BEIJING, January 06, 2022
Attracting the Right Talent to Grow a Young Bank
Despite the challenges of the past two years, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is continuing to grow and is looking for talent to match the needs of the institution. Following the launch of the Bank’s Graduate Program in December 2021, Vincent Nicolier, AIIB Principal HR Officer for Training and Development discusses the importance of young talents to the Bank and the opportunities available to young talents at the very early stage of their careers.
1. AIIB is growing its pool of investment specialists and infrastructure specialists in transport, energy, water, and urban development, and other sectors. Why is the Bank also recruiting young talent?
Young talent have a lot to contribute to AIIB; at the same time, they can learn a lot from AIIB. We are a fast-growing institution and expanding in various markets and we need people who can grow with us. We value the fresh perspective and energy that young talents can bring to the table.
Further, AIIB is very invested in supporting technology-enabled infrastructure and young talents who are familiar with technology are definitely an asset, particularly with how business has had to adapt to the new world of work. Their adaptability is a natural fit for the Bank which is always looking for ways to remain agile in the way it does business.
Learning is a two-way street: for young talents who are looking for mentoring and professional guidance, we are in a unique position to teach them valuable skills by virtue of where we are headquartered, the wide range of our products and markets, and our unique business of financing infrastructure for tomorrow.
Finally, AIIB is committed to diversity and inclusion, both in terms of encouraging more women applicants and applicants from all over the world. We believe our strength comes from having a team with a diverse set of skills, experiences and abilities selected through a merit-based competitive process. We actively encourage applications from people from both within and outside AIIB members, regardless of nationality, religion, gender, race, disability, or sexual orientation.
2. What are the different opportunities available for young talents at AIIB?
To attract and retain young talents, AIIB is building its talent pipeline through two programs: the Internship Program and the Graduate Program.
The Internship Program targets graduate students at school who are interested in international development and would like to have hands-on experience through a summer internship. The internship may last for three months, and depending on the internship track, can either be done remotely if they are based abroad, or in-person for those who are already here in mainland China. Candidates must be enrolled in a full-time masteral or doctoral study program from an internationally recognized institution with plans to return to school.
The Graduate Program targets talents at very early stage of their career. The program lasts for two years and the analysts who qualify for the program will be exposed to different business functions within the Bank. They also get a chance to serve different departments on rotation, which is a valuable opportunity to try out different tracks to see which one suits them best. Rotation to aligned departments is one way for young talents to develop and port transferrable skills, which is valuable in any workplace. It is also a chance for those who are interested in multilateral development to quickly get familiar with the business of financing infrastructure in Asia and beyond in a holistic manner.
As AIIB develops and matures as an institution, analysts joining AIIB at this stage will have unique opportunities to contribute to the realization of the Bank’s mandate and Corporate Strategy. Unlike the Internship Program, the Graduate Program offers a career track within the Bank.
3. What learning opportunities and exposure can young talents expect if they are selected for AIIB's career programs?
Interns under the Internship Program get a daily allowance and will be closely supervised by experienced staff who will be guiding them step-by-step in their work program. This will enable them to fulfill their academic requirements while getting a foot in the door in their chosen profession.
On the other hand, the nature of the Graduate Program is that it is also a training program—young talents will be able to develop their professional skills and expertise while acquiring hands-on experience by working with the teams. The program has five streams—Investment Stream, Finance Stream, Risk Management Stream, Strategy Stream and Corporate Stream. Under each stream, analysts will be rotated into the business functions where we believe they could both contribute and learn by doing. It is also one of the best ways to get familiar with the daily work of their future counterpart, as well as leading professionals in the field. Their hands-on experience will be complemented by classroom trainings and mentoring to help them necessary knowledge as quickly as possible.
4. What experience can candidates expect to have working at a multilateral development bank (MDB) headquartered in Beijing?
AIIB is one of the most diverse institutions in Beijing. We have staff coming from over 50 economies working in our headquarters. Currently, we have less than 400 full-time staff which means there is definitely room to expand. We are also actively working to become more diverse into the coming years, both in terms of gender and demographic distribution.
In addition, we have staff who bring with them their experience working from the private sector, the public sector, multilateral development banks, financial institutions, etc. Considering the different kinds of projects the Bank is involved in, one can gain experience in a wide range of fields. It’s not just projects in different sectors but also different financing structures and different clients in the private and public sectors. The Bank is still a young institution and young talent can grow with it.
Insofar as working in China is concerned, Beijing is a very exciting city and there are lots to do. Within the Bank alone, there are 17 social interest groups, including running, hiking, music, cricket, rowing and art, etc. and people can pursue their passions easily.
AIIB Rowing Team
During the weekends, there are also lots of things to do and many places to explore in Beijing, which is both a very modern city and one that is rich in centuries-old traditions. For young people who are future-oriented, Asia, and China specifically, has great potential for growth. Working here can give young talents exposure to a very rich cultural heritage while giving them valuable skills they can use for the next stage of their career.
5. What tips do you have for applicants who want to make a strong showing?
Before applying, try to project yourself into the future and imagine who you want to be and what you want to become three or five years into the future. Then think strategically how you can best achieve your goal, given your particular interests, qualifications and skill sets.
For the Internship Program, detailed terms of reference will be available on the AIIB website. Consult with your graduate adviser regarding the academic requirements of your internship and see if your program of study matches with AIIB’s internship opportunities under various departments.
The Graduate Program has different streams, each of which leads to a unique professional direction. Because the Graduate Program has a rotation component, it is a unique opportunity for you to sample different fields: investment, finance, risk management, strategy and policy, and corporate. But you still have to start somewhere because each rotation assignment lasts for a couple of months to a year and the program only lasts for two years.
Then, go to the AIIB website and read through the terms of reference of each stream. The skillset and experience requirements for each stream will greatly influence your career path in the Bank. When preparing your CV, try to align your qualifications and strengths with the stated terms of reference. Include a cover letter but do not use it to simply summarize your resume. Instead, talk candidly but honestly about why your skills and experience are aligned to what the Bank is looking for. In describing your strengths, give concrete examples using metrics if possible. And finally, before submitting, make sure you proofread your work.
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