Nathaniel Hook

Nathaniel Hook

Name: Nathaniel Hook
Job: Managing Director, Global Health & Life Sciences, WittKieffer
Industry: Recruitment
Class of: 1993
House: Moore

What do you do?

I run the international arm of a Chicago-headquartered global Executive Search boutique, focusing exclusively on the Life Sciences, Healthcare and Digital Health sectors – my firm is WittKieffer.

My work encompasses senior hiring into the pharmaceutical, specialty generic, medical technology and digital health sectors. As a result, I am deeply involved in the ongoing digital transformation across the wider health ecosystem. But, most importantly, I am grateful for the enduring relationships I have developed with both clients and candidates over the years, many of whom I now count as close personal friends.

How did you get to where you are today?

Education firstly, because I was fortunate to have been schooled at HSOG. Undoubtedly this provided me with the grounding that led to my Law Degree and subsequent Masters in Marketing. Participation in the Debating and Public Speaking opportunities afforded to me during my time at school has also been invaluable. I learnt the art of communication, reasoned argument and evidence-based critical analysis. All of which has stood me in good stead in my subsequent professional career.

Ultimately, I never actively pursued a career as a headhunter – I was always supposed to be a lawyer. However, the industry, and particularly the people dimension, has served me well over the years and I am grateful for the truly international career it has enabled.

What is a standout memory of your time at The High School of Glasgow?

Too many to mention! Probably getting a call wrong, to the High School’s advantage naturally, whilst touch judging at a home derby in Sixth Year. I only agreed to the gig as I wanted to go on the Canadian Tour (which didn’t happen by the way!).

On a serious note, the High School offers, in my opinion, an unrivalled education, both academically and socially. The opportunity to explore my extra-curricular interests, most notably Music and Theatre, has been hugely additive to my subsequent adult life. I still remember my lessons with Margaret Scott and it’s amazing to be able to return to those passions, so expertly curated during my school years, as an adult. However, the thing that I see as most exceptional about the High School is the friendships that were nurtured over the years. My best friends from school remain my best friends today and this is something for which I am immensely grateful.

What one piece of advice would you give to current pupils and recent leavers as they look to their futures?

Find your passions and pursue them fervently. Grab opportunities when they arise; work hard but play hard too – life is there for living. Focus on where you want to be and be ruthlessly strategic in pursuing those goals. Know what you want and where you want to be but, most importantly, know the reasons why!

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