The interns and trainees at the Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C. paid a visit to the World Bank on Thursday, November 13. The twelve young professionals, varying in background from defense specialists to circular economy expert, from economists to agriculturists, spoke to various Dutch World Bank staffers.
Most of the interns had little knowledge about the World Bank prior to their visit. While doing their internships at the embassy, their primary focus is the United States. Everyday work quickly piles up, giving them little time to look outside of their specific sectors. On Thursday, however, half a day was set aside to learn more about this Bretton Woods institute.
The sheer volume and range of loans and activities surprised many of the interns. The fact that three out of five World Bank organizations actually make a profit (IBRD, IFC, MIGA) was mind-blowing, as the outside world often views the Bank as an organization providing grants and subsidies to help the poor.
During their visit, the interns spoke to the Dutch Executive Director to the World Bank, Mr. Frank Heemskerk, who was happy to host the group in the Board Room of the Bank, and was eager himself to talk to the young professionals. The interns also spoke to Dutch staffers about their daily work, what motivates them, and about tips and tricks to one day work for the World Bank themselves. An inspiring day for many, one that provided the interns with insights into a previously little-known institution.