The World Bank Group: Junior talent brings fresh perspectives and new ideas


The World Bank Group: Junior talent brings fresh perspectives and new ideas


We are thrilled to welcome the World Bank Group into our ever-expanding partner network. In 2019, the international organization opened a new shared services center in Sofia, and the office continues to grow and seek new IT talent ever since.

Naturally, we wanted to understand more about the organization - how the World Bank Group chose Sofia for its new shared services center (SSC), and if and how they plan to further develop it.

To find all the answers, we talked to Irma Mentzer - Manager, Rapid Applications Development, Information, and Technology Solutions.

Photo of Irma Mentzer
“The Bank was established in 1944 – over 70 years ago. If we have learned one thing at that time, it is that new talent is always needed for innovation,” Irma Mentzer

Let’s dive right in!

Tell us a bit about the World Bank. How does the Bank’s mission translate into your job? Would you join the Bank today if you were an aspiring young IT specialist?

The World Bank Group works in every major area of development. We provide a wide array of financial products and technical assistance, and we help countries share and apply innovative knowledge and solutions to the challenges they face. Our mission is to end extreme poverty within a generation and boost shared prosperity.

How does this translate over to IT? We are creating the backbone of all the activities that occur throughout the Bank. Without information and technology, we would not be able to connect with member countries, spread knowledge products created through various specialized programs (water, energy, agriculture, etc.) or even provide IT tools such as laptops, software, applications, and communication devices. 

It provides a wonderful environment to learn and grow and is large enough for any young IT specialist to find their niche, but with small enough teams to encourage camaraderie and never forget about our shared mission.

For me, I cannot imagine a better place to work whilst experiencing a global culture daily.

The World Bank has offices around the world. Why Sofia? What are the Sofia shared services center’s main objectives?

Sofia was chosen following a competitive search for a location, based on a broad number of criteria including cost-effectiveness, the quality of the information technology (IT) infrastructure, and the local talent pool.  

The new office complements an existing World Bank Group shared services center in Chennai, India which opened in 2001 and currently serves the organization with accounting, human resources, IT, and other services.  

In addition to providing IT and other corporate services, the Sofia center will allow the institution to better serve its locations across different time zones and continue improving the diversity of its workforce.

Do you still hire talent in Bulgaria despite COVID-19?

We absolutely are still hiring under COVID-19! In fact, since the global pandemic rose to prominence in March, we have virtually recruited and onboarded over 50 people. 

Why do you invest in junior talent?

Simple: this is the workforce of the future!

Why did you choose Telerik Academy as your partner to that end?

The Bank was established in 1944 – over 70 years ago. If we have learned one thing at that time, it is that new talent is always needed for innovation. We cannot become an organization of only established professionals who all have the same theories and work philosophies. We need junior talent to come into the organization with fresh perspectives, new ideas, ways to shake up existing processes and procedures to make them better, and to grow with the Bank and its mission. 

We chose to partner with Telerik Academy because we believe in grassroots partnerships, it gives us an opportunity to contribute to the local economy, and hire from a local talent pool.

What is your vision for the SSC Sofia? What is next?

As a female leader, I focus shamelessly on hiring and growing female talent. I have hired a few in the SSC, including my first two hires in Sofia.  It has been very rewarding to watch how they have grown in the past year. My vision is to work for them one day!



Are you looking to jumpstart your career in IT? Find out more about our Telerik Academy Alpha programs. Are you a company seeking Master Junior talent? Then go through our business page or contact us directly


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