Alternative Internship Alternative Internship
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The Alternative Internship.

Imagine the future. Complete an in-depth research project next summer.

Applications for our Internship Programmes are now closed and will open again in the summer of 2021.

The team

At Baillie Gifford we invest on behalf of charities and pension funds over the long-term. We don’t believe in furiously buying and selling stocks. Instead, our investment teams imagine the future by trying to understand the possibilities that arise from innovation and the consequences of regional and global events.

Our people are curious about the world and have the vision to see things differently. For us, the way they think is more important than the subject they’ve studied. That’s why we’re just as likely to hire a musician or historian as we are a mathematician or engineer.


The Opportunity

We’re looking for people who are curious about the world around them. People who combine intellect, insights and a fresh perspective. If that sounds like you, then you could win £5,000 to deliver a research project next summer. All you have to do is complete our quiz and answer the following question, in no more than 300 words.

The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, once said that “change is the only constant in life”. It is happening all around us: industries, societies, environments – the list goes on. Pick an area where you see rapid change and tell us why you’re optimistic about the future.

In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, tell us how you would explore your arguments further. Be original, creative and thought provoking. Address an area that is specific enough to draw conclusions.

If chosen, you will complete four weeks of research during June and July 2021. This will be followed by two weeks in our Edinburgh head office at the beginning of August (either virtually or with paid accommodation in the city), where you’ll write up and present your findings, as well as learn more about our approach to investment management.


You need to be able to join the dots of seemingly unrelated topics to see where innovation and opportunity could lie. Your answer doesn’t need to be an investment opportunity or about companies or economics. We’re looking for truly original ideas and angles that people haven’t explored before. For example, one of our previous interns researched how creativity is being taught in global education systems. This is a very important question for society going forward and it’s something we want to know more about.

You don’t need to be someone who already knows a lot about their research topic, or has any knowledge of investments or finance. We don’t expect you to know all the answers at this stage, but you should know how to ask the right questions. You can be studying any subject, but you must be a penultimate year undergraduate or in the penultimate or final year of a PhD. If you’re a self-starter who is open-minded to new ideas and ways of thinking, we want to hear from you.

“I gained a new confidence in myself, both from fulfilling challenging research on a topic I was previously unfamiliar with, and from meeting inspiring people.”

Anna Murphy,
Alternative Intern 2017

Meet the Interns

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Vini Vaseekaran Alternative Intern
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Ella Courtie Alternative Intern
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Forbes Wigmore Alternative Intern
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Helen Xiong Investment Partner

Terms & Conditions

  • The competition is open to penultimate year undergraduates or penultimate or final year PhD/DPhil students.
  • Entries must be submitted via the online application form by the 22nd November 2020.
  • Grants are non-transferable and are only for the use of those selected.
  • Between two and four winners will be selected.
  • Please note that this is not a competition to receive investment to develop your own business idea or funding to carry out your own research, project or current studies. We are looking for applications that answer the set question.
  • By entering this competition you are agreeing to allow Baillie Gifford to keep your contact details on file for the next 18 months. These details may be used to keep you informed about Baillie Gifford’s graduate training schemes.
  • By entering this competition you will be deemed to have read and understood these rules and to be bound by them.
  • The competition is governed by Scottish Law and any matters relating to the competition will be resolved under Scottish Law.
  • No responsibility will be accepted for failed, partial or garbled computer transmissions, for any computer, telephone, cable, network, electronic or internet hardware or software malfunctions, failures, connections, availability, for the acts or omissions of any service provider, internet, accessibility or availability or for traffic congestion or unauthorised human act.
  • The opportunity is not open to current employees of Baillie Gifford.

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