What it does: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) provides financial assistance to promote economic and social development in the Asia-Pacific region.
Best known for: ADB’s purpose as an institution is similar to the World Bank, which also assists poor and developing countries by providing grants and loans.
Staff stats: more than 2,600 Filipino employees
The good bits: Interns have a chance for international exposure by working in an ADB member nation (eg the U.S. and Vietnam).
The not-so-good bits: ADB prefers postgraduate degrees for entry-level roles. The hiring process can also take up to six months.
ADB started in 1966 when it initially focused on food production and rural development projects. The institution had 31 member nations during its maiden year, eventually growing to more than 60 members.
More than 50 years later, ADB has embarked on economic and social development projects in the Asia-Pacific region. It has provided equity investments, grants, loans, and technical assistance.
More than 2,600 Filipinos work overseas and at ADB’s headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila.
ADB’s headquarters in Manila also has different amenities such as a bookshop and convenience store, pharmacy, and medical and dental retainer clinics.
Insiders describe the workplace culture as not being overly professional despite being surrounded by highly intelligent people. The casual vibe may be noticeable when it comes to addressing colleagues and seniors.
Most employees don’t have to worry about how to interact with other staff members. New hires, however, shouldn’t mistake the relaxed work environment for complacency. ADB values cooperation and teamwork to achieve productive results for its projects.
In terms of work-life balance, interns work between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a one-hour break. Other staff members may not share the same schedule. Insiders said that some of them need to work long hours.
ADB employees in the Philippines filed a legal complaint against revenue officials because of income taxes on their salaries.
The lawsuit claimed that the bank’s employees should be exempt from salary taxation. In 2020, the Court of Tax Appeals ruled in favor of revenue officials.
As of 2021, ADB allotted $26.31 billion for 711 projects and technical assistance in the Philippines. The amount included programs for COVID-19 response in the country.
Fresh grads with undergraduate degrees should expect a slim chance of joining ADB even as an intern. The institution prefers individuals with a strong academic background, highlighted by an MBA, a master’s, or a Ph.D. degree.
Filipino applicants should be sure that they don’t have any close relatives at the ADB. Otherwise, they won’t be qualified for career opportunities.
ADB defines the following people as a person’s close relatives:
Once fresh grads become certain of their eligibility, they should apply via the ADB Career and Employment System. Previous applicants said that an interview invitation came at least 30 days after applying for a job.
The bank’s HR Business Partners Division may take a long time to send pre-interview invitations partly due to the number of applicants. In general, the selection process may follow four steps:
Most of the questions during the interview stages will focus on situational and technical concepts. Applicants should also prepare for an exam in between the interview stages.
ADB can take up to six months to process applications of fresh grads in the Philippines. The actual timeline may become as short as two months if candidates already have the following requirements:
Shortlisted candidates should wait for ADB’s request before submitting references or recommendation letters. The bank may also ask for writing and/or publication samples depending on the role.
ADB only provides interns with a stipend of up to 56 calendar days. In 2019, interns got US$69 per day for the covered period.
The bank follows a gross salary structure for national staff and administrative staff. AS1 employees (general services staff) earn at least Php480,200 per year. NS1 employees (associate officers) earn at least Php1.44 million per year.
Individuals with postgraduate degrees have better chances of joining ADB. It’s rare for people with undergraduate degrees to land a job at the organization—despite having relevant skills and several years of experience.
Most of the entry-level staff members have postgraduate degrees with at least eight years of relevant professional experience. Fresh grads and early-career professionals can still join ADB through internships and the Young Professionals Program (YPP).
ADB said that fresh grads must be enrolled in a master's or Ph.D.-level program before and after the internship period. Interns work at the bank for 8-26 weeks depending on the assignment.
Certain assignments involve overseas travel to ADB member countries such as the U.S. and Vietnam. The onboarding for ABD’s local and international internships begins every January and June.
YPPs at ADB have at least two years of relevant professional experience. They shouldn’t be older than 32 years old as well. Qualified individuals work for a three-year term.
The fixed tenure involves an initial designation in one department at the Manila headquarters. A 12-month rotational assignment will then take place in a different department.
ADB’s YPPs learn about several operational aspects:
YPPs can pursue internal long-term roles upon the end of the program, subject to available opportunities at ABD