InteRDom Promotes Internship Models with Transnational Impact

May 8, 2009

As part of its ongoing efforts to promote international internship models, InteRDom recently organized a conference entitled, “Internships to Increase Competitiveness,” led by Gizem Eren-Baig, Coordinator of the World Bank’s at Voice Secondment Program at FUNGLODE headquarters in Santo Domingo. 

“One of our core objectives is to encourage international
internships that have transnational impacts such as the program directed by Eren-Baig. While internships often affect productivity in a given company, the World Bank’s Voice Secondment Program benefits not only the Bank itself, but also the countries with which it does business,” explained Alicia Alonzo, InteRDom Coordinator.

The World Bank official explained that the program undertaken by the Bank has generated very positive results and is well structured and
administered at all stages. “We began it in 2004 as a high-level program to increase capacity among staff in government institutions, especially in low-income countries.  Ninety-six persons have graduated to date, and we are now on the fifth round, which will result in a total of 122 interns trained in public service.” 

Eren-Baig explained that the experience lasts for six months. “Afterward, the graduates return to their
offices for two years so that the investment pays off for their respective departments.  The system of instruction is based on everyday experiences and practical learning. We assign them to a concrete operational team. This gives greater depth and information to the participants who can then apply the lessons learned wherever they go.”  

“It is a very robust program that includes completing a series of tasks so that upon
graduation the beneficiaries are fully prepared,” stated The World Bank official. “They work and take the class at the same time. Each week we meet to learn from their experiences."
She described the nomination and selection process and governments participate in. Once selected, nominees are distributed among different departments based on the administrative needs within the multilateral institution and are usually based out of the
institutions’ central office.

Eren-Barig described how the interns are integrated into the life of the institution beyond the professional setting to include the cultural sphere. “It is important to provide the interns with the support they need. We have units that oversee the placements and identify a person to be responsible for day-to-day support to each intern. There are also social challenges, cultural adjustments to be made, so we look for people
who can facilitate the social integration of the interns outside of the organization. They provide constant support, and we are proud to have a generous staff that volunteers their efforts to these programs by providing professional and social support.” 

“The best recommendation for the program is to get the assignments and placements right. For this reason, we monitor them very closely to correct any problems that might arise,”
conveyed Eren-Barig. 

Another key to the success described by Eren-Barig is the development of a contact network. "We realized that the interns need further coaching and adaptation after they finish the program and saw the importance of establishing a networking platform. We created an internet platform in the form of a blog where I put my announcements and information and where we discuss different matters, situations that arise, etc. Bank experts often
participate in the discussions, which provide ongoing training and keep the interns in touch with each other, which are very important." 

After discussing the management and financing aspects of the program, the program coordinator referred to the themes of s