Tell us about your job!

I am a Research Analyst with the Africa department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). I work closely with the economists within the country teams for Sierra Leone and Liberia. I also just finished working on each country’s submission for the World Economic Outlook that the IMF produces biannually for the Annual Meetings and Spring Meetings coming up later this month.

What are you doing day-to-day?

A significant portion of my work entails database management and research. I conduct analyses on different social and economic sectors for my countries. As IMF program countries, the analyses help each team determine which policy recommendations best suit the needs of their respective countries.

I like the fact that there are many opportunities to receive training and other knowledge forums within the IMF.

Did you know you wanted to work in this field or for this organisation?

Not exactly. Having said that, finance and development was a focus for me during my time at SAIS.

How did you make it happen?

It was helpful to know someone already at the fund who could help me prepare for my interview and potentially advocate for my skillset. Also, the SAIS brand really helped throughout the application process as there are already a number of SAIS alumni at the Fund.

I had an interview with a panel of three – an HR representative, an economist and an official from the data management team – who quizzed me on basic macroeconomics among other things followed by an excel-based test.

What’s the most useful thing you did at SAIS to land this job? 

Professor Sobol’s class on Financial Sector Development exposed me to a number of research topics including Macro-Financial Linkages—a key focus of the work that is done at the IMF. But I think all my Economics courses really helped, particularly Statistics and Econometrics.

Give us your top tips for those looking for a job in development this year.

Don’t panic! It’s okay – try and enjoy the time off after graduation. Make use of the SAIS network. And reach out to your professors, they can be very resourceful.

As narrated to Ammar Khalid, Editor-in-Chief, SAIS Perspectives. 

To learn about other recent SAIS graduates' work, visit this page

PHOTO CREDIT: International Monetary Fund from Flickr licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0