• Last updated: 28 Apr. 2020 18:17

Young Professionals Programme

NATO's Young Professionals Programme (YPP) aims to attract and develop highly talented professionals who are interested in accelerating their career through entry-level positions at NATO. Successful candidates will have the opportunity to work in various areas in different NATO bodies and gain a range of experiences across the Alliance.

Successful candidates will be assigned to different NATO bodies for one-year periods, for a total of three NATO bodies over three years. This will provide participants with a broad understanding of NATO and with opportunities to develop many competences in several different work areas within the Organization.

The call for applications for the YPP is now closed. The information for the new cycle will be updated in due time.

What we offer

The Young Professionals Programme offers successful candidates the opportunity to acquire a unique international experience, which will contribute to their personal and professional growth. Participants in the YPP programme will also receive a competitive employee benefit package.

Unique international experience

As a NATO Young Professional, you will contribute to a military and political alliance that protects one billion people. You will work in diverse and stimulating environments in one or several related areas during your assignments to three different NATO bodies. You will be able to enhance your career development and equip yourself with the knowledge and toolkit necessary for tackling your next professional challenges.

Personal and professional growth

Successful candidates will have the opportunity to support NATO's objectives by contributing to a wide range of activities addressing the needs of each NATO body and the whole of the Alliance. As a Young Professional, you will also be able to develop your knowledge and skills while enlarging your professional network through the community of Young Professionals and the NATO family at large.


Young Professionals will receive a competitive salary and other benefits, including health insurance, reimbursement of travel expenses to relocate before and after duty, training opportunities and paid annual leave of 30 days.


Application process

The most recent call for applications for the YPP was from 06/04/2023 to 07/05/2023. Please read the steps below for application information. The information for the new cycle will be updated in due time.

1. Confirm your eligibility

The Young Professionals Programme is open to applicants who fulfil the following eligibility criteria at the time of application:

  • Age: 21+
  • Nationality: a citizen of a NATO member country
  • Professional experience: at least one year of demonstrated professional experience, including full-time employment, temporary assignments and/or internships at the time of application
  • Educational status: a master's degree or equivalent from a recognised institution at the time of application
  • Languages: proficiency in one of the two official NATO languages: English or French. A working knowledge of the second is considered an asset. Knowledge of other languages may also be considered an asset for certain positions.

Other specific requirements might apply depending on the vacancy advertised.

2. Review the vacancy advertisements

Carefully review the vacancy advertisements that you are interested in and verify that your educational background and professional experience fulfil the criteria. You may submit multiple applications, but you are encouraged to only apply to positions you are qualified for.

3. Create an account

To submit an application, you must first create an account in NATO’s e-recruitment system. Please click on “Sign In” in the upper right corner. You will be directed to a page where you can create a “New User”.

Please note that we do not accept applications via mail or email.

4. Prepare your application

Select the appropriate vacancy. You will be asked to respond to a set of pre-screening questions, followed by short sections that you are required to manually fill in with your personal and professional details. Before finishing your application, please attach a scanned copy of your diploma and any other documents that may be relevant to support your application.

5. Submit your application

Once you have reviewed your responses and submitted your application, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your submission. We will inform you of the results of the initial assessment over the summer period.


Work within the YPP

The successful applicants from previous editions have worked in varied and important areas that deliver on the key priorities of the Alliance. This includes positions in project management; engineering; cyber defence; emerging technologies; communications; administration; policy analysis; operation planning and coordination; legal affairs; and financial management. The Young Professionals have brought impressive skills and knowledge to the Alliance, and present real opportunities for NATO to benefit from fresh and innovative perspectives. 


Learn about the YPP experience!​​

We asked Young Professionals about some of their favourite projects and what they have gained from the YPP so far. Read about some of their experiences below.


​"I have been able to form a holistic vision of how NATO Headquarters and NATO Agencies work, as well as of the impact that political decisions have in NATO Agencies, their internal structure and ​​​governance bodies, and the work of the NATO armaments community."

 Silvia - Silvia worked in Defence Investment in NATO Headquarters in Brussels in her first year and is currently at the NATO Support and Procurement Agency in Luxembourg

"What I have most enjoyed about the first year is that, thanks to this programme, we have had the opportunity to work on actual content work, and not on purely administrative support tasks. Another very important point for me were all the activities, events and talks that have been organised around the program and allowed us to obtain a more comprehensive training."

Pablo Garcia Prieto – Pablo worked at the NATO Communications and Information Agency in Brussels during his first year and is currently at the NATO Support and Procurement Agency in Luxembourg)​


"What I enjoyed most in the first year was Allied Command Operation's military culture where respect, collaboration and esprit de corps are highly valued. Through my role as a finance Staff Officer I was able to reconcile NATO's purpose, decision-making process, and activities into a coherent whole."​

Miguel L. R. Marchildon – Miguel worked at Strategic Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium in his first year and is currently at Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, U.S.


"Among a lot of outstanding projects, I really liked to contribute to the NATO Partnership Symposium, which took place in Geneva and was an outstanding platform bringing together Allies and partners. Working at Headquarters provided me with a lot of valuable insights into the daily work of the Alliance and also with various opportunities to make new friends. A major thing I learned this year is that consensus is not always easy to achieve but remains an important driver for the Organization.​​"

Tobias – Tobias worked in Political Affairs and Security Policy at NATO Headquarters in Brussels in his first year and is currently at Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, U.S.

​"I really enjoyed the opportunity to support the NATO Support and Procurement Agency Front Office and the General Manager directly, as it gave me great exposure to the senior decision-making processes at the Agency. Also, I learned that moving to a new country and starting a new job for NATO can be an overwhelming experience, but that if you work hard and diligently, you can learn and make a positive contribution quickly."

Nikolay Kolev – Nikolay worked at the NATO Support and Procurement Agency in his first year and is currently at Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, the Netherlands​​


​​Hear from the managers!

We asked managers participating in the YPP about their experiences so far. Read some of their comments below.


“In the area of Cyber Defence it is difficult to get young talent on board that is knowledgeable on the subject, especially when it comes to the political and strategic level. The Young Professional who joined our section brought a unique combination of cyberspace domain expertise with a political and strategic perspective, which complemented the existing expertise. Specifically, the knowledge on state-of-the-art cyberspace topics provided valuable insights and contributions to the ongoing work strands."

Dr. Patrick Jungkunz, Branch Head, Cyber Defence and Cyberspace Operations, NHQC3S


"The Young Professional strengthened their organisational understanding, finance processes knowledge, approaches to implement positive change and improvements in financial policies, processes, and documentation. NCI Agency Finance remains committed towards such programmes, whereby the organisation is interacting on-the-job with these next generations of professionals, who have in turn the opportunity to increase their professional experience in between NATO bodies."

Cosmin Croitor, Chief, Financial Strategy, Policy, Process and Continuous Improvement, NCIA


"The obvious quality of the Young Professional who worked with us as an employee reflects positively on NATO and makes me proud that I am employed by an organisation that can attract candidates like this. The Young Professional demonstrated very high standards and clearly showed that NATO can benefit by employing from a broader age range. The diversity of perspectives delivered a better quality of work that advanced the Alliance's agenda in key areas. The Young Professional constructively challenged our status quo."

Simon Purton, Section Head (Capability Requirements) - Senior Operations Research Analyst, ACT

"Having a Young Professional as part of the Acquisition team gave us a colleague who is highly educated, high potential, ready to make an impact to NATO and eager to learn fast. This kind of program can create a strong positive loop for the Alliance, increasing the professionalisation of its staff."

Alexandre Vitry, Deputy Chief of Acquisition - Procurement & Policy, NCIA​