New to WSO, working at IFC

Hi, I'm new to WSO and wanted to take a minute to introduce myself. I'm currently working at IFC as an Investment Officer, specialized in insurance. Prior to joining IFC, I worked at the Inter-American Development Bank's Multilateral Investment Fund, which is essentially the 'innovation lab' of the Bank that engages with the private sector to promote innovative solutions to development challenges. Before that, I spent four years living and working in Latin America in various consulting gigs and jobs with local organizations gaining 'field experience'. And in what now feels like a lifetime ago, I worked at as a Risk Management Analyst at a energy company in NYC. I found WSO when I was doing interview prep for my present position at IFC, and hope to help share my experience and inspire others that want to break into microfinance and international development work. Cheers!

Comments (26)

Jun 7, 2016 - 2:47pm
EazyMuthaf.ckinE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi congrats on your position at position at the IFC! I was wondering if you could shed some light on the differences between the IFC and IMF, as I understand they're both parts of the World Bank group?

Jun 7, 2016 - 2:57pm
IFC monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks! The easiest way to break it down is to say that the World Bank focuses on public sector/government projects and capacity building; IFC works with the private sector to address social and economic development issues (broken down into Technical Advisory and Investment Services); and the IMF works on fostering sound monetary and fiscal policy, as well as international trade development.

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Jun 7, 2016 - 4:22pm
EazyMuthaf.ckinE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Very cool, thank you for that breakdown! As someone who is interested in this line of work and graduating soon, I have a couple more questions. 1.) Is international experience or multilingualism a base-requirement? 2.) Do any of these groups offer entry-level (fresh out of undergrad) positions?

Best Response
Jun 7, 2016 - 7:00pm
IFC monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Of course, happy to help out. I am actually planning to do an AMA on how to transition from traditional finance jobs over to microfinance/development work in the near future, so keep an eye on this space. In the interim... 1) In short, yes. There are exceptions, as with anything, but the key to getting into these organizations (and pretty much any job, in general) is to be able to very clearly demonstrate your value-added. In the context of these organizations, that's typically in the form of a subject-matter expertise (in my case, it's designing insurance products for clients in emerging markets; how I got into that I will elaborate in the AMA) combined with experience working with your boots on the ground (i.e.; field experience). Being able to communicate with locals and your end-users/clients helps make the work much more seamless, and immensely more enjoyable, so language skills are important. You'll see, however, that not every job has a language requirement other than English, so it's not a hard rule. 2) Yup, they all do, as do many of the other multilateral and development banks. They're called Young Professional Programs. Extremely competitive, but worth applying for. Also, if you look into academic year internships, those are other easier (and less competitive) ways to get in.

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Jun 12, 2016 - 7:31pm
famous202, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the info! What would you recommend an MBA student to do in order to transition into a career in micro finance and international development? What particular classes or internship should one be on the lookout for?

Jun 13, 2016 - 2:59pm
IFC monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'd begin by doing desk research to narrow down what exactly you'd enjoy doing in microfinance or development. The industry is so broad and can span from working at an NGO to working at an impact investing fund, that it's really important to learn as much as you can about the types of jobs available and how your skills and interests align. For example, if you want to work in a more 'traditional finance' job but want to know that you're making an positive social impact at the same time, perhaps you want to look into working at a fund such as Blue Orchard Finance or Developing World Markets. If you want something similar, but even more socially-minded, you can look at places like Calvert Foundation or MicroVest. MBA's are in high demand at international development consulting firms like Dalberg and DAI, which would afford you the opportunity to get to work with a wide range of clients. Finally, don't discount working with foundations, such as Mastercard Foundation, Rockefellar Foundation, Clinton Foundation, or an NGO. NGO doesn't (always) equate to super low salaries and being worked like a horse; especially if you can intern with one of the big players in microfinance like Finca, Accion, Women's World Banking, etc. As far as classes go, I would say to throw in a class related to international affairs or public policy if you can; understanding the impacts of regulation and policy is critical.

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Jun 20, 2016 - 11:35pm
anonymousnancy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How competitive is the investment analyst program? If I work in investment management, would I be at a disadvantage to other applicants (who might have been in banking for example)? Also, are candidates in the US at a disadvantage when applying to an international position? Thanks for your help.

Jul 18, 2016 - 8:26pm
IFC monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Because I came in with 8 years of experience and applied for a role I had specific industry expertise in (insurance for emerging market customers), I unfortunately can't offer much insight into the analyst programs. I do know, however, that the programs in general are highly competitive. The IFC has a very comprehensive on-boarding process with many trainings that all analysts go through regardless of their previous experience (I know this because a friend of mine got hired as an analyst in IFC's Kenya offices), so once you're in it's an equal playing field in that sense. That also touches on the final question you ask; My friend who got hired in Kenya is Venezuelan, so it doesn't seem like any nationality is preferred over another in terms of applications (unless, of course, a specific position is funded by a particular country and therefore the selected candidate needs to be of that nationality. This is rare, however, and not the case for investment analyst openings). Hope this info helps!

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Nov 6, 2016 - 12:56pm
Samjambo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi. I've just applied for an investment analyst position at IFC. Any idea what the interviews are like for that position?

Jul 1, 2016 - 5:27am
Yi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for this info, really interesting! Wondering if you could talk about the culture at the IFC? Also wondering if there are many travel/relocation opportunities and do people usually stick around for a while or go on to do other things? Thanks for your help.

Jul 18, 2016 - 8:30pm
IFC monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you! Glad to help out. I'm still fairly new, so I am still learning the culture myself, but the new CEO really is a breathe of fresh air (from what I've heard) compared to the old. He is much more open-minded and well-respected, a bit less 'old school'. The IFC views the Investment teams and Relationship Managers as the gatekeepers to clients, so it's still a bit old school in that sense, and there's definitely a lot of quirky personalities, but in a good way. Within your job, you will travel quite a bit. The investment teams are frequently traveling to meet clients, even though there usually is a local IFC presence. It's a good balance and allows for extra face time. If you're staff at IFC, you typically stay, unless something very, very, VERY enticing comes along :)

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Aug 16, 2016 - 9:13am
IFC monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Here's an entry-level job with the Venture Capital team at IFC that just opened up. Posting here as an FYI (unfortunately can't help with contacts or pushing through candidates)-

  • 3
Sep 30, 2016 - 9:28am
Sh333, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi IFC monkey, I am interested in applying the IFC YPP program. I worked for big four 3yrs+a commercial bank relationship manager for 2yrs. Now I am studying at a business school in Europe. I wonder how to present my experience to increase my chance of getting interview. What are key areas they look for in candidates? Any tips for the motivation letter?

Aug 27, 2016 - 6:28pm
dqbui3295, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you so much for taking the time to make this post. The position you posted mentions candidates with experience in consulting (you also did consulting). I take this as management consulting - how is this viewed vs typical IB/PE experience? What about candidates with equity research/Asset Management experience? Thank you.

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  • Investment Analyst in Consulting
Sep 1, 2019 - 7:37am

Hi i have a 3 hour test scheduled with IFC. Would really appreciate if you could let me know what kind of test it is

Sep 2, 2019 - 6:49am
Tulips19, what's your opinion? Comment below:


I have a 3 hour test for an investment analyst position at IFC in West Africa, can you please share what you think it would compose of?

Sep 2, 2019 - 7:56am
Charlotte-François, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi, I have a 3 hour test scheduled with IFC as well. Could you share the overall content of the test? If I applied for a FIG team, is it related to FIG ? Very much appreciated

Sep 5, 2019 - 3:35am
Masa1411, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey did u get any input from others ?

Sep 18, 2019 - 3:43am
johnwilliam7767, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hello Everyone, I am new member

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  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Sep 18, 2019 - 3:54am

How much does the IFC brand name help in pulling chicks? Genuinely curious

Jun 11, 2020 - 3:03am
bhavin.bhayani, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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