From Ashoka to World Bank Treasury: Soumil Agarwal’s Inspiring Journey
I am grateful to everyone who provided mentorship during my time at Ashoka and to the university for providing an environment that allowed me to take less-traveled paths without fear or judgment
One year ago, I debated whether to apply for the World Bank Treasury Summer Internship, fearing that the effort might yield minuscule chances of acceptance. I convinced myself to try, despite believing that my resume lacked big corporate names or ‘spikes.’ Fast forward to today, after receiving not just an internship offer but a pre-placement from the organization, my advice is never to self-reject.
Choosing to enroll at Ashoka University was a risky decision for my family, coming from Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Ashoka was relatively undiscovered in my city, making it challenging to convince my parents amidst other college offers. Seeking something unique, a less-traveled path, I found Ashoka to be the perfect place for my educational journey, fostering genuine learning experiences.
Reflecting on Monsoon ‘22, when I decided to stay back for ASP and not apply for placements, I faced the challenging question of what I truly wanted to do with my life. After careful consideration, I applied to three places—locations that deeply resonated with me—for summer internships. To my surprise, all three organizations extended offers, but my heart leaned towards the World Bank Treasury, where I had always dreamed of contributing to the multilateral development sphere. The opportunity to spend ten weeks in Washington, D.C., was irresistible. The Treasury’s work at the intersection of development and finance, coupled with its flexible and varied projects, intrigued me.
The experience at the Treasury was unforgettable. Establishing a new home in an entirely unfamiliar country was daunting, yet equally exciting. Washington, D.C., home to various government and multilateral institutions, offered a diverse environment. The World Bank’s global workforce, with a shared drive towards development, made the internship cohort incredibly diverse.
As my 10 weeks concluded with uncertainty about the future, I started looking for alternatives—placements and grad schools. However, I received an offer from a Treasury team working with central banks globally, assisting them with reserve management. I am excited to start this next chapter of my life next summer.
I am grateful to everyone who provided mentorship during my time at Ashoka and to the university for providing an environment that allowed me to take less-traveled paths without fear or judgment. This also provides me with the chance to underscore the importance of seizing opportunities, no matter how outlandish or out-of-reach they may seem, and continuing to pursue your interests, even if they go against the rules you’ve been taught to succeed.
(Soumil Agarwal is an ASP’24 pursuing Economics and Finance)