University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre

World Bank Group Intern in 2022

Blog by Kayode Olude (LLM International Commercial Law)

Kayode Olude


Please tell us about your placement organisation and the role you undertook?

My placement with the World Bank’s Insolvency and Debt Resolution Team spanned from September to December 2022, shortly after the submission of my dissertation. I was fortunate to be the first intern to have completed an in-person internship at the Bank’s headquarters in Washington, DC. I had a wholesome experience during my three months which will forever be etched in my memory.

My role and obligations varied as it was often influenced by the team member I worked with and the project I was involved with. Essentially, I researched and analysed different countries' insolvency and debt enforcement regimes, contributed to report writing projects, participated in various meetings with stakeholders, and prepared PowerPoint slides for different presentations. Interestingly, my first task was to prepare the PowerPoint presentation slides on the importance of introducing a distinct Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) insolvency framework for a presentation at the annual conference of my home country’s (Nigeria) insolvency practitioner’s association.

I genuinely enjoyed my time at the Bank as I was challenged beyond my comfort zone due to the work demands and importance of the insolvency and debt team to the Bank’s activities. The experience thoroughly enriched my knowledge of the challenges, experiences and practices in different countries and how insolvency law and regulatory reforms could serve as catalysts for economic growth and development. 

Please tell us how you discovered this placement and the application process?

Prior to submitting my LL.M application to study at the University of Nottingham, my research of the School of Law revealed an existing partnership with the World Bank for an internship placement with the Insolvency and Debt Resolution team. My knowledge of this opportunity and other factors eventually influenced my decision to apply for the LL.M.

I believed that if I was selected for the placement opportunity, it would not only be a great addition to my CV but also align with my long-term goal of working with an international organization. Shortly after the resumption of the spring term, I received an email inviting an application from interested persons to apply for the internship, to which I eventually applied.

The application process was simple. Applicants were required to submit a CV and a motivation letter. In preparation for my application submission, I participated in the information session organized by the School of Law, which featured a World Bank staff member – Nina Mocheva – and past interns. This was helpful for me while preparing my application documents. Also, I researched recent activities of the insolvency and debt resolution team. This knowledge helped me to identify my transferable skills for the internship and tailor my application for submission.

What did you enjoy most on placement at the World Bank and how do you feel it benefited you?

I enjoyed being asked to partake in a research project. Each time I was tasked with research, it was beyond just reading and interpreting what I had read. For me, the thrill accompanying such research tasks was that countries, businesses and entrepreneurs could be made better off or worse off from proposals and innovations I was suggesting. Undoubtedly, this kept me working and thinking hard about assisting countries. Working with the Bank helps you see first-hand what is happening globally and how each country or region is uniquely different. This knowledge gave me a better perspective on understanding their unique challenges and how to provide tailored solutions.

Beyond a doubt, the in-person internship experience was a major highlight for me. This enabled me to interact with my colleagues, meet and network with staff at the Bank, and attend varied events organised by the team and Bank, such as the Annual Meetings of the Bank and US-African Summit.

Please give us an example of any learning or self-development whilst on placement?

The internship instilled the importance of task ownership. Whether starting a task from scratch, contributing in between or assisting with proofreading final edits, I was given the ability to take ownership of tasks, express my thoughts and opinions and receive valuable feedback. This gave me a real insight into the relevance of collaborative skills as vital to the work of the insolvency and debt resolution team. It is a tight-knit team where each member is not only seen and recognised but their input is highly regarded and valued.

Do you have any advice for future interns interested in careers and placements at the World Bank or in a similar field?

Give it a shot! While I was interested in the internship placement and fancied the opportunity to be selected, I was reluctant to submit my application until a few minutes before the deadline (I do not recommend it). While I had several transferable skills and experiences that could potentially stand out, I harboured thoughts that my experiences were insufficient and not particularly tailored to insolvency. My reluctance to submit was also made worse when I realized that only one student would be selected.

My advice is simple: do not write yourself off! To be competitive, I encourage you to think through your past experiences and identify the transferable skills you have to succeed in the internship placement. Upon identification of the skillsets, tailor your CV and motivation letter accordingly.

Once you are shortlisted for an interview, I would advise you to conduct thorough research of the team’s activities and stay up-to-date with any report they release. Also, you could reach out to the University’s careers team for support; they were very helpful to me and were gracious to conduct an interview prep with me.

Lastly, if selected for the internship, congratulations to you! I encourage you to maximise the opportunity to the best of your ability. Remember, the team is willing and ready to support and guide you. I reached out to past interns from the School of Law to ask about tips to succeed during the internship. Lastly, do not forget to network with the Bank staff and also have fun exploring DC!

Finally, I made a vlog about my experience, which I hope you enjoy watching. 

University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre

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