I started working for NATO in 2006, within former NC3A in The Hague, and in the meantime I've switched between several projects until reaching my current Mons position within the NCI Agency - Technician (NIAPC Support). This role is quite challenging due to the large scale of knowledge that must be covered in various technical segments. On a daily basis I deal with application development, configuration management and network security implementations. Building appropriate documentation for all our systems is, as well, a main priority among my daily assigned activities.
For me, the idea of working in the Agency was the next natural thing to do considering my past NATO experience. Performing for a newly formed organization with multiple future prospects (especially regarding IT capability development) seemed quite exciting and challenging.
The following two concepts: "team work' and "strong individual responsibility" for an overall project success are essential to the Agency's working philosophy. Everybody can make a difference if working together is in scope with the lines above. In my case, I would like to think my technical input is valuable, being driven by my pure passion for IT and innovative thinking.
To become a good technician, you need good learning abilities, requirements engineering and very good social skills. Being organized and requirements focused is a major plus that will provide the required quality to your performance. Each job however is unique in its way. My personal advice for a future applicant is the following:
Give each application the deserved amount of time and try to map your skills against the requirements thoroughly.
Pay attention to education requirements as they are quite valuable within the Agency's assessment process.
In general, be consistent with your pursuit for building the technology skills you are interested in.
With the Agency's new recruitment process, more positive aspects have emerged in this area and I could actually be part of it. For instance the recently introduced Skype pre-interview phase seemed quite useful and fresh for a political body such as NATO.
Mons is an interesting place for working and SHAPE has been in the current location for more than 40 years. With elements from both military and civilian structures located here, it is hard not to enjoy the overall social complexity this modern working context (functioning on a historical ground) imposes.
The best part about working at the Agency beyond doubt is the people you meet: those people who you are dealing with every day and who provide you with the challenges you are hoping for, or with the social interactions you were expecting with interest before joining in.