Beijing, February 07, 2024

From Intern to Graduate Analyst at AIIB: Three Interns Who Made the Transition to Full-time Employment

At the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), we believe in mentoring and providing professional guidance to young talents. Our Young Talent Programs provide them an opportunity to learn 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. Through our programs, young talents have an opportunity to contribute to AIIB’s mission. At the same time, our programs provide them with valuable training, mentorship and exposure that will help them succeed in the professional sphere.

“At AIIB, we prioritize providing pathways and opportunities to early career professionals, fostering growth and development in alignment with our organizational goals,” said Asma Shaikh, Director General of Human Resources Department. “Our interns eventually transition into full-time positions at AIIB upon graduation, where they are given more responsibility, work directly with clients, support multiple infrastructure projects, and take part in missions, while working under close mentorship with experts in their fields.”

We spoke to some of our former interns who have successfully leveraged their three-month paid internships into Graduate Analyst positions at AIIB. Jessica Halim, from Indonesia, Saksucha Submakudom from Thailand and Pier Ferdinando Cinotto from Italy share their experiences of the program and offered valuable advice for graduate-level students. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Jessica Halim (Indonesia)
Intern Period: June 2021- January 2022
Intern Role: Infrastructure Investment Intern - Transport
Current Role: Investment Analyst - Infrastructure, currently in rotation at Strategy Policy & Budget Department

Saksucha Submakudom (Thailand)
Intern Period: May 2022 - Sep 2022
Intern Role: Infrastructure Investment Intern - Energy
Current Role: Investment Analyst - Infrastructure (Energy)

Pier Ferninando Cinotto (Italy)
Intern Period: July 2022 – October 2022
Intern Role: Social Development Intern
Current Role: Environment and Social Analyst

Q: What motivated you to apply as an intern at AIIB?

Jessica: I had been increasingly curious about the infrastructure sector due to its role in catalyzing economic growth and facilitating social development, and I was eager to further explore this interest through my work. Additionally, I was confident that I could contribute valuable insights to the team by drawing from my upbringing in Indonesia, a developing country with substantial infrastructure needs; my dual education in engineering management and international business; as well as my relevant professional experience in finance and technology.

Saksucha: After 2.5 years working on the energy transition across Southeast Asia, I went to graduate school to study engineering. AIIB’s priorities of green infrastructure and regional connectivity resonated well with my graduate research on energy system modeling for Southeast Asia’s power sector with electricity trading. AIIB was offering an internship in energy sector investment that was open to engineering students—and it was a paid internship, which other organizations do not offer—so I applied.

Pier: I applied for an internship during my second semester of my graduate studies at Peking University. My academic focus has been on development studies and related social issues, and an internship at a development finance institution seemed like a great fit for my future career. I was also attracted by the youthful and dynamic nature of the institution, as it would allow me to work in and learn from a workplace that was still in the process of molding itself.

Q: Why did you decide to re-apply at AIIB for a full-time staff position under the Graduate Program?

Jessica: I was primarily inspired by the positive influence of my colleagues. Working with them has shaped my vision of the professional I aspire to be—someone competent, passionate, and committed to upholding integrity while also caring for the well-being of their colleagues. Moreover, through my internship, I discovered a genuine interest in international development work.

Saksucha: Although I did my internship remotely due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, I genuinely enjoyed working with my supervisors and colleagues and learned a lot from their assignments. Also, I want to play a major role in helping our society decarbonize, and my work and education provided me with a solid background in infrastructure financing (especially in the context of energy transition in developing regions), energy technologies, power plant life cycles, project finance and management, and climate change that I now draw upon in my current role.

Pier: Following my internship experience with the AIIB, I already knew I wanted to continue working within the institution, both because I had had a really good internship experience, and also because I felt that the AIIB was an institution where real and significant development impact can be achieved. Unfortunately, I could not apply for a Graduate Program position directly after the end of my internship, so I had to wait a year—where I took up another job, moved to three different countries, and lived a number of very important experiences—before I applied again to the Program.

Q: How has your internship helped you prepare for your current responsibilities as a Graduate Analyst?

Jessica: Since joining the Graduate Program, my role has transitioned from handling specific ad hoc tasks under the close supervision of seniors to independently delivering larger outputs with personal responsibility over the outcome. The internship provided a secure environment for me to familiarize myself with team dynamics, Bank-wide tools, and current challenges. This understanding enabled me to integrate seamlessly into my new role and work with confidence from day one.

Saksucha: My AIIB internship experience is like a movie teaser whereas working as a graduate analyst is a full-length movie. My internship has given me hands-on experience with AIIB’s investment process of AIIB, but as an intern, I didn’t have chance to work with the legal or environment and social teams, do financial models, attend project approval meetings, interact with clients, or go on mission travel, which I am doing now as a Graduate Analyst. Working full time has given me a more comprehensive experience and perspective.

Pier: Before, most of my tasks were research-based and ad hoc, while now, I support my unit in key routine assignments, such as carrying out the environment and social project review of projects that pass through AIIB’s pipeline. I think there were two things that I picked up as an intern that I now find very useful: first, I did my best to meet and get to know as many Bank colleagues as possible, so that now daily professional interactions start from a place of comfort and confidence; and second, I worked to become very familiar with the Bank’s policies and regulations and now that they are my daily bread. I find myself very comfortable in remembering and applying them without effort.

Q: What has been your experience of Beijing as a place to live and work?

Jessica: Beijing has been both an adventure and a home. I rarely find myself bored, as there is always something to explore in the city, and nature is easily accessible. The transportation network both within and outside the city is well-connected and convenient. The streets are always clean, and I feel safe walking after a night out with colleagues or friends. While the cultural and language differences may initially be a shock, Beijing has a unique charm that gradually grows on you. I owe my smooth relocation experience to AIIB’s Resettlement team. The Bank also provides various other measures, such as well-being sessions and legal consultations, to support one’s transition into life in Beijing.

Saksucha: Beijing is a very big and convenient city to live in. Everything can be done through apps, including shopping, ordering food, hailing rides, paying for transactions, finding a place to rent, etc. While I don’t know the language, I have my colleagues and friends to support me when I seriously need it. There is plenty of international food here, and I found Beijing’s cuisine to be quite good. The AIIB office is very nice and has all the facilities we need. When I am not in the office, I use the office gym, attend the free Chinese classes organized by the Bank, and play badminton at the office badminton courts.

Pier: I had the chance to live in Beijing briefly before joining the AIIB, as I was a graduate student at Peking University, so moving back was not as novel and stressful. Beijing is a massive city and offers both incredible opportunities and substantial challenges. For a person who is new to China and Chinese culture, the first few months can be challenging; however, once this first hurdle is overcome, Beijing is one of the most interesting and worthwhile places one can live in. The city is steeped in history and culture, and exploring its myriad of streets, alleyways, parks, and temples will keep one entertained.

Are you intrigued by the prospect of launching a career in international finance and development?

“Now is the right time to be part of AIIB because you get to witness and be part of exciting projects and initiatives. By joining us, you have a chance to help shape and define a new multilateral development bank,” said Brian Hipolito, Senior HR Officer – Talent Acquisition who manages the recruitment process of AIIB’s Young Talent Programs. Brian shares valuable insights for prospective applicants:

On how to apply for the internship:

  • Familiarize yourself about AIIB’s mission, values, and recent projects.
  • Analyze the position to align your skills, experiences, and achievements with its requirements.
  • Draft a personalized cover letter that reflects your values and fit for the role.
  • Prepare for potential interview questions related to the position and your interest in AIIB.
  • Be honest, confident, and demonstrate a willingness to learn during interviews.
  • Emphasize qualities like motivation and ability to work in a diverse and collaborative environment.

On how to make the most of your internship:

  • Take this as an opportunity to learn about AIIB's operations and international development financing.
  • Cultivate a deep interest and passion for your internship objectives.
  • Seize every available learning opportunity and reflect on your experiences.
  • Proactively seek out tasks and projects, and actively seek feedback to enhance your skills.
  • Network actively within AIIB to forge genuine connections and leave a lasting impression.
  • Ensure that every interaction, whether professional or personal, leaves a positive impact.

As shown by the journey of our past interns turned full-time staff, the AIIB internship serves as a transformative launchpad for graduate students. This year, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) once again opens applications to its 2024 Summer Internship Program. There are 31 internship positions across various disciplines and specialties, including finance, international affairs, economics, environmental sustainability, or infrastructure development. Deadline for submissions is on February 29, 2024. Apply for AIIB's 2024 Summer Internship Program today.


Visit the AIIB Career Portal to See Our Open Positions

More Blog Articles