Global Careers Month: NATO BLog

Written by Sara Kaizuka

Global Careers Month: Becoming NATO Parliamentary Assembly Secretary General, Afternoon with Mr. David Hobbs

March is here, which means that it is Global Careers Fair Month at the University of Leeds! The speaker for this session was none other than the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Secretary General, Mr. David Hobbs. He was originally from Leeds, and while he studied at the University of Manchester, he visited the Careers Centre at the University of Leeds when searching for a job after graduating. The University of Leeds boasts a wide network of alumni, and fortunately one of Mr. Hobbs’ close colleagues was a graduate from the University of Leeds.

The session itself started with the heart-stopping shrill drilling of the fire alarm… Mr. Hobbs took this well with a smile and a joke about how there was once a fire at NATO HQ.

The first half was devoted to a short introduction to what NATO is, the problems they face, and the general work that they do in a historical context. With almost one activity every week, and a small number of staff (only 28 permanent staff!), it seems to be an extremely professional and fulfilling workplace. Especially when compared with working for a national government as a civil servant, due to the extremely small size of staff, each staff member is given a huge amount of responsibility. The pay is good, with even the most junior workers having massive responsibility, and you are surrounded by highly qualified colleagues.

While you need to be a national of one of the member states to join an international parliamentary organization, as Mr. Hobbs stresses, there are countless such organizations throughout the globe. As an international student, searching for such an occupation may be extremely beneficial. The advice that Mr. Hobbs emphasised was for everyone, no matter what job you are looking for, to check that you have provided all the documents and information required to apply. He also spoke strongly of the importance of extra-curricular activities which will help make you stand out among hundreds of other applicants.

The University of Leeds provides excellent support for you to find your dream job in the future. There are career related events all year round which you can sign up to by visiting the University of Leeds Careers Centre website and logging in with your student account. Events are usually free to attend, and you can search for ones that are related to your interests. You will have plenty of opportunities to volunteer which you can add to your CV and gain lots of experience and find new friends. You can also join a society or become a student representative for your course! If you are looking for part-time jobs both in and outside the university, you can find information on the university website and sign in as a student or visit Job Link located in the basement of the Leeds University Union (LUU). The Careers Centre is also a great place to gain professional advice related to CV writing, job searching, and they will even help out with mock job interviews!

No matter how short your time at the university whether you are here for just one semester, a year, or longer, the university is always happy to help you out in your search for your future career! Why not pop into the University of Leeds Careers Centre, and maybe, just maybe, you could become the future NATO Parliamentary Assembly Secretary General!

Thank you for reading- Sara Kaizuka 🙂


Sara Kaizuka
I studied in Japan between elementary and university as an undergraduate student. I came to University of Leeds as a Masters student and decided to continue study at University of...
View profile