Economist Program (EP)
We’re searching for the world’s top young, macroeconomists!
Have you recently graduated, or are you about to graduate with at least a Master’s degree in macroeconomics or a related field?
Are you looking for an international career in a high profile, renowned global institution where you can:
- Immediately apply your academic studies to current, real-life macroeconomics policy issues that make a difference and foster change on the ground?
- Perform a combination of analytical, research and operational work?
- Be at the forefront of macroeconomic policymaking and interact with the world’s top policymakers?
- Undertake varied assignments and work on different countries and regions?
- Work in an intellectually challenging and diverse environment, alongside the world’s best macroeconomists?
- Receive world-class benefits and working conditions that provide for work-life balance?
The IMF’s Economist Program could be right for you.
|Next Economist Program Intake||Current Application Period|
|September 2013||September 14 - December 14, 2012|
About the Economist Program
Each year the IMF hires 20 – 40 of the best young macroeconomist graduates from around the world through its Economist Program; a 3 year program specifically designed to allow participants (who are known as “EPs”) to quickly gain operational experience and further develop their macroeconomics expertise. The EP is not a “traineeship”; EPs are given full professional responsibilities to carry out operations-related analysis and research that can affect any of the Fund’s 188 member countries.
EPs usually enter in a single cohort in September each year and undertake two 18 month assignments: one to an Area department to deal with regional and country-specific issues; and one to a Functional department to deal with fiscal, monetary, balance of payments, debt or other issues. As part of these assignments, EPs participate in at least two missions (business trips) to the regions/countries they are assigned where they have the opportunity to interact with country authorities and to carry out operational work related to the Fund’s mission.
In addition to their work assignments, EPs undertake a range of training and development activities and are mentored, guided and supported by the world’s best macroeconomists.
Upon completion of the program, most EPs graduate to take up permanent positions at the Fund. See Economists for more details on the work of Fund economists.
What are we looking for in an EP?
The Economist Program is very competitive; over 1,500 candidates apply annually for about 20 to 40 positions. To be considered, candidates must meet ALL of the EP eligibility criteria. In addition, successful candidates also demonstrate a number of preferred knowledge, skills, and abilities, see the ideal candidate.
To be eligible for the program, you must:
- Have graduate-level training in macroeconomics or relevant field, such as public finance, monetary economics, international economics, poverty issues, political economy, or econometrics.
- The IMF is particularly interested in recent Ph.D. graduates, or students who will shortly be completing their program, whose degree is either in:(i) economics with a research focus in international finance, or (ii) finance with a solid understanding of macroeconomics. However, candidates with at least an MA/MBA in economics, finance, quantitative methods, or international relations/public policy with graduate level macroeconomics, AND relevant practical experience who are knowledgeable about interest rate strategy, fixed income trading, and/or economics research, may also be considered.
- be below the age of 34 when he/she joins the staff;
- possess a superior academic record;
- have a good command of English (both written and oral);
- demonstrate strong quantitative and computer skills;
- show an interest in, and aptitude for, working in an international organization; and
- be from one of the Fund’s member countries. Women and candidates from under-represented regions (Middle-East, East Asia, Africa and Transitional countries) are particularly encouraged to apply.
The "ideal" candidate
In addition to the eligibility criteria, the “ideal” EP candidate would:
- Be interested in undertaking a combination of analytical, research and operational work;
- Understand and value the work of policy-oriented institutions;
- Be strong in their field of expertise, but versatile and flexible in learning other areas;
- Have a strong understanding of macroeconomics, be able to work within a clear conceptual framework, and be comfortable "navigating" around the different sectors of an economy, and understand the linkages between these sectors;
- Be capable of writing high quality policy papers as well as shorter targeted notes to guide the work of the Fund and its member countries;
- Be able to work in teams toward a common goal, making a significant contribution to the team's work, sharing information within the team, and coaching junior staff;
- Be prepared to travel extensively; and
- Have foreign language skills or be willing to learn another language if needed.
How do we select EPs?
EPs are selected through a multi-phased process. Each component is afforded a weighting, as identified in the table below, to determine the candidate’s overall selection rating.
|Economist Panel Interview||30|
|Research/Job Market Paper||30|
Candidates complete their online application during the EP application period. Before submitting your application, you may find it helpful to review the general information for applicants in the Current Vacancies section.
All shortlisted candidates participate in a 30 minute preliminary interview (note that former Fund Interns are no longer waived from preliminary interviews). During the interview, candidates are asked to provide a high level overview of their job market paper or other research paper and to answer 2-3 macroeconomics related questions.
Preliminary interviews may be held in-person at Fund headquarters, remotely (via Skype or phone) for those who are unable to make it to Washington DC, or during scheduled recruitment visits to universities.
Candidates participate in a full-day selection process at Fund Headquarters in Washington DC, consisting of:
- A 45-60 minute interview with a panel of three senior IMF economists and an HR Officer. The interview is designed to test a candidate's general knowledge of advanced economics; analytical abilities; judgment; and oral communication skills. Questions focus primarily on monetary, fiscal, balance of payments and financial sector issues rather than a candidate's dissertation or job market paper.
- A 90 minute written test during which the candidate will be asked to select one of three working papers and prepare a brief (one-and-a-half to two page) summary and critical commentary. The purpose of the test is to assess a candidate's drafting skills and analytical abilities.
- A 30-45 minutes online psychometric test designed to assesses the candidate’s behavioral skills.
In addition, candidates submit:
- A sole authored research paper (ideally of publishable standard) or one or two chapters of their dissertation (of less than 25 pages);
- Their most recent university transcript from the last degree obtained or to be obtained (e.g. PhD candidates should submit their latest PhD transcript); and
- Three references (these may be from academic or professional referees).
The Fund will consider the candidate’s performance in each component, as well as their overall rating, to determine to which candidates offers will be made. In addition, other factors, such as diversity and particular skills sets needed by the institution, may also be considered. Candidates who are offered a position in the EP typically have two weeks to respond. Offers are only binding for the current recruitment year and do not extend to the following year. Ratings and rankings are not shared with candidates, however, general feedback may be provided, upon request.
What are the Key Dates in the Economist Program?
- September 14 – December 14: EP Vacancy open
- October 15 – December 7: Missions/Outreach to universities and preliminary interviews
- Mid November – Mid-December: Additional preliminary interviews
- Late December: Shortlisted candidates invited to panel interviews
- January 4 – Job market papers due
- January 14 – February 1: Panel interviews
- February 22 – End March: Offers made
- September 3, 2013: 2013 EP Cohort enter on duty
IMF recruitment representatives travel internationally, visit universities, public sector organizations, and major conferences throughout the year to provide information on the EP and to conduct preliminary interviews. However, the majority of EP preliminary interviews are conducted between October and December. Please contact your campus placement office or look for a tweet to learn whether we will be visiting your university. The current mission schedule is provided below. Note that additional missions are currently being planned for certain European universities, please check back here to see if your university has been added to the schedule.
US Universities and Conferences
- October 16, 2012: New York University (deadline for applications: October 12)
- October 17, 2012: Columbia University (deadline for applications: October 12)
- October 19, 2012: Princeton University (deadline for applications: October 12)
- October 23, 2012: University of Chicago (deadline for applications: October 15)
- October 24, 2012: University of Illinois (deadline for applications: October 15)
- October 25, 2012: Northwestern University (deadline for applications: October 15)
- October 26, 2012: University of Michigan (deadline for applications: October 15)
- November 6, 2012: Boston University (deadline for applications: October 29)
- November 7, 2012: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (deadline for applications: October 29)
- November 8, 2012: Harvard University (deadline for applications: October 29)
- November 9, 2012: Yale University (deadline for applications: October 29)
- November 14, 2012: University of California, Berkley (deadline for applications: November 5)
- November 14, 2012: Stanford University (deadline for applications: November 5)
- November 16, 2012: University of California, Los Angeles (deadline for applications: November 5)
- November 29, 2012: Presentation at IMF Headquarters, Washington D.C. 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
- January 4-6, 2012: American Association of Economics (deadline for applications: December 16)
Non-US Universities and Conferences
- October 15, 2012: The Graduate Institute (HEI, Geneva) (deadline for applications: October 12)
- October 23, 2012: University of Toulouse I (Sciences Sociales) (deadline for applications: October 15)
- October 29, 2012: Corvinus University of Budapest (deadline for applications: October 26)
- October 30, 2012: Central European University, Budapest (deadline for applications: October 26 )
- November 1, 2012: Moscow State Institute of International Relations (deadline for applications: October 26)
- November 2, 2012: Higher School of Economics (deadline for applications: October 26)
- November 5, 2012: University of Warsaw (deadline for applications: October 26)
- November 6, 2012: Warsaw School of Economics (deadline for applications: October 26)
- November 12, 2012: University of Amsterdam (deadline for applications: November 5)
- November 14, 2012: University of Cambridge (deadline for applications: November 5)
- November 15, 2012: London School of Economics (deadline for applications: November 5)
- November 16, 2012: University of Oxford (deadline for applications: November 5)
- November 20, 2012: Goethe-Universität (deadline for applications: November 5)
- November 21, 2012: Presentation at the Paris Office (deadline for applications: November 9)
- December 5, 2012: McGill University (deadline for applications: November 23)
- December 6, 2012: University of Toronto (deadline for applications: November 23)
- December 7-8, 2012: Canadian Economics Employment Exchange (deadline for applications: November 23)
Salary and Benefits
Economist Program participants are provided with a salary and benefits that are competitive with similar programs in other public sector organizations. For complete details, see Working for the IMF.
How to Apply
If you are interested in being considered for the IMF Economist Program (EP), please submit your application online during the application period indicated above. EP applications should be submitted through the special Economist Program section of JobLink. Before submitting your application, you may find it helpful to review the general information for applicants in the Current Vacancies section.
Qualified candidates having a diverse academic or cultural background are encouraged to apply.