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Vacancy for a Head of Secretariat. Join our team in Brussels!

ESU is looking for a team player to fill the position of Head of Secretariat at its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The Head of Secretariat will be responsible for coordinating financial, administrative and personnel services in order to meet internal and legal requirements by providing efficient and effective office and activities management.

About the European Students’ Union (ESU)
ESU is an umbrella organisation of 45 National Unions of students from 38 countries, and through this members we represent around 15 million students. The aim of ESU is to represent and promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of students at a European level towards all relevant bodies and in particular the European Union, Bologna Follow-Up Group, Council of Europe and UNESCO.

ESU actively promotes students’ rights and equal opportunities for all individuals in higher education. More information is available on www.esu-online.or.

Responsibilities and areas of work

In a team of six employees, the head of secretariat will have a coordinating role and will closely cooperate especially with the Financial Officer and the Executive Assistant while coordinating and fulfilling the following tasks:

  • Managing office finances: cash/bank management, reimbursements and payments, monitoring finances and making sure that ESU finances are maintained in an accurate and timely manner
  • Preparing an annual budget, schedules expenditures and cash flow, analyses variances, initiates corrective actions when necessary, and generally helps ESU to meet its financial objectives
  • Supporting the Financial Officer with bookkeeping and financial reporting
  • Efficiently managing office operations and procedures such as controlling correspondence, designing file and data management systems, facilities maintenance and supply requisitions
  • Developing sound office procedures and practices together with the other ESU officers and systems for measuring them
  • Maintaining employee records, preparing and submitting payroll information to the social secretariat and ensuring accurate payment of benefits and allowances in accordance with national legislation
  • Coordinating financial relations with member organisations
  • Ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, including rental agreements, insurance contracts, tax declaration and submissions to the national bank etc, external audit etc
  • Managing relations with our bank.


  • A degree or comparable experience in a related field
  • Knowledge of financial management
  • Knowledge in human resource management and payroll
  • Proficient in English (the working language of ESU) and the ability to work in French or Dutch (contact with Belgian public administration and other external stakeholders)
  • Excellent ICT skills (Word, Excel, Google applications and tele-banking).
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills
  • Ability to prioritise, respect deadlines and work with others in a multicultural environment
  • Willing to travel occasionally to attend statutory meetings of the organisation

Considered an advantage/looked upon favourably

Knowledge and/or experience of working with financial reporting for international projects, in particular projects funded by the European Commission.
Any working experience with non-profit student/youth organisations, preferably student unions.

Profile of the candidate:
ESU values initiative and strives for self-development. We are looking for someone who shares these attributes, is interested in student and higher education issues and has a positive, but responsible attitude towards her/his work responsibilities and colleagues.

The candidate should be a well-organised and hardworking team player, be able to work flexibly in a multicultural environment and stick to tight deadlines. As head of secretariat in ESU, occasional travel to attend events of the organisation is expected.

As an organisation strongly promoting equality, we require all ESU elected representatives and staff to follow the ESU Ethical Guidelines, Code of Conduct and the Gender mainstreaming strategy. (You can find them in our website:

Terms of contract

  • indeterminate employment contact;
  • based in Brussels, occasional travel
  • Gross salary: 1500 EUR/month for 19 hours per week. Additionally, ESU offers food vouchers and hospitalisation insurance. There will be the possibility to go from part-time to 75% after 6 months.

Ideal starting date: Monday 7th Dec.

How to apply?
Please send a CV, a motivation letter and, if available, any letters of recommendation and/or work portfolio by e-mail to by 23:59 CET on 6th November, 2015.

It is expected that the motivation letter would clarify why you are applying for the job, what kind of special skills and benefits you would bring to the organization and how your past experiences and/or education would support your work as head of secretariat.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited for an interview face-to-face, by skype or phone. At this stage candidates may be asked to perform small assignments to test their abilities and knowledge.

Final applicants might be invited to attend an interview preferably face to face at our office in Brussels.


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