Applications have now closed for the 2023 intake
Business Operations play a vital role in the success of Baillie Gifford. We’ve been described as ‘the oil in the machine’ – keeping everything within the business running smoothly. All the areas of Business Operations are interlinked, and what we do is critical to the success of our whole company. Whether it’s processing trades, analysing operational risk, or working on process improvements, we add value at every stage of the process.
Everyone’s journey on our Business Operations Graduate Programme is different. We don’t expect you to know where you want to specialise, so our rotations are designed to help you explore your interests and the different opportunities available. It is structured as a two-year rotational programme followed by a supportive offboarding process. The rotational years are about getting a broad overview of Business Operations as you experience a series of placements across the firm. After the first two years, you will transition into the second phase of the programme where you will have the opportunity of doing up to three 12-month placements before transitioning into a permanent role.
We’re looking for Baillie Gifford’s leaders of the future. Through a wide range of placements in different areas, you’ll get directly involved in the work of the departments and experience the varied management styles within the firm. You’ll also be given real responsibility and the chance to be involved in live projects that could make a lasting difference to the firm.
“We are seeking individuals who can use their drive, initiative and determination to create success, not just for Baillie Gifford but also for their own career.”
During your rotational programme, you’ll complete six 3 ½ month placements in our different business streams: Clients Department Operations, Professional Services, Investment Services and Investment Operations.
Throughout the programme, as well as constant on-the-job training, you’ll follow a structured development plan. This involves training in a range of professional skills designed to support your growth and development within our business. In year one, this includes guidance on how to understand and relate to others, time management, and networking. The courses will have more of a leadership focus in year two, including topics such as problem-solving in complex environments, coaching skills and becoming a resilient leader. You’ll also receive tutoring and study leave to gain the Investment Operations Certificate (IOC) and Investment Management Certificate (IMC) qualifications. And at every stage, you’ll have the support of a dedicated buddy, a senior year group mentor (usually an Operational Partner) and a department host too.
With this solid foundation, after two years you will go on to complete one to three longer secondments in different teams before progressing to a permanent role. This is your opportunity to find out where your specialisms lie and to explore your full potential. Years three to five with us are designed to support your transition into a long-term career with the firm. The structure of those years will be flexible and will be tailored to each of our graduate’s individual talents and strengths.
It doesn’t matter what background you come from, as we will give you all the support you need to build and develop your skills to be a future business leader. At Baillie Gifford it’s your individuality that’s your strength. If you’re an inquisitive thinker and strive to understand how things work, you would be an ideal fit for our Business Operations Graduate Programme.
We’re not looking for graduates with a particular degree. Instead, we’re looking for people who are critical-thinkers and real team players. It’s your thirst for knowledge and problem-solving skills that we need, which is why our trainees come from a wide range of disciplines – everything from Geography and Physics to Business and Politics.
We’re proud to have a diverse team, where each member brings their unique set of talents and experiences to their role. Although we’re completely open-minded about your background, you must have a passion for business. You should be fascinated by the way organisations work and want to strive to make them better.
Throughout the programme you’ll constantly be moving between teams and meeting new people. So, we want to see a flexible approach and the networking skills that will enable you to build relationships across the firm and get the most out of each placement.
Complete our short online application form and attach your CV. We will review your application to find out more about you and assess whether you have the skills, attributes and curiosity to make a good Business Operations graduate.
If you are successful in the first phase, we will invite you for a first interview with some of our Business Operations professionals. We will explore your application in more detail, talk about the academic and professional choices that you’ve made so far, together with some competency-based questions that assess your abilities and experience.
The final stage of interviewing is the most in depth. You will attend an assessment centre with other applicants which will include a second interview and a group exercise. You will also have the chance to speak informally to current graduates, managers and the Early Careers Team about Baillie Gifford.
Queen Mary University, MSc Development and International Business
Being on the Business Operations programme I rotate through different operational departments every three and half months. My first placement was with the Human Resources Department, where I got the opportunity to work on an exciting project that gave me exposure to staff at all levels across the firm. Currently, I’m sitting with the Transitions department, they deal with all client transitional activities like new client take-ons, take-offs, re-organisations and cashflows. I have also been working with the Legal team to map out the teams, processes and tasks involved in successfully registering a Baillie Gifford Worldwide Fund in different jurisdictions.
When I was applying for graduate opportunities, the Baillie Gifford interview process really stood out to me – they seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me as a person. The business wants you to develop into a well-rounded professional, teaching you more than just the operational aspects of financial services. So, since joining, we’ve had lots of training on the soft skills you need in the world of work, including courses on how to have difficult conversations and effectively manage your time.
A personal highlight of Ballie Gifford has been joining the leadership of the Multicultural Network. Diversity & Inclusion is a topic I’m very passionate about, so co-leading the policy and training sub-group has been an amazing opportunity. It’s given me the chance to get involved in lots of fascinating projects and connect with people throughout the firm that I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
This is a truly supportive environment where people go out of their way to help or answer whatever question you may have. In my first eight months here, my confidence has grown, and I’ve developed so much – I’m enthusiastic about keeping that up. I'm genuinely excited by how much I still have to learn and the skills I'm going to acquire.
University of Sheffield, Geography
So far, the programme has helped me build a broad understanding of the business, a great network and useful, transferrable skills. It’s been a great way to discover where my passions and potential impact lie. A particular highlight for me, was joining a project team working to select a vendor to supply services to the firm. I developed a matrix to assess their products, presented my analysis and identified which vendors should come in to demonstrate their system. It’s given me a glimpse at the future of the business and the systems we’ll need to facilitate change.
As I’ve moved across departments every few months, the people have been exceptional. Wherever you go, whoever you work with, everyone is willing you on to succeed. I’ve learnt from and collaborated with enthusiastic and experienced individuals, who are excited to share their knowledge and champion my progress. It’s an environment where you’re encouraged to be yourself and a firm that cares about its people’s development.
Whilst learning on-the-job during my rotations, I’ve also been supported through training and exams for professional qualifications. In my first two years, I gained the Investment Operations Certificate (IOC) and the Investment Management Certificate (IMC), which really helped build my understanding of the finance industry and fund management. You don’t need any prior knowledge – the trainer has a fantastic approach and uses memory tools to help you learn, while the business supports your revision with study leave before the exams.
I’ve recently joined the firm’s Touch Rugby team, which has been a fantastic way to meet people from right across Ballie Gifford. It’s open to all levels and the sessions tend to end up with us having a good laugh on a social. I’ve also joined the Environmental group, where I was involved in the launch of a carbon footprint app for all our staff. It’s an area I’m passionate about, so it will be interesting to see future business solutions to pressing environmental challenges.
University of Bath: International Management and French BSc
When I applied, I knew very little about financial services, let alone investment management. But Baillie Gifford's emphasis on curiosity above all else resonated with me. It’s about a desire to learn. They look at the person, not the degree – so there’s a real melting pot of interesting people in the firm, offering insight across all disciplines. My fellow trainees include chemists, geographers and historians.
Baillie Gifford provides the perfect balance of nurture and challenge to kickstart a career in financial services – the emphasis on personal development is second-to-none. For me, the best learning opportunities have come from working alongside colleagues who are experts in their field. A recent secondment mentor highlighted the importance of purpose – above all else – when completing a project or task. Since then, placing purpose at the centre of everything I do has helped me work through even the most ambiguous circumstances.
My highlight has most definitely been chairing Baillie Gifford's LGBT+ Network within 18 months of joining the firm. I enrolled as soon as I could as I knew I didn’t want to hide my sexuality when entering the world of work. Baillie Gifford felt like a very comfortable environment for me to be my true self. I became Events Coordinator in 2021 then took on the role of Chair in 2022. This has given me the opportunity to orchestrate two years’ worth of Pride events, amongst a plethora of other initiatives throughout the year. The firm’s proactive approach to employee-led networks shows its genuine commitment to creating a more diverse and inclusive culture at Baillie Gifford.
Besides from the more formal, firm-wide events like the annual Dinner Dance, informal events organised by colleagues have provided some great memories. Most recently, my secondment host organised a karaoke night for me as a 'leaving do' before moving on to my next placement. Blaring out Sophie Ellis-Bexter's 'Murder on the Dancefloor' isn't something I'm going to forget anytime soon!
University of Aberdeen, Sports & Exercise Science BSc
The Business Operations Graduate Programme gave me the opportunity to discover my interests and explore career options. Which led to my current role as a Portfolio Analytics Specialist within the Investment Risk, Analytics and Research team, where we provide our investment and client teams with analytical support. The work is broad and varied, right now, I’m working with research analysts in the team on a broad project looking at the Chinese market and its competitive dynamics – particularly how state-owned enterprise, regulation and government policy impacts the performance and fundamentals of different companies and sectors.
Baillie Gifford is not afraid to stand out from the crowd, with their long-term decisions always being based on what’s best for their clients. That mindset is good for employees too, fostering an environment where intellectual curiosity is prized. That’s reflected in just how easy it is to get support through professional qualifications, or access courses online or in person. It’s a progressive and inclusive place to work, where everyone’s ideas count – they actively encourage a diversity of thought.
Because the company values people as individuals, they value our time too. I’m trusted to get my work done to a high standard within normal working hours. People tend to wrap up their work at a reasonable time and go home to pursue their other interests. For me, still having the time to play sport and relax outside of work contributes to a healthy balance.
During the programme, you meet a lot of different people, which helps to build networking skills and relationships. Communicating and finding common ground with people is an important skill, so you need to be personable, self-confident, and able to really take ownership of a task. The key is to stay curious and keep asking lots of questions!
University of Aberdeen, Accountancy & Management
After the graduate programme, I moved into a marketing and communications role where I was producing marketing materials, presentations and pitches. I worked with Baillie Gifford’s Fixed Income teams, which was a fantastic opportunity to learn about their investment strategies. After just over a year, an opportunity came up for a secondment to the newly set up Dublin office for Baillie Gifford Europe. I applied and got the job.
In Dublin, I joined a small team of seven responsible for setting up Baillie Gifford Europe (BGE). Moving to Dublin was quite a daunting prospect, but the team made me feel at home straight away. Because BGE had only been up and running for about a year, I had the opportunity to get involved in several different business areas. I also had invaluable exposure to the day-to-day running of a company and discussions at the highest levels.
Since my secondment, I’ve taken on a newly created role as a Global Service Associate in Edinburgh. My role is to support the client service, business development and marketing activities for the Middle East and South African business as well as the various regional offices in Europe. It’s an opportunity to put all the knowledge and experience I’ve gained during and since the programme to good use. Most of the teams in our regional offices haven’t worked in Edinburgh, so I liaise with the right people here to make sure they get what they need from the business. It’s exciting to see how the firm is growing and the new opportunities it brings.
One of the best things about Baillie Gifford is the supportive culture. Last year, due to the circumstances, the whole firm took an extra day off for wellbeing. Your health and happiness are a big priority for the company, and they really make a point of looking after everyone. This, as well as everyone is approachable and willing to help really sets a great environment for learning and development where you are encouraged to take opportunities and push yourself. For me, it’s these small things that make you feel valued and contribute to the inclusive culture at the firm.
University of Edinburgh, Economics
The application process felt simple and very people-focused, especially compared to other employers. After my initial application, the first assessment stage was sitting in the firm’s office, having a face-to-face interview, and delivering a presentation to potential line managers. Throughout, there was a real emphasis on spending time with people to discuss and explore the opportunity and my motivations. Baillie Gifford even organised a dinner the night before my assessment day, which was a great chance to meet fellow applicants, graduates and senior managers. It helped put me at ease, and the conversations were refreshingly open and honest.
Within my first few months at Baillie Gifford, I’d completed my induction training, passed an IOC exam, finished my first rotation in the Client Administration Department and delivered our graduate project. The induction was a great mix of face-to-face and online training, covering fund management, equities, bonds and derivatives, plus a range of personal development topics. The firm’s also very happy to help you source specific training opportunities, which is noteworthy.
During the first month, we had the chance to shape our own learning sessions. We hosted eight sessions with 28 departments across the firm. Each department gave us an overview of their work, followed by a ‘speed dating’ style event, which let us explore specific areas of expertise with members from different teams. It was a great way to understand how everything slots together and gain insight into areas of interest for our graduate project.
Having now completed the graduate programme, I can fully appreciate how much we’ve covered. There’s been a huge amount to learn and deliver – it’s been challenging and daunting at times with the occasional moment of self-doubt. However, the support I’ve had has made all the difference. Clichéd as it may sound, Baillie Gifford really does feel like a big family, and everyone has been welcoming and willing to help. It’s been the launchpad to growing my confidence and knowledge day by day, and each placement completed offered something new and exciting to learn.