Edinburgh Napier University, MSc Human Resource Management
I’m the Talent Attraction Specialist. This means I’m responsible for managing the Early Careers marketing campaign. My role involves designing and delivering on the attraction strategy, planning our approach to the campaign and working with the team to ensure we attract the right candidates.
There have been lots of highlights; however, one stands out. I was responsible for launching our Modern Apprenticeship programme, which provides young people with an alternative route into the firm. This has been really rewarding, as we are shaping the future talent pipeline of the firm. I like being part of a team that’s giving young people opportunities. I’ve also really enjoyed meeting lots of different people from diverse backgrounds and walks of life.
Genuine curiosity. We want people who will challenge the status quo, who think about things and question everything. Resilience is also a key skill. We don’t expect you to know everything at the start, and you’ll get things wrong – but it’s how you deal with it that’s important. Collaboration and working together to share ideas are also vital, regardless of your role within the firm.
Be yourself! You’re treated as an individual throughout the whole process because we want to get to know you as a person. Ask lots of questions because finding out if we’re the right fit for you is just as important as us assessing your suitability for Baillie Gifford.
Robert Gordon University, Information & Network Security MSc
I applied to multiple firms because I wanted to find the right fit, but Baillie Gifford really stood out. The whole interview process is very personal and, since I’ve joined, it’s like being a member of an extended family. I’ve hardly felt out of place, and my colleagues always make themselves available to answer any questions I might have or help me through any difficulties.
One of the most challenging aspects of the programme was getting to know all the internal processes at the firm. It takes time to learn how everything fits together, but there are always people on hand to help. My mentor was always there if I needed to talk, either on a personal or professional level. There was also ongoing support from my programme manager, who I met regularly on each specific rotation. You’ll always get what you need if you ask the right questions of the right people.
One of my biggest concerns/challenges was adjusting to living and working in the UK. Especially the cold weather! That was definitely a bit of a shock when I got off the plane. However, the help I’ve received with the move has made such a difference. I got some great pointers about finding a place to live and have made friends with graduates from all the other training programmes. Having lunch together was a great way to get to know people before I officially started at the firm, and we catch up whenever we can. With Edinburgh, you get the best of both worlds – peaceful green spaces, as well as the buzz of a capital city.
Having completed the graduate programme and spent time on rotation with different teams in the Information Systems department, I’m now a member of the Infrastructure and Service Delivery team. During the programme, I had exposure to a wide variety of technologies and projects, which has equipped me well for the tasks within my current team, and I’m still experiencing new challenges and training opportunities. As a result, it’s easy to see myself developing over the long term here, and I look forward to contributing to the firm's long-term success.
University of Glasgow, Geography
The application process was straightforward. Some companies have 20 page online forms that take hours to complete. Here I was able to explain, in my own words, why I felt I was suited to the role and had an interview to say what I really thought.
With my degree background, I was a little worried that I’d be at a disadvantage – but I’ve not had a problem at all. I learnt so much in the two-year programme about the whole business cycle, with great training opportunities, and I had the chance to find out what interests me.
I liked the rotational nature of the graduate scheme. At the end of it, you’ve experienced everything from Settlements to Risk to Systems to Audit. At first, everything is new, but you soon develop knowledge in so many different areas and build your own network of contacts around the business.
The people are friendly and approachable at all levels, and I had lots of opportunities to attend meetings and lunches with senior partners. And it’s OK to ask questions. You might even be helping colleagues to think about things in a completely new way.
If you’re interested in something, ask to be involved. For example, I helped co-found the Baillie Gifford LGBT+ Network. Being gay I understand that joining your first workplace after university can be a daunting experience. So, for me, it was important to encourage those who identify as LGBT+ to be themselves here. By creating the network, we want to promote conversation around LGBT+ inclusion and support an open, respectful working environment.
University of York, Economics & Finance
I’m from a working-class family and wasn’t sure what I could do with my degree. During my studies, I did some public service internships, but struggled with the culture. For me, everything moved so slowly in government where you could get lost in the machine. So when some of my friends recommended looking into investment research, I discovered Baillie Gifford, a bit of an outlier in the financial services industry. They have a long-term approach and are concerned about making a positive impact on society. The interview process was different too. Other firms expect you to have quite a lot of macro and market knowledge, but Baillie Gifford asked me what I’d read recently and why I chose the qualifications I did.
I work on the High Yield Credit team in the Multi-Asset & Income stream (MA&I), looking for companies that will provide a return on our investment. We analyse the competitive environment and whether a company has any unique strengths, innovation or durable edge that will allow it to succeed and grow over the period we lend to it. We’re also really interested in their sustainability, environmental, social and governance goals. The bonds we research can be new issues, whereby companies are looking to raise new finances, or refinance, where they want to extend the life of existing bonds. Alternatively, other opportunities can come from individual analysts prospecting in industries they’re responsible for or have a personal interest in.
As someone new to the team, fund managers will often suggest new issues or past bonds for me to look at, although we’re also encouraged to come up with our ideas ourselves. For the new issue bonds, the first part of the research process is to attend a company presentation, and then arrange calls with the company’s management. Once a new bond is issued, the decision to buy can be relatively quick. Typically issued at the beginning of the week, we then discuss our initial reports as a team on Wednesdays. Then, if the fund managers want to buy, they’ll take a small position by the end of the week. After new issues, we usually do further write up, building up a more detailed profile for the bonds.
There is a real collegiate feel at Baillie Gifford. Even though we’re all working remotely, it’s easy to message someone on Teams and go for a walk or meet online for a chat. My mentor has been great and I’ve met with him every week. All graduate trainees get allocated a mentor. They could be someone who completed the graduate programme, an experienced investor hired directly to the team or even a partner in the firm. They teach you how to do the technical aspects of the job and take you through all the basics of the firm.
University of Glasgow, Law
I had always assumed I’d be a lawyer, but then changed my mind in my final year, as I thought an accountancy qualification would give me more options. I didn’t have a particularly numerical background, just Higher maths, but it was the business side of accountancy that really interested me. Before joining Baillie Gifford, I qualified with a Big 4 firm. I made the move to Baillie Gifford as I liked their long-term philosophy, and this role offered the opportunity to build relationships with both external clients (Boards) and a variety of colleagues across the firm.
I’m currently working as an assistant investment trust accountant with responsibilities across several Investment Trusts. There are lots of stakeholders – the fund managers, the Trusts’ Boards and the shareholders. It’s my job to produce the annual and half-year reports for the trusts I work on. On a typical day, I might be answering queries from internal teams, doing forecasting exercises for the fund managers, reviewing board papers, or migrating all the accounting and administrative records of a new Trust onto our systems.
Law is like accountancy in that it teaches you to be very analytical and logical. Both disciplines involve understanding technical issues and problem-solving. In my role, I provide both accountancy and company secretarial services to the Trusts. I was attracted to the opportunity to do both, and my background in law means that I’m used to interpreting regulations and reading legislation.
I think that staff turnover at Baillie Gifford is low because they treat their people so well. Everyone here is very supportive, and there’s a real commitment to quality and getting things right. We are all ambitious and want to do well, but we work together to achieve our goals. There’s the space and time to learn too. I was allowed to do the Investment Operations Certificate within my first few months of joining. The tutoring, books and study leave were all provided by Baillie Gifford and gave me a good grounding in investment operations and the wider context of what I do.