If there is any day that you can actually know and understand what your parents do at work, it has to be "Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day" at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., or the IMF.
"This is a special day where parents invite you, their daughters and sons, to where they go to work every day," Ms. Christine Legarde, the Managing Director/"big big boss" at the IMF, said as she addressed an anticipating crowd of kids. "This is the first time, and I am really looking forward to this."
Today, April 26, 2012, was the IMF's first day reserved for kids. There were programs printed out, decorations on the walls, offices transformed into daycares for the younger kids, and conference rooms reserved for the older ones. "There are lots of people that do all sorts of different jobs," said Ms. Legarde. "You will hear the economists, nurses, security officers, cooks, kindergarten staff, lawyers, accountants, secretaries, computer experts, video experts, cinematographers — we have the whole range of jobs you can think of."
In my mom's department in the IMF, the OIA, or the Office of Internal Audit, there were 13 kids in total. Nine of them were 2 to 6 years old, and four of them (including me) were 7 to 12 years old. That amount of kids, however, was nothing compared to amount of kids from all the departments.
In total, there were about 500 kids in all of the branches in the IMF. All of us gathered at 8:30 in the morning in a huge conference hall for breakfast, but still not everyone could fit, so they ended up having the adults stand along both sides of the wall so all the kids could have a place to sit.
After breakfast, all the kids split up, according to their parents' respective departments, and to their floor. I, along with three other kids in the OIA, met up in a very professional looking — complete with the chairs — conference room and discussed what the OIA was like with the Deputy Director of the department, Mr. Daniel Nelson. He talked to us about what the OIA does, what the IMF is about, how it started, how the internal auditors get chosen, and the different jobs in the IMF.
Following the "lecture,” we got to interview some of the OIA staff about what they do at work. We interviewed four staff members: Ms. Stephanie Reisinger, Ms. Bee Lim, Mr. Leo Croppo, and the Director of the OIA, Mr. Russell Kincaid. When asked about what they liked most about working in the OIA – besides being the "police" making sure all departments of IMF follow proper rules — most said that they like the people in the department, and the amount of travel (they all said that they traveled too much in previous jobs/departments).
As a special treat to end the day, my mom took all four of us to an ice-cream shop in D.C., called the Cone-e-Island. What a perfect end, right? Not really. When we came back, everyone was sugar high and everyone except for my mom and I started bouncing off the wall.
Today was a really fun day! I learned a lot and had a lot of fun at the same time.
—Kid Reporter Alexandra Zhang
Photo: Christine Legarde, the Managing Director of the IMF, welcomes kids to Take Your Sons and Daughters to work day at the IMF. (Courtesy Alexandra Zhang)