in advance.

    All the best,


  30. Your profile might be a good fit but I won’t give you any false hopes by giving odds of getting in. There’s a lot of factors that come into play in the process.

    About the difference between the JPA and YPP, just look it up on the World Bank website which has more comprehensive information.



  31. Hey Andrew! Thanks for the post.
    I am just 23 years of age, and have completed my bachelors and masters with good grades, but I have just one year of work ex which was actually internship at UNESCO. How likely is it that I get selected (or even called for interview), considering my age and very little work ex?
    My academic background is economics (bachelors) and education policy (masters).
    Also, could you tell me what is the difference between JPA and Young professionals program? should I apply for both programs or just one?

    Looking forward to your reply. Much gratitude in advance.


  32. Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for your informative post. I finished my Masters in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in India in the year 2013. I am currently working with the Government of India on a rural livelihoods programme. My profile is centred around social development and inclusion where I help create livelihood options for transgenders, bonded labourers and victims of human trafficking.Will be completing a year in May 2014. I have had volunteering experiences with several organizations in addition to some credible field work experiences with rural development NGOs in India( tribal women, local governance, employment guarantee, right to information). Do you think my profile fits in as a JPA applicant?Also, would you recommend an application this year or the next?
    I would also like to know if certain online UN volunteering experiences would add to my profile. Thanks in advance.


  33. Hi Andrew,

    I was wondering if there are any tips/information on the hiring process for the JPA Program. After one submits the application, there is a phone interview. Does the interview have any specific format? What would be the next stage after the phone interview?

    I would appreciate some guidance on the same.

    Thank you!



    1. Hi Aditi,

      there is no standard interview format. After the interview they usually do another round of interview. If not then they decide whom to hire. Let us know how the interview goes.



      1. Thanks Andrew!

        At the moment, I don’t know any specifics i.e. location, department etc. I was trying to think of everything that I could include in the preparation. I thought of the essentials – competencies, why this program, organization.

        Maybe I should be prepared to field questions on my background and interest in the JPA program?

        I’ll definitely put in an update on my experience:)


  34. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks much for these needed insights. Just a quick question: the ning website of the JPA community does not seem to work for me. Could you share how we could access it or any other similar source? Thanks again.


    1. Hi Janez,

      The website is no longer active. I asked the JPA organizing committee about this but did not get a reply. Sorry I don’t know anymore where to access current JPA openings.



      1. It looks like we should also cordially bother the committee to receive the information. Thank you for your try.

  35. Hi Andrew

    Hope you are doing well.
    I am waiting for the results for selection to the interview stage of the ypp’14. Are you aware if the Bank has (or when it would) declared the list of candidates for the interview stage. Do let me know if you have any information on this.
    Looking forward for your reply.



    1. Hi Div,

      Try to wait until the end of Dec. But I think that’s the time they send out the rejections! So if you’re scheduled to be interviewed you should get a notice earlier than that.

      Good luck on your application.


  36. Hi Andrew,

    I just came about this blog after my old boss told me about JPA.

    I’m currently serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer working on a Food Security Project. I graduated from UC Riverside in 2012 with a major in Latin American Studies.

    I still have one more year left in my Peace Corps service, however I’m very excited to see what opportunities are available in the near future. The JPA program with the World Bank sounds absolutely amazing and I’ll definitely keep an eye on it.

    I have one quick questions.

    When you apply for the JPA program, do you get to apply for a specific position in a specific country or does the JPA program hiring team make the decision? I’m very interested in working in Latin America seeing how I’m Salvadoran (born in the U.S) and I can speak Spanish fluently. In addition, my future career plans revolve around public health in Latin America. Would you say that the World Bank is a good place to get some international public health development experience?

    Thank you Andrew and I hope to hear from you soon.


    1. Hola Marvin,

      Yes, you get to apply for a specific position, usually at the headquarters in Washington DC, although country office assignments are not unheard of.

      I’m not very familiar with the public health sector. Try to consider PAHO and other agencies which specialize in health, perhaps?



  37. Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for this useful tips!!! I am currently interested in working for the WB, do you mind sparing a bit of time to check my CV and cover letter that I wrote for the position I am applying to? I know you must have a tight schedule, however, if you can please do this for me, I will deeply appreciate it 🙂


  38. Hi Andrew
    Thanks for writing this blog; the tips are helpful.

    I got selected in the initial round of the YPP and am required to submit a detailed application as the next step. Have a few questions regarding the references –
    (1) I understand that the world bank would contact the referees after they send across the reference letter – At what stage would the referees be contacted by the Bank – would it be immediately after they mail the reference letter or at a later stage

    2) How would the world bank contact the referee – would it be by email or a phone call

    (3) Could you please advice on how I should go about in choosing the referees -I guess 1 academic + 2 professional referees would be appropriate – is it an advantage to include my Master’s thesis supervisor as the academic referee or would it be the same with any of my professor’s

    (4) Relating to the professional referees, would it better to have references from my immediate managers or directors (who are aware of my work) (5) Is it necessary that I include referees with whom I have been associated in the last 1 or 2 years of my career ( I have around 6 years years work experience)

    Thanks for your consideration and looking forward for a reply.



    1. Hi Div,

      Despite having applied to the YPP last year, I don’t know how the selection committee contact the referees.

      3) In selecting your referees, I would go for the thesis supervisor if you were to select only one academic referee.

      4) Yes, this would make more sense.

      5) It’s not necessary, but probably a better decision. They might be more relevant just like a recent job is more relevant in job applications.

      ‘Hope this helps. Please let us know how your YPP application goes. Good luck!


  39. Well, sorry, one more question!

    still about my insider contact: do you think he can be put among the three references? They now say “academic references”, though he really is among those how know me best (the other 2 are professors) – do you think putting his name as a reference will upset the HR? Or make them reject my application immediately?

    And, from your knowing: any clue whether well-known (by the Bank) references in the online application might attract the attention of recruiters (like your search-engines tip on CV key words)?

    Thanks again! 😉


  40. Hi Andrew,

    thanks for your great contribution! I have some doubts: are we completely sure the hiring process is homogeneously ongoing throughout the year? Don’t they have periods with more vacancies? I am thinking of applying now aiming at an autumn job, but isn’t that late considering the fiscal year is ending in a few days?

    Also: given there is no space for uploading a cover letter, how do we specify our interest in a specific project/country (no specific JPAs are advertised right now)? And does a JPA necessarily work at a project? I have no idea what to specify in the section “Career Interests”!

    And, insider contacts. I do have one (Senior Econ.), but I am wondering if using it could even lessen my chances?

    Thanks a lot again for your tips!


  41. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks so much for taking the time out of your schedule to answer queries and helping others. I am currently a post graduate student in Political Sociology at the London School of Economics. I did my bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering and have worked in IT for 2 years after that. Thereafter, i worked as a columnist for a newspaper. Additionally, i have been a volunteer for the past 6 years in the fields of environment, social awareness and poverty alleviation. My question is related to the application process. I am wondering how long might it take to hear once i’ve put in the application as it is need based. Also, what kind of work at WB would my profile be most suitable for as it has a combination of two very different fields and if it is a relevant profile?

    Thank you very much.


    1. Hi Prachi,

      I think you just answered your own question! Because JPAs are demand-driven, you will only hear from departments when they are hiring.

      I really don’t know what WB unit to recommend. Maybe a team that works on the political sociology of technology?



  42. Hi Andrew,

    I stumbled upon your blog when I was looking for career opportunities at international organizations. I’m also Filipino and I’m currently finishing my Master’s in the UK. I’m interested in the JPA program though I know it’s gonna be a long shot for me as I consider myself very average. My background is in journalism, and I’m studying Management now because I want to shift my career path to business/finance-related jobs. My first question is given that JPA is an entry-level position, does it require the applicant to have solid knowledge of his/her interests? I’m eyeing human resources and financial analysis, but I only have theoretical knowledge of these areas. My second question is, while it says on the website that it is preferable that one speaks another Bank language, have you met other JPAs who do not meet this qualification? Thanks!

    P.S. I also applied to German universities before but I was rejected because I only have 10 general academic years (6 years in elementary + 4 years in high school) – which was the structure in the Philippines until last year? – thus I was told I do not qualify for a Master’s program. I was accepted to a Bachelor’s program though at Uni of Tubingen but chose to study in the UK instead. So I was surprised yet delighted to know that you did your Master’s in Freiburg. =)


    1. Hi zaireluxe,

      It’s difficult to gauge and assume that someone has ‘solid knowledge’ of his/her interests. Note that JPAs are young professionals, so I would question any of whom who declare themselves as someone who has a solid knowledge of whichever subject.

      Yes there are JPAs who only speak one ‘Bank’ language (like myself).

      I am surprised you are able to do a Master’s program straight from high school! Am I missing something?


      1. Ooops haha sorry for the confusion… I meant 10 years of general education before university. Usually in Germany, it’s 12-14 years before university (which usually lasts for 3 years). So in my case, I have 10 general education plus 4 years of undergraduate study, and some German universities think this is not enough for Master’s study.

        Btw, thank you very much for your reply.

      1. You mean that you were informed about the decision after 30 minutes of the interview?

      2. No. Each interview lasted 30 minutes. The interviews were about a week apart. I got the decision about two hours after the second interview.

  43. Hi Andrew. your blog is indeed helpful and unarguably the only comprehensive source of info on JPA programme.

    About me : I just turned 24. i have 2 master degrees, both of them in Business Administration. I am currently working as a long term consultant for IFAD, one of the specialized UN agencies. I am very interested in applying for the JPA programme. I would be delighted if you could have a look at my CV and let me know if i need to highlight anything specifically. Also, would you advise me to write a cover letter along with the CV ? Do you mean a cover letter when u talk about application letter in your blog ?
    I look forward to your very helpful replies…
    till then Ciao ciao


    1. Sorry for the late reply. I just came here to Peru and still sorting out my life.

      Yes, I meant cover letter for the application letter. I would write the cover letter specific to a specific JPA opening.



  44. Hi Andrew,

    Thank you so much for posting these tips, they are very helpful!

    I am a Mexican citizen working in Washington, DC with experience in international development, through a US Agency for International Development contractor called Management Systems International, and an academic background in Economics.

    I have applied for a JPA position within the Latin America and Caribbean Region Unit and I am very happy to let you know that last Friday I was informed that I have been shortlisted. I am currently waiting to hear back from the person who contacted me with the confirmed schedule. However, I have some questions about the interview process that you may be able to answer.

    1. Should I expect the interview be one-to-one or a panel type? How many interviews does it normally take for an applicant to be selected?
    2. Should I expect the questions to be more behavioral type or more case-question type?
    3. What types of supporting documentation do you recommend taking with me to the interview? (i.e. Writing sample, transcripts…)

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to go over my questions. I know these processes are very case by case and my questions might be too specific. I am just trying to gather as much information as I can to be well prepared! Joining this program has been my dream since I started college, so I am very excited about the opportunity and any additional insider tips are welcomed!



    1. Hi Anji,

      I can only speak of my experience. So…
      1. I had two rounds of panel-type interview.
      2. Mine was a combination of technical and case questions.
      3. It depends on the type of job, but work samples are always helpful.

      Good luck!



  45. Andrew, are you a Knowledge Management Professional? I note with interest your instance of moderating a COP. It would be good to link up. Am on LinkedIn. Cheers.

    Paul Oluikpe


      1. Andrew,
        Thanks for your response. Can you help me interpret this “HR Speak” from a UN/WB project. “This is to inform you that the recruitment process is still ongoing. All interviewed candidates will be informed once a decision has been made”.

        This was a response to my email requesting information on my interview. It’s been five weeks and they said I will hear before five weeks, so when I didn’t I fired off an email. They replied. So what do you make of the reply? Does this mean am still in the running/being cconsidered? My referees have not been contacted, so am wondering if they’re still considering me.

        Any tips wild be appreciated.

  46. Hey Andrew,
    Many thanks for the wonderful info you have put up here. I am an Indian , done my bachelors in Human medicine – in moscow and currently in the thesis phase of my healthcare management masters -Austria. I am currently interning at the WHO offcie in India and i turn 29 in 2 months. In addiditon i have a 3 years experience in hospital management. Eventhough it aint fare in posing this question to you, i thought your experiences could help as a guding tool for me. What do think are my chances of getting an interview call???



    1. Hi Jai,

      Thanks for your question, however I don’t want to give you any false hopes. You have a well-rounded profile But your “chances of getting an interview call” really depends on the unit, whether they are looking for someone with your expertise. Take note that the current World Bank president also has a medical/health background, so…

      Keep us in the loop of your career pursuit.



      1. Thanks…The only department relevant to my background is the HNP one..I just wanted to know as you already went through the selection process if i would fit into the competition….I need to apply before i turn 29 ????? correct me if i am wrong… and thanks again

  47. Hi Andrew,

    I’m a re-entry student about to graduate this coming Fall semester. However, I noticed you cannot apply if your are older than 28. I don’t officially turn 29 until the end of June, but was wondering if you think I’ll be automatically be disqualified?

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,


    1. Hi Joshua,

      I suggest you apply right away. I know someone who applied when he was 29. The opening was supposed to be a replacement for a JPA who finished the term. They just changed the type of contract they gave the successful candidate.

      Hope this helps.


  48. Hello Andrew

    As agreed I sent an letter last week, but no news, seems the process is pending.
    Last week I sent an email, till now no answer… Any idea?

    Reminder : to Sum up my case :
    I applied last October, got two emails for Call interview appointment.
    1st phone interview end December 2012,
    Was told in the call I will be contacted, Since that day no news.



  49. Greeting all

    Three month after my application to JPA, I received a call for first interview 8 weeks ago, since that day no news. nor email received till today.
    I’m wondering whether I should call back and ask for my application status or I should keep waiting.. Please advice.

    Thanks for your reply


      1. At that it was christmas holiday.
        Anyway should I send and email now or may be call the contact person ?


    1. Thanks Andrew.
      I sent an email (with attached short letter) 3 days ago.
      I’ll call after one week from sending the email.



  50. Hi Andew,

    I first would like to thank you for the information you’ve given us through this post, I think it’s the only useful post in the whole internet regarding JPA.

    I will finish my MSc in international relations in a French university by the end of May and I’m going to send my application to JPA before it. I have a bachelor in social sciences/political science from a Brazilian university and have some work experience in social projects management in Brazil. As everybody here, I’m wondering if my profile fits in JPA’s requirements. Thus, I would like to know which kind of profile are chosen to work in the World Bank through JPA process? Do you think that my profile (international relations with strong knowledge in environmental governance and work experience in Brazil) is compatible with the profile of people do you know from JPA? Do you know if there are specific quotas for each nationality to apply? And last question: How much they pay for JPA’s?

    Thank you in advance and greetings from Brazil/France!


    1. Hi Arthur,

      Your comment about this post being the most useful JPA-relate information made me chuckle.

      There is no one ‘ideal profile’ of a JPA, but yours would suit just fine. Based on what you shared I assume you speak Portuguese, French and English, which is already a very strong asset. As far as I know there are no nationality quotas, but I could be wrong.

      I don’t feel comfortable discussing the salary here! Better ask the HR when you get the chance.



  51. Dear Andrew,

    thank you very much for your informative blog and taking the time to answer questions of people like me. I have some doubts about the application process and would be grateful if you could provide answers.

    First, you write about writing a dazzling application letter. However, in the generic application form on the WB website I can find no entry field for such an application letter. Relatedly, I’ve seen posts about applying for specific vacancies but on the WB website, all I can find is the generic application form and no specific vacancies. Nor do I find vacancies on http://jpacommunity.ning.com. Am I missing something?

    Thanks a lot.



  52. Hi Andrew, please what do I write for current employer (under professional background) since I just finished school and I do not have a job yet. It’s a compulsory field to fill on the application form.
    Thank you.


  53. Hello Andrew
    just need an insight , i have a Bachelor of engineering degree in instrumentation , and 4 years of experience in IT , and i am also just going to complete my MBA from IIT(india). i have worked 4 years in MNC’s within India. currently i am 26.

    can u advice me what positions i can apply in world bank , i am actually targeting around feb to march 2014 for application as i will complete my MBA by then.

    Thanks for your advice


      1. Hi Akhil,

        Sorry for the late reply. I asked a former JPA with an IT background who is now back at the WB to reply, but he must be tied up with work.

        I am not very familiar with the IT department of the Bank. It is actually difficult to ‘time’ your application or acceptance because JPA openings are on a needs-basis.

        Hope this helps.

      2. thanks andrew , ones u have the information from the IT person , u can reply me … as u have already said , application are not specific to periods , i am planning to apply ones my post graduate is over .


  54. Greeting all

    I’m wondering how long the hiring process for JPA take, from first contact from HR till the starting date ? (if no rule please provide an average, examples)

    Thanks in advance for your reply


      1. Hi Andrew,

        Hope So.
        I’m in the process, applied in Septembre 2012, contacted End 2012, have had 1st interview just before christmas holiday (for few minutes) and waiting more news…


  55. Hi Andrew, I have just graduated with a masters degree in management and I have an undergraduate degree in Economics. I have always aspired to work at the World Bank. However, I have no experience whatsoever especially working in developing countries. What are my chances? I am 22years old.
    *I am confused about what to fill for professional experience*


    1. It might be more difficult to get in without developing country experience. As I tell most people, there’s no harm in trying. Or why not try to look for work in a developing country now?

      Good luck.


      1. Hello Andrew,

        I volunteered as a member of the Millennium Development Goals Team after my Undergraduate in my country(which is a developing country). Does this count? Is it possible to send an email to you?

        Kind Regards.

  56. Hello Andrew,

    Do you have to be in the 10% of your class to even qualify for a JPA position?
    As an almost 27 year old, who is definitely not in the 10% of her class, I believe my chances are minimal to even qualify for any position at the World Bank. I do have a bachelor’s/master’s degree and 3-4 years of work experience in accounting/finance. I am recently working as an Operations Manager/ESG Performance Specialist for a start-up private equity fund in a developing country, which is in its initial stage of raising funds. However, after reading the requirements, I don’t think I qualify at all and it will be too late next year as I will be 28.

    Please advise accordingly.

    Thank You.


  57. Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for taking the time to post a very informative blog on the JPA application and sharing it with the public. I just wanted to ask you a quick follow up question. I see that you recommend that people check the online JPA community (http://www.jpacommunity.ning.com) for JPA openings. I was wondering if it is possible to join this community as someone who is interested in learning more about the program, but isn’t a JPA yet. Please let me know and many thanks in advance!


  58. Hello Andrew

    Thanks for this very interesting blog.
    I’ve been contacted as I submitted my application on JPA last September.
    Could you please share some input on how the hiring process is crafted ?
    Especially the first Job Interview and kind of question to expect. The position is WB Headquarters.



    1. Hi Adam,

      I would suggest contacting the hiring person for more information about the hiring process. About the interview, please read my reply to the preceding comment. In a nutshell learn about the position and just prepare as how you would do so for any job you really want!

      Good luck on the interview and let me know how it goes.



      1. Hello Andrew

        Thanks for your reply. My best wishes for 2013!
        I had a phone appointment for phone interview, as the manager seems forgetting the appointment, I send him an email, then I receive his call the day after.
        The interview was good but short, I’m not sure what impression he had on my profile.
        I’ve to stress that the initial mail for setting an interview was received from a Senior Manager, but the hiring process is continued with an other person.

        My questions are:
        1) How long the process is taking to get an answer ? [Interview end Decembre]
        2) What are the main steps after the first interview .?


        PS : Could I get your email, I’ve couple remarks.

        the agreed date

  59. Hello Andrew,

    Greetings from Norway!

    I have been shortlisted (last round) for a JPO-position in the WBs field office in Sierra Leone, Africa. As I assume a JPA and a JPO position is pretty comparable, it would be of most interest if you could elaborate shortly on how the interview was conducted by the recruiters and of any tips you might have as a preparation to the interview.




    1. Hi Magnus,

      I hope this is not yet too late.

      It is difficult to speak of a typical ‘JPA-specific’ interview questions, because the nature of work of JPAs in itself vary from one unit to another. So I would just suggest preparing for a general job interview. If I were you, I would try to learn more about the challenges of the unit and the job itself, rather than position.

      Hope this helps. Please let me know how the interview goes.



  60. Hi Andrew,

    First I’d like to start off by thanking you for your very helpful blog. Secondly, I have a question. I interviewed for a JPA position with the WB/GEF over a month ago. An hour after the interview the HR person called me to get permission to contact my references. As of 2 weeks ago my references have not been contacted and I still have not heard back as to where my application stands. At this point I’m wondering if I’m still being considered for the position. I’m in the difficult predicament of having been offered a position with another organization, but the GEF JPA position is by far my top choice. Does the process usually take this long? Is it safe to assume that I am no longer being considered for the position?




    1. Hi Vanessa,

      I suggest calling the GEF staff you were in touch with. Don’t assume anything. I think the hiring process differs from one unit to another. In my case it took about a month and a half from the time I got accepted and started on my first day as a JPA.

      Thanks for reading my blog and glad to be of help.



  61. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.
    I’m part Filipino and noticed that you previously worked at the NEDA. I was wondering if I could contact you by email to have more information on this?



  62. I remember it was September last year that I decided to apply for a JPA position with the Bank. I filled in the application, and didn’t hear back for 6 months. In March, I then decided to take up an internship with a UN agency to build my profile and also use the opportunity to network professionals working in international development. I cannot stress enough the importance of networking. Not only does it help with the job search, but networking is a great learning opportunity! You can learn so much from the life experiences of the people you are talking to – how did they end up in their current position? What did they study in college? What do they love most about the work they do? All this really helped me figure out what kinds of JPA positions I would be interested in, and who in the Bank should I be talking to. I also think that LinkedIn is an extremely powerful tool. I used this often to network and connect with other JPAs. If you don’t have a profile, I would recommend that you make one now! In addition to this, it’s always helpful to communicate with the recruiter of any JPA position that catches your attention. Had I not been this persistent, I wouldn’t be so happy to say that I am hoping to soon start my new JPA role this coming fall. Good luck to all of you!


  63. Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for your valuable insights. I recently applied to the SMART program where Arabic speakers are recruited to work with the WB. I have a BS in civil engineering and a MS in sustainable design. I worked for a few international organizations in the US and abroad to do development work but my main experience has been working with privately owned civil engineering firms. I am a native of French and Arabic. I personally believe I am a strong candidate but im not sure how the bank will view an application such as mine. I of course haven’t heard anything back regarding my application to the SMART program and now I am really coming to realize that I need some connections. Working at the WB just feels like a natural next step for me to take. Any suggestions/comments about how better I could possibly present my qualifications? Have u seen applicants with my background? How can I improve my chances of being considered? Could you may be forward my resume to someone who’ll read it? Any input will be very much appreciated. Thank you.


    1. Thank you Andrew for your efforts, and for sharing your experience through this blog.
      I want to react to BH’s post.
      I applied myself to the smart Program last July but I haven’t gotten any feedback so far.
      The program doesn’t unfortunately give any information about the deadline for the selection process. Would you please let me know (you and BH), if you have any further information about when the pre-selected candidates will be contacted.
      What was the average time for the JPA program?
      Many thanks.


      1. hi BH and Younes i also dd apply to SMaRT i suggest we keep each other informed when they start responding. I know someone in HR who told me applications were inthousands so they cant give a clear deadline of when they are going to get in touch with short listed candidates.

      2. Hi Moe,
        Thank you for your comment. It’s a good idea to keep each other informed about the results of the WB’ SMART Program, through this blog or via emails.
        I’ll be looking forwrad to hear from you and dfrom the other friends who have applied for this program.
        Good luck for everybody.

  64. Hey Andrew,

    Many thanks for the post and the comments, they are very informative. I just lost a post I typed for unclear reasons, so here we go again.

    I was wondering if you could shed some light on the recruitment process. I am currently a senior at a US college completing a degree in mathematics and economics. I would like to apply so that I could start right after graduation, if I were qualified/lucky enough to be offered a position in the first place. Should I be submitting my application, say, this December before my graduation, or would you recommend waiting until I have my degree and applying then, even if that’d mean starting later, if at all? I know a BA is an absolute must, so I am not sure how the application process for almost-graduates works.

    Many thanks for your kind help,


    1. Hi explorer,

      I don’t know if the system will allow you to change your information. So if you decide to apply now, just indicate your anticipated date of graduation.



  65. I originally applied to the generic application, where I only submitted my resume and unfortunately, I have not heard anything back. I understand how these things go but given your experience at the WB, are you aware of any method of following up regarding my application?


    1. World Bank departments will get in touch with applicants only when they are in need of JPAs and whose qualifications they find suitable. So if there is no JPA opening or your qualifications don’t meet their requirements, then you won’t hear from anyone. I suggest to periodically visit the JPA website on Ning (www.jpacommunity.ning.com) where the vacancies are posted.

      I hope this is helpful.


  66. Hey Andrew,

    Many thanks for the post and the comments, they are very informative. I just lost a post I typed for unclear reasons, so here we go again.

    I was wondering if you could shed some light on the recruitment process. I am currently a senior at a US college completing a degree in mathematics and economics. I would like to apply so that I could start right after graduation, if I were qualified/lucky enough to be offered a position in the first place. Should I be submitting my application, say, this December before my graduation, or would you recommend waiting until I have my degree and applying then, even if that’d mean starting later, if at all? I know a BA is an absolute must, so I am not sure how the application process for almost-graduates works.

    Many thanks for your kind help,


  67. Hi Andrew,
    Thank you for this informational post. Would you be willing to take a look at my resume? What are the chances of someone who doesnt have a masters to get a job as JPA?

    Thank you!


    1. Dear Raissa,

      You can send me your resume but it might take a while for me to provide a feedback. The chances are slightly lower for someone who doesn’t have a Master’s degree.



  68. Dear Andrew, I am defending my thesis in january 2013, do you think I wuld be eligible for applying to this programme http://menablog.worldbank.org/files/revised_smart_tors.pdf ! I mean from your experience how strict are they in screening? I finished my master courses and thesis in jan, I mean anyway they wouldnt hire people before jan as it just closed so i would say screening to finish by mid september or october and then further process will not end before jan ( ypp estimates although the post is GE not F as YPP) so iwould have been done by then with masters.do you think i stand a chance or they are strict to criteria even if i have relevant expperience? I work for another UN agency for 4 years as a junior officer and would like to join the bank’s HNP! Waiting for your kind feedback?




    1. Dear Linda,

      A Bachelor’s degree can work at the World Bank most likely as a JPA or with a shorter contract. The competition, however, is fierce, because you will be competing with Master’s degrees from all over the world.


  70. Hi Andrew,

    I am looking for a JPA position in WB’s transport infrastructure group and am planning to submit an online application for the same. I wish to work either in the US or in India. So, in response to my location preferences outside the US, I’ll be specifying South Asia.

    However, if I am asked to interview for a position which is neither in the US nor in India, and I do not wish to be considered for that position, will my application be rejected or put at the bottom of the stack? What I wish to know is what happens if there’s a position available but I am not interested in the position due to my location preferences? Would my application be considered for future relevant positions?

    Another option is that I could apply for a position in US only and I could personally contact relevant people in the India office to see if they have something available. In that case would I still need to apply online again or can I directly send my details to the hiring office in India? Would you suggest using this option?

    I would really appreciate if you could give me any suggestions based on your experiences or those of your colleagues.

    best regards



    1. Hello Kapil,

      I don’t really know the answer to your question. But I’d like to think your application for a non-US/India position should not affect your chances in your preferred country to work in. Or it is even possible that they may not consider you for non-US/India positions if they use a filter when looking for applicants willing to work in the country where the position is offered. Again, these are merely speculations, so your guess is as good as mine.

      I suggest getting in touch with the India office and inquire about JPA openings if that’s where you want to work. They should be able to guide you in the application process. I’m not really familiar with the application and hiring process in country offices.

      Hope this helps.



  71. Hey Andrew,

    It’s so nice of you to share posts like these, I’ve always wondered about the vagueness and hardship in getting a contract from Int’l development agencies like WB – thanks for the heads up advice! I get to know the YPA with GEF through colleagues who I was interning with at UNDP on some GEF-funded projects last summer. I have just graduated with a MPP degree and am wondering how I could advance my career in ID. I have some experience reviewing the project documents including annual reports and tracking tools, making sure they are in line with GEF requirements, but don’t process much direct knowledge specifically about climate change or advising program proposals (as suggested by the TOR). In general, how strong do you feel a YPA are expected to perform (or even outperform) the duties described? Is there room for any on-job training or coaching? I would be happy to provide a copy of cover letter if you are comfortable with some detailed suggestions:)


    1. Hi Robert,

      Since it will be with the secretariat, I assume knowledge and skills on project review will be important. Depending on the pool of applicants, your experience is already valuable. For sure you will learn-on-the-job. I don’t think anyone new to a job already perfectly know everything about the job.

      I can’t promise to review the cover letter but go ahead and send it my way.

      Good luck.


  72. Andrew,

    Hope your Memorial Day weekend is going great. Thank you for your post! I have a question regarding a recent JPA opening with the Adaptation Fund.
    I’ve heard about this position from the College of William and Mary. I just graduated with my BA in International Relations from BYU. For the past two years I’ve been working for the AidData (http://www.aiddata.org/content/index) as a geocoder and research assistant. I’m interested in environmental issues, but I don’t have a formal experience working with environmental issues (except foreign aid). Also, since I’m from Russia I know one of the other UN languages. Do you think I have a chance?


    1. Hi Diana,

      Thanks, my Memorial Day Weekend was restful, and capped with a trip to Baltimore!

      I am not very familiar with the profile of the JPA they are looking for. You will deal with finance for climate change adaptation projects and programs, so your background in foreign aid might already give you an upper hand.

      Good luck!


  73. Do you know similar organizations that deal with international economics? World Bank, IMF, and what else?


  74. hey Andrew! Thank you for the great job and invaluable tips. I really want to correspond with you on email regarding the WB. I hope you don’t mind. please send me ur email address


  75. Hello, Andrew!
    Thanks so much for the tips 🙂 I’m currently interning at UNESCO in Paris now. As my internship is getting towards the end, I started looking at options I have and I found your post very helpful! I’m going to put my CV on the data base soon but I’m still not sure my CV is as dazzling as it should be. So I was wondering if you could look at my CV and give me some suggestions. I’m sure you’re busy and I know it’s really rude to ask something like this when you don’t even know me but if you could help me, I’ll greatly appreciate it! Once again thank you so much! 🙂


  76. Hello Andrew,

    I am 23, peruvian and I find it very kind of your part to share your experience and guide us throughout the process. I have a question. I have a Master’s Degree in three European business schools (courses in three countries), the issue is that my grades are shown in a percentage (0-100%) and I am very confused with calculating my GPA. Nevertheless, it says that I can put my score or ranking, what should I give? Are they referring if I belong to the top ten in my classroom? Where can I calculate my GPA? Do I just put N/A because my grades are not in the american system?

    My last question is where can I find the JPA posts of current available jobs?

    Thank you very much!

    You are just amazing!


    1. Hi Giovanna,

      Perhaps you can put your score and explain that it’s based on a percentage system. There are organizations which convert different grading systems into GPA but this will cost some money.

      The current JPA openings are posted in our Ning community: http://www.jpacommunity.ning.com.

      You’re welcome and thanks for reading!



      1. Hi Andrew,
        I am in the process of completing my Master and am applying for a JPA opening. Do you happen to know if the GPA requested is for the highest completed degree (BA in my case) or for the current degree program?
        All the information you’ve provided here is very helpful! Thanks so much!

      2. Hi SH,

        You’re welcome. Glad to be of help. I’m not sure which GPA you should give. If I were you I would give the one for the current degree program.


  77. Hi Andrew! Thanks so much for this post. I was wondering whether you could talk a bit more about the interview process. Is it just one round?


    1. Hi Alice,

      In my case, there were two interviews, and a writing test prior to that. Perhaps the interview process depends on the unit that is hiring and not a standardized one.



      1. Hi Andrew! Thank you for note. Really amazing of you to volunteer your knowledge through this blog. Thanks!

  78. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks so much for sharing your insights! I am considering applying for JPA, and would greatly appreciate your advice. I am a current graduate student at Harvard, studying urban planning with a concentration in international development. I am very interested in sustainable urban development, especially how to balance economic growth and environmental concern for developing and climate-vulnerable countries. My other interest is conflict resolution. My question is, I am now a first-year master student, and I would like to apply for the JPA program, preferably starting this fall, and get some valuable experience in between my two-year program. I don’t have much relevant work experience, and that’s also why I want to do gap years to work at the Bank. But I do get an internship at UN this summer, and hopefully will be counted as field experience. Having said that, how do you think my chance will be like without a master degree? And what would you suggest me to do to enhance my chance, if there is any way? Please let me know if you need more information of me to give proper advice. Thank you so much for your help in advance! And thanks again for keeping this blog that helps so many people.



    1. Hi Claire,

      You’re welcome!

      The JPa program is a two-year program. Are you saying you’d take a two-year break from your Master’s program? Why don’t you just apply when you’re done with your Master’s degree? The only plausible reason I can think of right now is that you’re about to hit the ceiling age of 28.

      Majority of JPAs has a Master’s degree, I think the figure is around 60%, if that is any guide. Related work experience is always a plus on your profile. The chance of getting a JPA position really depends on the skills needed for the job by the hiring unit, and the profile of the applicant.

      Which UN organization are you interning this summer? Please tell us more about it! By the way, how does your program compare to the one offered by MIT?

      Cheers, Andrew



      1. Thanks for your advice, Andrew! I am not about to hit the age limit. The reason I want to apply in between my program is that I have very little work experience, thus I want to get real experience in the field so I can enrich my last year at school and make the most out of my education. Do you think the JPA experience will be valuable and fulfill my goal compared to studying and completing me degree? Or would you suggest me to apply later?

        Another question is do you know if there are many projects at the Bank recently that are related to environment and development (e.g. climate-related)? I heard from people that WB projects are mainly driven by donor governments, which don’t want to do such projects. If that is the case, it may be difficult for me to land a position.

        I will be working for ESCAP at Bangkok. In terms of comparison of the programs, there are lots of differences. But to be concise, I would say that our program is more professional-oriented while MIT is more research-oriented.

        Thanks, claire

      2. Hi Claire,

        I suggest you finish your grad studies first and apply later when you are close to finishing your program. Once you have your diploma on hand, this can enhance your chances of getting a JPA position, and other jobs for that matter. An internship is built-in the graduate programs specifically to gain that work experience. What courses will you be taking in your last year, and to what extent do you think a JPA experience can actually add value to your studies during that period? There are many layers of assumptions to what you just described (e.g., there’s a JPA opening that fits your profile/you want, you’ll get accepted, job is related to last year courses, JPA timing coincides with end/start of school year, etc.). I am not saying it won’t workout. At least it’s not how I would approach things if I were in your shoes. Some JPAs are first-time workers, by the way.

        As to your second question, I suggest you check out the World Development Report a couple of years ago specifically on climate change for a more fact-based information on the climate change portfolio. But take note the WB has a new president and the trend can change or remain the same in the next few months!

        Hope to hear from your internship. Maybe you can write about it through this blog!


  79. Dear Andrew,

    Thank you for your informative post.

    The description of the JPA role on the WorldBank website deemed Bachelor’s degree holders as eligible for the role. However, I do see many applying with a Masters degree. I’m from Singapore, with double degrees in Economics and Finance and though I was placed in the top 10% of my graduating class, there isn’t a a World Bank office in Singapore (would that lower my chances?). I am in a corporate treasury currently but I would like to do something that adds value to the poor in the world for a change.

    What can I do to improve my profile for this role? If you could spare the time, I would be glad to send my cv over too. Thank you 🙂



    1. Hi JN,

      You are right, there are many JPAs and applicants who compete for a JPA position.

      Perhaps the disadvantage of a World Bank office in your home country is that there is no chance to work in your own country office.

      I am not familiar with treasury unit of the Bank myself, but I know THERE IS a treasury unit and a corporate finance and risk management unit which might fit your profile. Do you have related work experience? You did not mention that in your message. That would definitely up your chances.

      Have you submitted your CV in the database?


      P.S. Are you sure you want to leave Singapore? It is so difficult to find authentic Singaporean food here! 🙂


      1. I was in risk management at a sovereign wealth fund as an intern, then in a corporate treasury doing hedging and bond issuance for slightly less than a year now. I’m not sure if that counts as related work experience.

        I haven’t submitted my cv in the bank’s database yet. I’m still refining my cv currently 🙂

        I love all kinds of food, so relocation isn’t a problem! 🙂

  80. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for posting your tips and sharing your experience – very informative and helpful! I am fortunate to have some early prior experience with the Bank as an STT. I am graduating this year with a Bachelors in Int’l Affairs, Environmental Science, and GIS and eager to learn more about relevant JPA openings. I recently submitted my CV via the JPA website, but don’t recall an option to submit the cover letter as well. Is there a way to go back to the application profile and add this additional document for upload?

    Also, I see you may have proofed a cover letter for one of the bloggers above. Would be delighted if you’d be willing to take a glance at mine as I continue to refine it and go through the process.. 🙂




    1. Hi NR,

      You’re welcome. I hope you find them useful. About your question on cover letters, I am referring to the one you directly submit for those job advertisements that are circulated online.

      Sure thing, send your CV and I’ll take a look at it.



  81. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for this informative post. I’m currently doing an MSc in Development Management from LSE and I have no work experience besides an internship and work in NGOs alongside my undergraduate course. I’m very keen on the JPA program at the World Bank, however I want to work only in the New Delhi, India office. Do you know if there is any procedure to specifically apply to a country office? Also, will the fact that I have no work experience be a huge drawback?



    1. Hi Radhika!

      Lack of work experience should not be a drawback, because the JPA program is specifically tailored to young professionals who have limited or no experience, like you and me.

      I am not aware of a different procedure when applying for a JPA post in a country office. Also try applying for this World Bank position in the Delhi office: http://www.climate-eval.org/sites/default/files/file/Job%20Description%20ETC%20Austrain%20TF.pdf

      Please also visit the JPA website for regular updates on JPA openings. http://www.jpacommunity.ning.com



  82. Hi Andrew,

    Just a question on the age requirement:

    So it should be no more than 28 years old? I’m turning 29 in January. Is that still qualified? Just got my Master’s here in Australia and I have about five-years of work experience in local governance and education.




    1. Hi Ron,

      that’s right, the applicant should be no more than 28 years old. If you want try to apply for the Young Professionals Program. I think the cut-off age is 32.


  83. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for this informative post. I have a master’s degree in civil engineering and am currently working as an engineer Chicago. My interest primarily lies in international development work. I have worked with several NGOs in India and I’ve been working with Engineers Without Borders (a non-profit) for the past 2 years on community projects in China, Kenya and Guatemala. Do you think I could find a JPA position at World Bank (WB)? I am curious to know whether WB hires any civil engineers or not and what would my chances be like? I am guessing the competition would be very stiff.




    1. Hi Kapil,

      That sounds like a great job. Can you tell us more about your work? Yes, the WB hires engineers because of the vital role of infrastructure in development. I cannot talk about your ‘chance’ because this depends a lot on the openings available, other applicants, etc but you seem to have a competitive profile.

      Thanks for dropping by and good luck on the application!



  84. Hey Andrew,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog posts. They are both interesting and helpful. Keep up the good work!

    I applied for the JPA position this year as well. It seems from the application design that you are not supposed to choose any specific position, but instead you only apply for “JPA” in general? Could you clarify on that?

    Many thanks and talk to you soon!

    Xueying from EO.


    1. Ni hao Xueying!

      Thanks for reading my blog and nice to ‘see’ you here! I hope you get a JPA post. Yes I understa nd the application is a general application, but make sure to put in the ‘keywords’ (e.g., climate change, environment, etc.) in your CV. I think how it works is that staff in need of JPAs search the database for these keywords. I wonder if it would be more effective to just put in keywords in a CV. Lol.

      See you soon!



  85. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the info. I recently graduated from College in a top Mexican University with a degree in Economics (graduated with honors). I have worked for a year as a research assistant for a professor (PhD in Chicago) in my university during which we made a report for the creation of the HDI in Mexico for the UNDP, among other things. Also, I am currently working for a political think tank, specializing in delivering development reports and country experiences for a government development agency in Mexico. What do you think are my chances? I want to apply for a MPA/ID or something like that on an ivy league school, and I know that working as a JPA might help a lot! Thanks in advance!!


    1. Hola Daniela,

      Congratulations for graduating! Are you in Mexico City? I can’t speak of ‘chances’ anymore but your well-rounded background and profile seems very interesting. If I were you I would give it a shot and apply. If you get in an MPA/ID at Harvard, please tell us more about it! The blog of http://www.chrisblattman.com might also be of interest to you! (He’s got an MPA/ID from Harvard and working on development issues).

      Hasta luego!



  86. Hi Andrew,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It is very helpful for people like me. I am 26 years old and about to complete my masters degree in public policy (specializing in economic policy) from an Australian University in December. I also possess a graduate diploma from the same university. I also have 3 years work experience as a credit analyst working for a development bank in my home country. I would be extremely grateful if you could let me know of your opinion with respect to my chances of obtaining a JPA position. Also it would be helpful if you could provide some details as to what to include in the CV and covering letter.

    Would be a great help.

    Thank you Very much



    1. Hi Raveen,

      Thanks for your comment. I think you have strong chances of making it as a JPA given your economics and finance background. Why not try applying at the IFC and IMF? CVs are pretty much standard. As to your cover letter, state your strengths, interests, your passion for international development (i.e., working for a development bank), and what you think sets you apart from other applicants who have similar profile as yours.

      Are you at ANU? Don’t hesitate to ask more questions if you have more and best of luck.


      1. Hi Andrew,

        Thanks for the info and quick reply, very much appreciated. Yeah I am at ANU, are you a past student of ANU?. I am thinking of applying for the IFC investment analyst program once I complete my studies in December. I was just wondering whether I should prepare a one-paged CV or would a two paged document be ok. Would great help if you could let me know. Please keep in touch.

        Best of Regards


      2. Hi Raveen,

        No, I did not go to ANU. I know a number of my former colleagues who did. One is now at Crawford.

        You’re welcome. I am not familiar with the IFC investment analyst program application process, but maybe now is a good time to apply if you will be done with your studies in December. The hiring process can take up to a month. I think a two-paged CV is a reasonable length. I think mine is even three, but it depends on the information I’d like to put in and highlight.


      3. Hi Andrew.

        I am also at Crawford School. Thank you so much for the valuable advise. I will start work on a CV immediately.

        Best Regards


  87. Hi Andrew,

    that’s a very nice blog you got here. am also an aspiring graduate who wants to get to work at WB. could you please tell us what degrees you have from which universities and what work experience you had before applying. This will help us more to figure out what they want. Thanks a lot. 🙂


    1. Hi Yadav,

      What are you studying?

      I have a BSc. in Human Ecology from the University of the Philippines (Los Baños) and MSc. in Environmental Governance from the University of Freiburg. I have worked for an NGO. Philippine government, and done internships in a think-tank and a media organization.

      Again, the profile of the applicant they look for mainly depends on the type of job they offer. Most are econ jobs but I’ve met JPAs in HR, communications, urban planning, and other fields. What field are you interested in?



      1. to tell you the truth. am just 18 😛 sorry for wasting your time on me …. BUT am really really ambitious and motivated to join the WB on day. I just love the finance world. I would like to study finance or economics (am applying for an econometrics and quantitative finance degree next year) and am sure that I will be admitted. And am planning to try get a Phd in the economics field. Looks like diverse work experience (like you) is much appreciated by them. I will remember that. 🙂

        btw am live in Africa. does WB have offices here?

      2. Don’t think you are wasting my time and I appreciate your curiosity. It’s never too early to set career goals. The World Bank also accepts JPAs straight from university. I have met a handful of JPAs who only have a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree without work experience.

        I am sure the WB has country offices in many parts of Africa. Or why not try AfDB first?

  88. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks a lot for the inside tips! I’m just finishing my research assistant job in Mozambique and plan to apply for the JPA! It looks like an amazing experience! So, I just have one (probably very silly) question: where on the online application should I upload my cover letter?! Because it only allows uploading one file and state it should be the CV. Am I supposed to send both in one file?!


    1. Hi Ines,

      You’re welcome. I encourage you to apply for the JPA especially now that you have a developing country experience.

      I suggest uploading the CV only. They should get in touch with you and ask for a copy of your cover letter when there is an appropriate vacancy that fits your profile.

      Good luck! Let me know if you have any more questions.


  89. Dear Andrew,

    Thank you for writing this blog entry, and helping people like me, who are interested in development to get a deeper insight into the Bank. Its heartening to see a European student make it to the Junior Professional Associates position, as you very well know, this position has historically been dominated by the student of the Ivy league colleges. Being a European student myself from India , your example has shown that it is challenging, but not impossible to get to the Bank based on the meritocracy alone. I will like to stay in touch with you, my E-mail ID is abhinav.kr.gupta@gmail.com.



    1. Hi Abhinav,

      You’re welcome! There are a lot of Indians at the Bank but I am not sure what university they attended (Ok, I know one went to Harvard and another to Princeton).

      Where did you get the notion that the JPA is dominated by Ivy League university graduates? I cannot really confirm nor deny that although I’ve met a few who are indeed Ivy League graduates.

      Are you applying for the JPA soon? Good luck on your studies and keep in touch!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s