Yesterday I met with Maria (not her real name), an early-career economist at the World Bank. I met Maria through Erin (not her real name), the first woman I interviewed with. I wanted to talk to Maria because I have always been interested in the World Bank, as it is one of the major players in the international development scene. In fact, when in as in middle school, my friend’s parents worked at the WB and they are the ones who introduced me to the field of international development.
By talking to Maria, I learned a lot about her experiences in graduate school, in economic consulting, and at the World Bank. Talking to Maria was very refreshing because she discussed her experiences as a human being, rather than just a professional. For example, she talked about the cultures of the places she worked at, how they affected her lifestyle, and the types of friends she made in each environment. She had no qualms about criticizing her employer, but also clearly loved her work.
Talking with Maria helped me understand that I probably don’t want to work at the WB one day. While she is very happy there, I realized that it is probably too bureaucratic and not technical enough to suit my interests well. This has helped me confirm that I want to put myself on the track to get a Ph.D. rather than an MPA or MPP.