..Members' Internship Experience

Otsubo Seminar Members are encouraged to acquire some

Internship Experience during the course of study at GSID.

To Otsubo Seminar Members:

Visit the following internal resource site for you
to identify internship opportunities.

Internship Guide

(You need your account and password
to enter this Guide.)

Also, share your internship experience with other students.



Yumeka Hirano

Participating in Policy Dialogue at the 2012 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings
(D2, Economic Development Policy & Management Program, DID)

説明: Macintosh HD:Users:yumekahirano:Pictures:2012-10-12 IMF-WB Annual Meetings:Pics from WB Homepage:49.2012 AMs - CSO Townhall 1.jpgテキスト ボックス: Photo1: CSO Townhall Meeting with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim  




“Intergenerational gap is vital (from the point of view of debt) ,” said the IMF Managing Director (MD) Christine Lagarde in response to my question at the CSO Townhall Meeting held on 11 October, during the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group. I had a privilege to address a question to MD Lagarde about the economic issues related the youth including high unemployment rate, social security and intergenerational gap. MD Lagarde pointed out the significance of pushing growth, stabilizing macro-economy, and managing debt in a sustainable way as the roles of IMF.

テキスト ボックス: Photo2: Raising a question to MD Christine Lagarde at the CSO Townhall Meetingテキスト ボックス: Photo3: Presenting analytical studies at the Civil Society Policy Forum  




This year’s Annual Meetings took place in Tokyo, October 9-14, 2012. The Annual Meetings brought together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, and academics in order to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness. I was given the opportunities to attend the Civil Society Policy Forum and various seminars and meetings at the Annual Meetings as one of the eight IMF Youth Fellows through a competitive selection that included an essay contest. It was a great experience for me to join the debate on global issues and learn from real policy dialogues.
   The CSO Townhall Meeting with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was a highlight of the Civil Society Policy Forum. In addition, some 60 sessions were held on a wide variety of topics ranging from global economy recovery, health, safeguards, social accountability to gender equity. In the session “Youth, Asia, and the Roles of the IMF,” I had a chance to discuss the issues as a panelist and present some analytical works from my current research on globalization and disparities.

説明: Macintosh HD:Users:yumekahirano:Pictures:2012-10-12 IMF-WB Annual Meetings:IMG_0836.JPGテキスト ボックス: Photo4: Meeting with youth fellows from overseas and IMF staff 




  Through the participation in the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings, I have reaffirmed the importance of conducting policy-oriented researches that contribute to the possible solution of the global socio-economic issues. Meaningful policy dialogue could not be carried out without a basis of rigorous analysis. I am determined to do my best in continuing my research work at GSID. At last, I believe the friendship and network built among youth leaders, other CSO representatives gathered from all over the world, and IMF-World Bank staff are invaluable. I would like to stay connected with them through various future activities.

*** Video: The entire speech/session can be seen.***
CSO Townhall with Managing Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
(56:28 - Yumeka raised a question to IMF MD Lagarde on the issues of youth unemployment and intergenerational gap.)

Christine Lagarde Speech -2012 Annual Meetings Plenary
(29:39 – Finalists of the IMF essay contest, including Yumeka, was introduced in MD Lagarde’s Speech at the Plenary Session of the Annual Meetings.)

The IMF-WB Annual Meetings HP: http://www.imf.org/external/am/2012/index.htm

The CSO Townhall meeting has been held since 2004 as one of the event during the Annual Meetings. 

Yumeka Hirano

平野 夢香
(国際開発専攻 経済開発政策とマネジメントプログラム 博士課程2年)
説明: Macintosh HD:Users:yumekahirano:Pictures:2012-10-12 IMF-WB Annual Meetings:Pics from WB Homepage:49.2012 AMs - CSO Townhall 1.jpg
テキスト ボックス: 写真1: IMFラガルド専務理事、世界銀行キム総裁とのCSO タウンホール・ミーティング






テキスト ボックス: 写真2: CSO タウンホール・ミーティングにてIMFラガルド専務理事に質問。



テキスト ボックス: 写真3: 市民社会政策フォーラムにてパネリストとして発表。



説明: Macintosh HD:Users:yumekahirano:Pictures:2012-10-12 IMF-WB Annual Meetings:IMG_0836.JPG
テキスト ボックス: 写真4: アジアのユース代表、IMFスタッフとの交流 




**ビデオ: セッションやスピーチはIMFのホームページから見ることができます。**
CSO Townhall with Managing Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong KimIMFラガルド専務理事、世界銀行キム総裁とのCSO タウンホール・ミーティング)
(56分28秒 – 平野がユースを代表してIMFラガルド専務理事に質問をします。)

Christine Lagarde Speech -2012 Annual Meetings Plenary
(29分39秒 – 総会プレナリー・セッションにおけるIMFラガルド専務理事のスピーチにて、平野を含むIMFユース・フェローが紹介されます。)


Takahiro Yamada 2010-2011

IOM (International Organization for Migration) Internship Report in Lao PDR

Takahiro YAMADA/山田昂弘 (M1-M2)

GSID, DID, EDP&MプログラムM1の山田昂弘です。
私は2010年12月からIOM, Vientiane Lao PDR Officeで働いています。配属された部署はLabor Migration & Research Unitというところで、その名の通り、移民労働関連のプロジェクトに主に携わっています。

1, 移民労働プロジェクト(Awareness raising on safe migration in Lao PDR funded by ADB)のリサーチプロポーザル作成
2, フィールド調査で得られたデータの統計分析, レポート作成(Project for enhancing Avian and Human Influenza Pandemic preparedness to migrants and mobility affected communitiesなど)
3, Lao PDRや東南アジアで行われているLabor Migration関連の情報収集
4, 全般的なアドミニストレーション

Lao officeの魅力は、
1, 小規模なため、スタッフ間(Project Managerなどのinternational staffと、National staff)の垣根が低く、面と向かったコミュニケーションが活発に行われていること
2, 1次情報を扱えること

個人的に、ミクロレベルで実体経済を把握することができ、同僚から認められればどんどん仕事が振られてくる現在の環境に満足しています。最初の全体ミーティングで、「Taka, what is your potential contribution to our office?」と聞かれた時は少し度肝を抜かれましたが、プロジェクト単位で動いている国際機関では、internに対しても「育てる」、「将来的な成長性」よりも、「現在の能力」を重視しているのだと実感させられました。



Yumeka Hirano

Internship at UNESCO Bangkok (received in December 2010)

Name: Yumeka Hirano (M2)

Section: Assessment, Information Systems, Monitoring and Statistics (AIMS) Unit

UNESCO Institute for Statistics Regional Office, UNESCO Bangkok

Period of Internship: From 20 February to 14 May 2010

About UNESCO Internship Program:

The UNESCO Bangkok and the GSID has the Agreement of internship programme. Based on this agreement, the UNESCO Bangkok offers the opportunity of unpaid internship for GSID students every year. Several candidates will be selected through the application process.

Work Responsibilities and Activities:

*Assist in the UIS-AIMS Unit's technical support for the development of Education Management Information System (EMIS) in Member States in the region.

*Develop the training modules to be used at regional and national statistical capacity building workshops.

*Develop UIS questionnaire survey for research on education statistics to Great Mekong Subregion (GMS).

*Assist in the organization of conferences and workshops and trainings, including the preparation of documentation and presentation.


*Contributed to improve "Training Modules A: EFA (Education for All) Monitoring and EMIS" and "Training Modules B: Appropriate and Effective Use of Education Related Data from Population Census and Household Surveys for EFA Monitoring" with team members.

*Developed questionnaire survey for research on tertiary education to GMS countries.

*Deepened understandings of the importance of monitoring and utilization of existing data for national/regional development.

*Improved my analytical skills of data by using statistical software (SPSS/PASW). I was able to utilize what I have learned in statistics and quantitative analysis classes at GSID.

*Developed e-leaning website for Statistical Capacity Building with another intern.


I enjoyed the working environment in UNESCO, Bangkok Office where I could have the opportunities to express my opinions and share insights to develop the modules as a team member. I could feel the importance of working together for the success of the project, combining ideas from people with different backgrounds. I think the UN office is one of the most multinational offices I have ever known.

In addition, I encountered the challenges of institutionalizing monitoring system and developing statistical capacity of each country and the region as a whole, and I also found the interests in improving the situation through this internship.

Staying in Bangkok:

Thailand is one of my favorite countries, as people are very generous and Thai foods are delicious. So, I had a great time staying in Thailand. Also, Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is such an international city. I had no difficulties finding an apartment and buying necessary things to settle down soon after I arrived.

Moreover, Bangkok is the hub of the international organizations in Asia. UNESCO Bangkok plays their roles both as the county and regional office. It was beneficial for me to work at the regional office to observe the situation of various countries, because my master research is about regional economic integration of ASEAN. On weekends or holidays, I had opportunities to visit other offices and facilities to learn and work for my research.


Internship experience at the UN office will spice up your ideas for your research and your career development for your future! Try your best!!

Yumeka Hirano

Internship Report at JICA Headquarters (received in December 2009)

Name: Yumeka Hirano (M1)

Section: Planning Division, Southeast Asia Department II

Topic: ASEAN Regional Cooperation

About JICA Internship Program:

This internship opportunity is open to any graduate student, who conducts research related with international cooperation or international development, and who is highly motivated to work in the field in the future. This program aims at giving opportunities to students to deepen their understandings about Japan’s international cooperation and Official Development Assistance (ODA), and the application is open to public. I, myself, knew about this internship information in homepage, and then I decided to attend the briefing by JICA staff at GSID.

Contents of Work:

The ASEAN Charter was signed in November, 2007 and it plays a central role in the development of intra-ASEAN economic cooperation for ASEAN integration by 2015. Based on the policy to support ASEAN integration of Japanese government, JICA initiated a JICA-ASEAN Cooperation scheme to enhance working relationship as partners. The following are the tasks I carried out as an intern.

1. Engaging in the planning of the Laos Pilot Program (LPP), which is an ODA tripartite program for narrowing the development gap toward ASEAN integration such as attending the meetings with consultants, and other relevant meetings with JICA staff. Other tasks included drafting reports, preparing presentation materials and handouts for workshops.

2. Summarizing aggregate data to be used for report briefings, and updating the data for policy determination for the cooperation with Southeast Asia.

3. Learning about management know-how of development assistance by looking into various past ODA programs records and assisting routine operations.


The presentation materials and handouts, which I made, were actually used in the workshop for LPP, held in Laos. I felt proud to be part of the team working for LPP. TO meet the high expectation of team member, I had to make my utmost efforts by reading various reports, and relevant references to deepen my understanding of the program and the current situation of related countries.

On the last of my internship, I made a presentation on “JICA’s Support for ASEAN Regional Cooperation and Laos Pilot Program” in front of JICA staff. This presentation provided me a great opportunity to look back on what I have learnt and done during the internship. At the same time, it was also a good chance for me to present my opinions and suggestions on LPP and receive many useful comments to be reflected for the future program.


Personally, I have had a strong desire to work in the field of development assistance since I was an undergraduate student. Since then, I have participated in some ODA programs at local level; however, I have never had a chance to work at national level environment. I was very impressed by the passion and attitude of JICA staffs, counterparts, and consultants towards their works and the way they inspired each other to achieve the common goal. Lastly, I was able to assure myself that this is the field I would like to work for in the future and at the same time it is also very beneficial for my master thesis.


Working as an intern is a great opportunity to know what you want to work for in the future and what kind of skill you need to develop. Moreover, it was precious experience to exchange ideas with people with hands-on experience. There are costs and time involved by joining the internship program, yet I believe there are more things you can obtain. I would like to recommend anybody who is interested to try this internship.



氏名:平野 夢香


研修期間:2009年8月17日 〜 2009年9月11日



















Felippe Araujo

Internship Report at United Nations ECOSOC Policy Coordination Branch (UN - DESA) (received in April 2009)

Name: Felippe Cademartori Araujo (Brazil)

Period: September 4 - October 29, 2008

Section: Economic Development Policy

Place: New York, USA

Contents of work:

The Policy Coordination Branch is one of the four departments that constitute the Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination (OESC), together with the NGO Section, and the branches for ECOSOC Interorganization Cooperation and for Development Cooperation. As its name suggests, the Policy Coordination Branch is the main responsible for providing harmonization of and support to the variety of works of the ECOSOC, the Second Committee and the General Assembly. While its focus lies mostly on the promotion of the MDGs, it also frequently covers events on Financing for Development and transnational economic cooperation of many sorts, proposed under the auspices of the UN.

During my internship, I had the chance to deal with a gamut of related issues. One of my first tasks was to assist the preparatory meetings for the 2009 AMR (Annual Ministerial Review) conference, focused on global progress in public health. I was in charge of writing two draft reports: one on eHealth advancements and prospects in Latina America, and another on challenges and strategies to finance for Health Systems in East Asia. Also one of my first responsibilities was to sketch follow-up country reports on the accomplishment of the MDGs, and to cover the Africa Development Needs Conference for my branch. Towards the end of the month of September, I was given the task of monitoring the preparatory events and documents for the Doha Conference on Financing for Development. On this period, I also had the pleasure of attending and summarizing some of the inaugural sessions of the General Assembly and of the Second Committee. In October, my attention was mainly devoted to Issues Notes and meetings on the repercussions the financial crisis could inflict to national development strategies and ODA flows. 

Personal Impression:

Working at the UN Headquarters is an experience I will never regret, in spite of all the financial and academic sacrifices it entailed. Through it, I could see for myself how is the work of policy makers and staff within a pivotal international organization. Also, the opportunity to meet heads of state and renowned scholars was unique, not less due to the GA inaugural sessions which traditionally take place around the third week of September, every year. Being at the UN Headquarters those days felt like being at the center of World Politics: imminent historical US Elections, collapse of the global financial system, welcoming the new Japanese PM in his first trip abroad.

Perhaps most importantly, I was deeply moved by the challenge of making the development cause look appealing to statesmen from around the world, and other members of the internal hierarchy. Amid such turmoil which constituted the initial stages of the current financial crisis, the quest of drawing public attention to our branch’s issues appeared insurmountable. Working with our own knowledge, charisma and social network to streamline discussions was, I believe, one of the most exciting tasks I have ever faced.      

Message to students:

What the UN Human Resources departments look for in candidates’ applications still remains obscure to me. However, having had two students accepted as interns, one in Geneva and one in NYC, I believe GSID has a notable reputation within the organization, which may contribute to future applicants coming from this school. Working for the UN Headquarters, even if for less than two months, is an extraordinary experience, especially if you are there in the GA opening in September. I strongly encourage all students interested in Development Studies to apply for it. And if you manage to get in, I recommend you to expand your social network as much as possible while there (not only with high-ranked staff members, but also with other interns); show to your superiors your competencies and interests to the most; and please do not forget to get a recommendation letter from them before you leave office. All the best!

Burkhanov Saidakhror

Internship Report at United nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) (received in March 2008)

Name: Saidakhror Burkhanov (Uzbekistan)

Period: February 5, 2008 - March 23, 2008

Section: Social Policy and Development

Place: Geneva, Switzerland

Contents of work:

The UNRISD is a research institute under the UN framework, which is proposing core research agenda on Social Policy and Development. The current program of UNRISD deals with research on this field that looks at ways that social policy can be instrumental to economic development while maintaining its main goals of social protection and equity. Specifically, it focuses on five areas of study: institutions for social policy and poverty eradication, financing social policy, global social policy, migration and social welfare, and assessment of HIV/AIDS policy and practices. In 2006, UNRISD initiated a project to study the causes, dimensions and dynamics of poverty. Therefore, currently UNRISD started working on the “UNRISD Flagship Report on Poverty”, which will be published in 2009 that examines the poverty reduction policies, which are shaped by the configuration of institutions and policies in a triad of economic development, social policy and politics.

I particularly worked on one of the chapters of this Flagship Report, named as “Financing Social Policy” that explores the sources of finance for social policies of the state. Mainly, I did research on taxation reform to assess the sufficiency and sustainability of tax revenues in specific countries, the economic and social effects of tax policy, the relationship between tax policy and social policy, tax reform and decentralization, and the contribution of tax policy to economic and social goals of growth, stability, equity, cohesion, and democracy. My tasks included the data collection and data analysis of tax revenue sources in all developing countries. I made the table on tax revenue to GDP ratio for all developing counties and drew some graphs on some countries’ tax revenue performance to compare with developed countries (especially, Nordic countries) practice.

Personal Impression:

I am really happy that I got such an opportunity to do internship in one of the UN organizations in Geneva. As it was my first visit to Europe, especially to Switzerland I encountered very exciting feeling. As you all know that Switzerland is famous country with its private banks, expensive and fashionable watches and delicious chocolate and milk products, I very enjoyed the time of exploring and consuming these products. It was my dream to visit the well-known Swiss banks like, UBS, Credit Suisse, etc that while I entered these banks I was feeling self-satisfaction and self-proud, which gave me good inspiration to continue my studying and start working on finance field.

Concerning internship in the UN, it was great experience that I earned during my short stay in the UNRISD. I learned a lot about the general system of the UN, its history, its organizations, their functions and so forth. I tried to use my time firstly, to learn the UNRISD and other UN organizations activity and contribute myself to the URISD research progress, secondly, to get some data and information for my research thesis from the huge source of the UN library and lastly, to extend my network by meeting with various professionals and experts there. During my internship, the knowledge that so far I got from GSID was extremely helpful, especially in analyzing tax reforms and budget performance of developing countries where I learned from “Development Planning and Policy” course. Moreover, as UNRISD is promoting research policy toward the social-friendly policy that somehow contradicting the “Washington Consensus” policy of World Bank and IMF, I studied different perspectives and views of affection of “structural adjustment” policy to social development in developing countries. My view is broadened on social-economic policy that I hope would benefit me in writing my research topic.

Generally, people in the UN are very kind and supportive that I felt myself comfortable and even made some good friends there. I understood that in order to get into the UN system, one should be good in development areas, know at least two UN languages, especially English and French (in case of UN Geneva office) and be flexible and team-oriented person, who would work with multicultural environment. Briefly, I was worth to conduct the internship in UNRISD that became the foundation stone for the further development of my personality and professional abilities.

Message to students:

My main advice to students who want to get internship in of the UN organizations is to approach directly the right person and try to make close relationship with him/her. There is a saying as “no matter what you know, the matter is whom you know” within the UN system that reflect the reality of recruiting process in this organization. I understood that it is very important to be in right place and right time when some of vacancies will be announced. However, you can’t apply without good education and professional background, which would give you competitive advantages among other applicants. It means you should continuously develop yourself, your skills and knowledge and always be able to get challenge to grow professionally. Once you would get such opportunity you will see that your perspectives will be extended and overview will be broadened. I wish all the best in your further application for any internship programs. Good luck!!!

Keiji Ito

インターンシップレポート:JICAカンボジアオフィス (received in July 2006)

名前: 伊藤景司
入学年度: 2005年度
期間: 2006年4月1日―2007年3月31日(延長可能)
役職名: 在外専門調整員
所属班: 企画班




企画班における最近の業務では、カンボジアでの要望調査の業務補助がルーティンワークです。来年度よりJICAによって実施される新規プロジェクトの案件を、カンボジアの各省庁の要望を吸い上げ、評価し取りまとめています。そのプロセスを追いながら、企画班長の業務補助を行っています。またJICAカンボジア事務所の事業実施計画(http://www.jica.go.jp/cambodia/ )の更新作業を行っています。














Internship Report at JICA Cambodia Office (received in July 2006)

Name: Keiji Ito (Japanese)

Period: April 1st 2006 ? May 31, 2007 (possible to extend one more year)
Position: Program Assistant
Section: Planning Section

Contents of work:

I’m 4th generation of this position from GSID as a Program Assistant in JICA Cambodia Office. I was just coming to Cambodia this April. This position is like a kind of internship, however there are some differences from it. I’m working as a Program Assistant which is hired in the position of the local staff. The representative of JICA Cambodia office is considering that short term internship is not so meaningful compare with long one. That’s why this position was created few years ago.

My tasks are three different schemes which are support for Planning sector, NGO Cooperation, and IT management.

In the planning section, my routine work is support for the Request Survey in Cambodia recently. JICA Cambodia office is organizing and evaluating for the next year new project by observing the request from all ministries which want to make the new JICA project. In addition that, I engage the revise of “JICA      ”(http://www.jica.go.jp/cambodia/ ) once a month.

Second, in the NGO cooperation, we held the first NGO Cooperation Workshop with people who take charge of NGO cooperation in the each country. JICA Cambodia Office took an initiative of it. The purpose of this workshop is to encourage the NGO cooperation between developing and developed countries and to make clarify the definition of it. This was the first time to hold this workshop. We plan to next workshop in other countries. I participated this wholly by making presentation materials, joining discussions and managing logistics for all participants.

Third, in the IT management task, I’m supporting to revise the Homepage of JICA Cambodia Office and PC management. In this office, there is no IT management staff in Japanese. Now one of the people who take charge of volunteers section holds the IT management post concurrently. I need to reduce his tasks.

In addition that, I participated to opening ceremony of Road No,2, visited constructing place of Road No.1 and Japan Bridge and learned how to make the official letter in JICA, etc.


Although I just had some experiences which stay few days or weeks in some countries, I have never kept staying such a long time in developing countries. In this time, by getting this opportunity, I strongly think it is so beneficial for me to work in Cambodia as an internship for long period. I have been thinking that there are some differences between on the text and in the field. I’m expecting I can understand and get at it here.

In this three month, I just experienced such a situation which is understands about NGO Cooperation / Citizen Participation especially between developing countries and JICA headquarter. Recently JICA go to a direction which have basement in overseas. However JICA doesn’t have the clear definition which how extent NGO Cooperation / Citizen Participation should do. That is the cause of the confusion in service of JICA. I want to review how JICA make a direction of it to help some works in JICA Cambodia

In office, I keep doing the desk work as a routine. I think there are both strong point and weak point in it. The good point is that I can see directly how JICA manage the development program in Cambodia, what JICA want to achieve in this country and what the center of it is. Everyday I can participate JICA’s program. However there are some weak points which are I can not get at the real situation of Cambodia although I’m actually in Cambodia.

Atmosphere in office:

In JICA Cambodia Office, I feel all of staffs are stimulating and motivating each other beyond my idea. I get these atmospheres in this three month and I feel I can join JICA Cambodia office as one staff. In addition that, I think relations between staffs is so good.


I think this position is very important for my future to keep working in the field of international development. Although I couldn’t engage my major because my present position is planning section, I wish I would like to make this experience worthwhile thing as much as possible I can in this one year. I believe that that will be my basement for my activity from now on.

I think there will be incoming post of this position. I strongly encourage all of you to apply it. In addition that, let students who will participate OFW to Cambodia come to JICA Cambodia office. I’m very looking forward to see you. Thank you.

In front of JICA Cambodia Office . . . . . . . . . . NGO Cooperation Workshop (Svay Rieng)

In the JICA Cambodia Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . At the Welcome Party

Yoichiro Ishihara


Yoichiro Ishihara on "Career Development in Development Fields" (received in June 2006)

. . . . . . . . . . .
(at Yoichiro's office in WB Jakarta office) . . . . .(with other GSID graduates in Jakarta)


Professor Otsubo kindly asked me to share my career development in the development fields with GSID students. Although I myself am still in the middle of searching for my long-term career in this field, I thought this is a good opportunity to retrace my own carrier to think through my future career. More importantly, I sincerely hope this write-up contributes GSID students to providing hints for their future career development.

Many GSID students looking for job opportunity in development fields may feel difficulties to find positions. It is unfortunately well-known truth that getting job is not easy task as the job market in this field is very competitive, however, I strongly believe that a chance is higher if you rightly approaches positions and you are well equipped.

Currently, I am working for the World Bank as a macroeconomist at their office in Jakarta. I have spent almost 7 years in Indonesia- 5 years for the World Bank and 2 years for the Japanese embassy prior to joining the Bank. After the completion of MSc in Development Studies at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in University of London, I completed my PhD at GSID during my duties in Indonesia.

Accidental Start

Unlike most GSID students, I was not so much interested in development at the beginning. My interest started to grow after I started my master’s degree at SOAS in 1996. At that time I worked for a Japanese commercial bank (Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan (LTCB), now Shinsei Bank). LTCB sent me to study at SOAS, since LTCB needed an expert for Southeast Asia. I chose Indonesia as my main subject. The period when I was in MSc was in the middle of Asian crisis. Accordingly, I picked up Indonesia’s financial crisis for my masters thesis topic.

Though I got interested in development field while I was in SOAS, I had never thought to work in development field until recently. After the completion of my master’s degree, I went back to LTCB for a while. LTCB had planned to transfer me to its Indonesia branch. However, in 1998, LTCB faced serious financial trouble and eventually nationalized. As a result, LTCB changed their plan and I was not transferred to their Indonesia branch. That was the time I started considering to widen my carrier path and to work in the development field.

Economic advisor at Japanese embassy (大使館専門調査員)

Although I focused on Indonesia’s economy at SOAS, I had never been to Indonesia. I wanted to apply my academic knowledge to practice. My friend from Master’s degree informed me that there was a position opening at Japanese embassy in Indonesia as an economic advisor (so-called “senmon-chosa-in in Japanese). This position is considered as one of the entry points for newly graduated students with some working experiences into development field. The selection examination was not so difficult (though depending on competence of other candidates) and the position well worked for me. In 1999, the selection examination was the combination of English and interview. In my impression, preferred candidate was selected beforehand based on CV as well as recommendations from various sources. The interview was just for final conformation. As being an embassy staff, I moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, during my carrier in the Embassy, I participated in key discussions with Indonesian authorities including very high ranking officials including ministers. This experience also enabled me to learn Japanese foreign development assistance policy. This experience is still one of my most important assets, since Japanese government is a key player in the development field.

In my case the economic advisor position worked well for my career development, but in general there are couples of caveats. First, this is 2-year position (with possible 1 year extension) and there is no guarantee afterwards. Second, there are usually few experts in special areas in an embassy as the embassy’s roles are widespread in various areas. Embassy staffs are usually bureaucrats. An advisor is expected to be an expert in a special area. Accordingly, it is often difficult to exchange professional views in an academic sense. Third, the treatment and expectation towards an advisor differs between embassies. In some embassies, advisors are expected to play administrative roles rather than professional advices although these issues aren’t usually mentioned in the Terms of Reference (TOR). GSID students who wish to apply for an advisor positions should collect information beforehand and check whether the environment well fits to your interests and your future carrier path.

Japanese Trust Fund Consultant to Macroeconomist at World Bank
 (世界銀行: 日本政府信託基金コンサルタントから正規マクロエコノミストへ)

I started to work for the World Bank as a short-term consultant in 2001 and then became a staff in 2004. There are different entry points to work for the World Bank but it is often difficult to see such opportunity until you actually joined it. Most World Bank staffs start their careers from a short-term consultant expect for the Young Professional Program (YPP). [Information on YPP is available at World Bank website (www.worldbank.org)] Broadly speaking, there are four different types of contracts in the Bank; Open-ended staff, Termed-contracted staff, Extended termed consultant (ETC) and short termed consultant (STC). The job market in any forms in the Bank is very competitive and so as promotion from consultant to staff.

While I worked for Japanese embassy in Jakarta, I successfully established some contacts with economists in the World Bank Jakarta Office. Professor Otsubo, as ex-World Bank staff, also supported my career path to join the World Bank. I was interviewed by some economists in Jakarta as well as a director. After having been hired as a consultant, I had a chance asking for the reason why he hired me. His answer was simple. In addition to basic knowledge of Indonesia’s economy, he said he felt passion and interests for developments.

Japanese government contributes to the World Bank with financial resources through so-called Japan Trust Fund. There are some portions within such Trust Fund which a hiring manger in the Bank can use to hire consultants whose nationality needs to be Japanese. Currently, hiring STC using Japan Trust Fund is getting more difficult as the funds for this purpose is running out. But funds are still available to hire ETC. Though financially very advantageous, being hired as a consultant is not easy for Japanese nationals. As a minimum requirement, a consultant is required to have good communication skills in English (both conversation and writing). I had a serious difficulty in expressing my ideas in English when I started working for the World Bank, too. In my view, therefore, by training yourself at GSID, you can improve your communication (both verbal and writing) skills in English.

In 2004, I became a staff of the World Bank. Roughly a few percent of consultants can become staff these days. To become a staff, in addition to good working track record, strong recommendations from managers are indispensable. In the World Bank, references from managers and colleagues are quite important for hiring and promotions. People in the World Bank spend significant time for so-called “networking”, which means getting information on job openings and connecting yourself to hiring managers. This is very much different from Japanese culture and I needed to have time to adjust myself to this new environment. In my case, I am funded 50 percent by World Bank budget and the remaining 50 percent by Japanese government with using above mentioned Japan Trust Fund.

My View on Academic Record

From my experience as well as observing the job market from inside, master’s degree is a minimum requirement to work in development field. Though depending on what kind of job types you are looking at, when I hire a consultant I put more emphasis on working experiences rather than the subject at master’s degree.

GSID students wishing to have an economist position should consider PhD. At the same time, you should consider how to take a balance between academic record and work experience. A lot of economists in international development filed have PhD degree and it is now considered like a driving license. Unlike master’s degree, PhD topic to some extent determines career direction. I would recommend GSID students to strategically choose the topic. For example, a choice of country specific topic is positively evaluated for positions related to a country. In other words, it might constrain your mobility or flexibility. In my case, my PhD thesis topic is “Economic governance and crisis in emerging economies”. In my dissertation, in addition to cross-country analysis, I allocated one chapter for Indonesia’s case study.

Advice to GSID students

From my experience, I would point out 3 key points for finding positions in development fields.

Strategically sell yourself at job market: You have to compete with others in the job market like in any other job market. It is very important to be strategic how you can sell yourself at job market. What are your strengths? How do you want to appeal your strengths? Are you well equipped in terms of academic record and/or work experience? Why would hiring managers choose you among candidates? Can you clearly describe yourself why you well fit a particular position? Does your CV clearly describe your strength? You have to consider these questions before you apply.

Networking: While working/studying in development field, you have a lot of chances to establish your own network with people who have been already working for the development field. Your network gives ideas on what opportunities are open; what kinds of skills (i.e. working experience and academic record) are required.

Proactive action: Establishing network takes time at the beginning and you may have to act proactively. For example, students from US/UK attempt to get internship positions at the World Bank while doing master/PhD. Although internship positions are getting more competitive, they seem very useful for students in two ways. One is to know development practices. The other is to establish networking. In our office, some colleagues did internships before working for the World Bank.

Erika Okazaki

Internship at Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

In July 2005, GSID and JBIC signed a Cooperation Agreement on International Economic Development. As a part of this agreement, JBIC accepts one student from GSID every year to join their operation for one month as an Intern (on an Internship agreement). An intern will spend a week or two at the JBIC tokyo headquarters and the rest of the month at one of JBIC's overseas office.

2005: Shungo KOBAYASHI (Otsubo Seminar) conducted his internship at the JBIC Tokyo Hdqtrs. and at its Jakarta office, Indonesia.

2006: Erika OKAZAKI (Otsubo Seminar) conducted her internship at the JBIC Tokyo Hdqtrs. and at its Bangkok office, Thailand

For 2007, refer to the 2007 JBIC Internship Program Flier.

Here's the PowerPoint presentation of Erika's internship experience. Erika's Internship Experience with JBIC

(Erika at one project site in Thailand; the fourth person from the left)

Izumi Tagawa

Study Tour to the rural area in south India

Institution: LIFE (Live with Friends on the earth) http://www.ne.jp/asahi/life/home

Date: 25th February - 11th March 2006

Location : India. The states of Karnataka, Tamil nadu ?Bangalore, Dindigul, Madurai

Activities in the tour:

- To visit Self Helping Groups (SHG)* and to interview them to ask how well their activities work as a part of the rural development

- To experience home stay in the agricultural region for two nights

- To visit a government hospital and a healthcare center

- To visit 3 NGOs in south India (NGO for H.I.V patients for H.I.V prisoners, school for street children/scheduled caste children)

- Exchange the cultural program with the students in Gandhigram rural university

*SHG- consists of 9-16women in rural area. Each SHG has its own business such as rope making from coconut trees, herb garden and milk selling. Each member has to contribute some money in order to open their bank account. The member as well as the group can borrow money from the bank.

Personal Impression:

I recognize that the rural area in India has lots of potential to develop in terms of social infrastructure. The social infrastructure has not been available to the scheduled caste people. (The bottom caste of the system) As the vice president of the Gandhigram Rural University says, to large extent the caste system has prevented the poor from economically and socially developing. I feel that it is an emergency task for India to give equal opportunity, especially, of education for all, I believe that this will fuel the further economic development in India as a whole.

The people in the village welcomed us very much. The way they, especially children, treated us was warm itself. It is partly because they have hardly met Japanese or foreigners before, but I have never experienced that kind of warmness in other cultures. Although they are identified as the poor in the research institutions, they look happy. Their life style seems primitive (environmental friendly) but soon will be forced to change because of globalization, so I believe that there should be preparation for it by themselves with developed world’s corporation.

Message to students:

This tour gave me lots of aspects of development such as education, healthcare, environmental problems, economic activities and agriculture. These are closely related in their life style. It is meaningful to see what is different from your research topic.


参加した団体:LIFE (Live with Friends on the earth) http://www.ne.jp/asahi/life/home




・ SHG (Self Helping Group) を訪問し、進行中の収入向上プロジェクトはどのようなものがあって、どのように機能しているのかを各グループにインタビューする

・ 農村での2泊3日のホームステイ

・ 政府系の病院や地域の保健所に訪問し、各科を見学する

・ 3つのNGOに訪問し、そのNGOが活動の対象としている人々の話を聞く(HIV患者の人権を擁護するNGO,HIVに感染した囚人の人権を擁護するNGO,ストリートチルドレンや児童労働に従事していた子どものための学校を運営するNGO)

・ ガンディグラム大学の学生との文化交流







Bognar Judit

Internship at UNESCO Headquarters - Paris

Duration: 2005. June ? July

Affiliation: Education Sector

Division of Basic Education

Section for Literacy and Non-Formal Education


I worked as part of the team of the Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE). At that time this was still a very new program, with the first partnership meeting to be organized and held. My work there had two parts.

I assisted in the organization and execution of the meeting. Organization included sending out the invitations, keeping track of the replies, sending further notices if necessary, preparing up-to-date status reports about the participants, creating the final list of participants to be distributed at the meeting and coordinating with other related departments within UNESCO. During the meeting my task was to assist in the administrative and technical preparations and in its smooth execution.

Besides this, I was also assigned to work on the modifications of the LIFE Vision and Strategy Paper. This document was the basis for the initiative, containing the main principles, objectives, aims and planned actions. It had been initially created by acknowledged researchers and program managers of UNESCO. All the participants, since they were the possible future partners in the program, had been asked to give their comments, which were included in the paper to be discussed at the meeting. I was responsible to receive, read and summarize these ? sometimes 10-20 pages’ ? comments. The Chief of the Section used the summaries to modify the paper and put together the final draft for the meeting.


UNESCO is a huge organization which I could only really feel when working in it. Because of the size and the internationality there are many strict rules to keep the system working. These rules and procedures can sometimes seem to be an unnecessary burden and therefore make the everyday work difficult and time consuming. However they should be accepted and dealt with.

Even though there is always lots of stress because of the amount of work to be done and time pressure, still the people are friendly and open and willing to talk about various issues regarding UNESCO and development.

Interns usually have only administrative tasks, such as photocopying, filing and documents delivery etc. I was very happy to be assigned to work partly on the LIFE Vision and Strategy Paper. It was a real intellectual task for development. I realized that since I was the only one at UNESCO who read all the comments entirely, it mattered a lot what I included in the summaries and what I did not, which, in the end, could shape the future programs and actions of the LIFE Initiative. The thought of responsibility and actual contribution gave me a very good feeling of being, even though a very little, but a real part of international development.

On a more personal note, Paris is a magical city, where it is nice to spend a couple of weeks, and the restaurant on the top floor of the UNESCO building has the most amazing view of the Eiffel Tower!

Advices for future interns:

When applying, it should be done from two directions: the formal application should be made through the Internet and sent to the Human Resources department and besides this, it is necessary to find a concrete contact with a possible intern position. Sending the formal application is required for the administrative procedures but does not mean an internship contract in itself. There is a big pool of intern applicants, which the departments can choose from in case there is need for temporary assistance. However, as I experienced it, interns are usually found through personal relations. People and departments ask each other to recommend somebody. Therefore it is important to find a concrete department and try to have an agreement directly with the chief of that section, parallel to the application on the Internet.

Everyday work is very busy, stressful and long hours are not rare. However it is very interesting, since I could meet many people from many nations working in development. And there could be such surprises also, what I had at the occasion of one of the events celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations and UNESCO that I had the opportunity to meet and talk with one of my all time favorite writers, the Brazilian Paulo Coelho.

Nalitra Thaiprasert

Place: The Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila, The Philippines

Period: 28 June 2004 to 20 August 2004.

ADB Internship Program

I was assigned to do an analysis on agriculture subsidies and

under-valuation of forestry in the Mekong region using the cost-benefit

analysis. The paper is used as implications for ADB。ヌs assistance to

forestry/natural resource sectors in Mekong Department--Agriculture,

Environment, and Natural Resources Division (with a possibility to be edited

for ADB's publication in the future).

The internship gave me an opportunity to learn from experienced

professionals and to strengthen my analytical skills while experiencing the

working environment in ADB. Moreover, this internship is fully-funded with a

daily stipend and great accommodation. I totally recommend you all to try to


Last Update: 2012.11.19