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News > Careers > John Hawke PGS 2009 - 2016

John Hawke PGS 2009 - 2016

We were delighted to welcome John Hawke back to Pate's to talk to our Year 12 students as part of the school's Activities Fortnight.
3 Jul 2023

John delivered a typically lively but thoughtful talk to the Y12s about his career in the Royal Navy and how to follow your aspirations in life.

His impressive career so far - he is at present a Warfare Officer - spans a variety of responsibilities from driving ships, pastoral duties with other serving officers, decision making and problem solving at sea, to the more glamorous ambassador duties required for state visits, entertainment for foreign dignitaries such as President Zelensky and the royals, too, including HRH King Charles. Never a dull moment! His highlights include his recent involvement in humanitarian assistance for the migrant crisis, working in protecting international lines of communication beneath the sea, and a seven month voyage through the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea taken during Covid aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth.

John explained his motivations for this, his chosen career route, and expanded upon the more compassionate side to the role, less obvious perhaps, but clearly important to him.

He is remembered fondly by staff from his time at Pate's. John was valued for his humour, kindness, impeccable manners, and idiosyncratic but sublime dress sense. At A-Level, he studied History, English, and Physics and was a committed member of the CCF and went on to study History at Oxford. During his talk, he emphasised that a career in the Navy as an Officer doesn't necessarily need a university degree, and advised students to keep an open mind.

John recently appeared in the BBC 2 documentary The Warship: Tour of Duty, which provides a fascinating insight into life at sea on the UK's largest aircraft carrier, the Queen Elizabeth. Do take a look on BBC iPlayer

We are hugely grateful that John took time out of his brief leave from sea to come in to talk to our students about his career. We are always very keen to hear from alumni who would like to support our Careers provision in this way either in person or by making us a short video - please email us - thank you!

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