Working for AIIB was an interesting experience in every way. To begin with I applied through their website and got a call for the interview which lasted for close to 45 minutes where I was quizzed on several aspects. Few days after the interview, I was informed about my selection and I was thrilled to say the least. AIIB was my preferred organization to intern for a variety of reasons. To begin with I was keen to experience Beijing for it was a symbol of an ancient civilization which always fascinated me, so being in China was in itself, an experience. Therefore, during my stay I also travelled to other parts of China and experienced its unique culture. Apart from this, AIIB as an organization has also emerged at a global level with significant political, economic and strategic importance. That also added to the lure as I was curious about the internal working of such an organization.
I must admit that the actual experience of working at AIIB only surpassed my expectations in every way. Firstly, were a group of 4 interns who were selected from amongst 3000 applicants to work for the Policy, Strategy and Budget department. our team had a diverse group of interns in terms of both nationalities as well as educational background. Other interns came from School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. This was a very diverse group of students which made the internship experience even better. From a pure work perspective, the experience was no less. Even though we were only interns but were treated almost like professionals in the bank and given real projects to work on. Our supervisors not only guided us in our endeavours but also sought to rely on us for important inputs for their work. We were pushed to come out with insightful findings to help our supervisors in their work. Unique thing about working at a multilateral organization like AIIB is that it is a new organization which is the throes of figuring things out for itself. That meant that we were involved in live projects and involved in works which the senior management itself was then doing. This was both exciting and challenging. Exciting because we were working on resolving real issues which the bank was grappling with but challenging because it required us to get out of our comfort zones and stretch ourselves intellectually and professionally to perform the tasks assigned to us. We researched on the issues involved in impact investment and measurement of socio-economic and environmental impact of projects funded by AIIB. This work was intended to inform the equity strategy of AIIB and thus was very important and critical. AIIB was also in the process of devising its strategy for investments made through financial intermediaries and I was directly involved in preparing a note on this issue.
I must also confess that this opportunity could not have come about without tremendous support of LKY School. The School was instrumental in securing internship opportunity with Asian Development Bank in December 2017. This stint at ADB was critical in more than one way. Experience at ADB helped me in navigating the interview before the internship as I was familiar with the generalities of a multilateral organization. This experience was also helpful during my internship as I was in a better position to understand the work culture and the nature of expectations. So, it allowed me to both crack the interview and secure the internship opportunity and then deliver better performance during the course of the internship.
Overall, it was a fascinating experience to work at AIIB and I would strongly recommend it people who are interested in working at any multilateral organization.