Cutting-edge technologies are only as good as the people who apply them. Is that you?
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Technology underpins everything we do here at Baillie Gifford. 20% of our people work in Information Systems roles, so it’s no surprise that innovative technologies are fully embraced within the firm. As you’ll know technology never stands still, so neither do we – there’s a continuous push to find better, more effective solutions for almost every business need. We were one of the first companies in the UK to implement VoIP and Virtualisation technologies, as well as being very early adopters of devices like iPads.
But staying ahead of the curve isn’t easy. We work hard to ensure we maintain a level of technology knowledge that’s second to none. Join our Technical Infrastructure team and you may have the opportunity to attend global technology events, including an annual trip to Silicon Valley to learn about innovations that could help drive our business forward. This is a role for those who don’t just embrace change, they create it.
As a member of the Technology Infrastructure team, you’ll focus on exploring how emerging technologies can shape the future of our business. Our team maintains and develops the entire IT infrastructure and use technologies from leading vendors, like Dell EMC, Splunk, Palo Alto and Bloomberg.
It’s an exciting time to work in the field of technology, particularly here at Baillie Gifford. We have partnerships with world-leading suppliers, such as Apple and Microsoft, which means we often get involved at the beta stage of new technologies. This allows us to help drive forward product development, as well as deliver bespoke solutions.
Unlike many other financial firms, our DevOps journey is well underway. As the name implies, DevOps (Development & Operations) spans all the Information Systems teams, as does the drive for automation. In Technical Infrastructure, we deploy Puppet, a tool that provides automated configuration management. We also take full advantage of the benefits that the Cloud has to offer, allowing us to be more agile, and are already utilising Microsoft Azure and AWS.
“There’s so much to learn and get involved with. Baillie Gifford is always looking ahead into new technologies so I’m constantly developing new skills and finding new opportunities.”
This is your opportunity to join our 300-strong team of IT professionals who bring technology to life. Our graduate development programme lasts two years, during which time you’ll have the chance to rotate around a number of key areas, working on everything from the Service Desk to installing new laptops or conferencing equipment to concept testing the latest products before they reach the market. You’ll begin with a comprehensive 3-month induction to create an excellent foundation, including an introduction to Baillie Gifford technologies, investment management and even SQL and databases.
And it’s not just about developing your technical skills. You’ll receive a wealth of professional training, such as presenting, report writing and effective meeting techniques, to ensure your development is well rounded. We’ll also provide our full support to study for and gain the Investment Operations Certificate qualification.
But training isn’t something that just happens during the first stage of your career. Once the scheme is finished and you join us in a permanent role, you’ll continue to learn and develop throughout your time here and will be actively encouraged to follow your own interests. That could mean attending a training course, signing up to a webinar, going to a conference or working on a new project. You’ll find you’re not restricted to a narrowly defined role in a big anonymous company. Your career possibilities here will be as plentiful as your potential.
We’re looking for people who are passionate about technology. Those who can apply their technical knowledge to develop innovative solutions to business challenges.
Although you’ll require a minimum 2:1 in an IT related degree, we’re far more interested in whether you’ve built a website, written a blog or contributed to technical forums than we are about the specifics of what you studied. It’s your enthusiasm for emerging technologies and problem solving that will see you thrive in this environment.
You will need a technical bias, but this will be matched with effective relationship-building and consulting skills. We want you to embrace our team environment and be able to collaborate with anyone around our business. Connectivity is just as important to this role as it is in technology.
When we meet you, we won’t just ask you about the latest in cloud-based solutions, we want to hear about you. We’re looking for well-rounded individuals who have a positive approach to new challenges and enjoy the buzz of collaboration.
Complete our short application form, which includes questions about why you’d like to join us and what you think makes us tick. Then attach your CV and a covering letter.
We’ll invite you to our Edinburgh office for an interview with one of our HR team as well as one of our IT professionals. We’ll run through your CV with you, talk about the academic and professional choices that you’ve made so far, together with some competency-based questions.
This is a final and more in-depth stage of interviewing. We’ll talk about your technical experience and assess your abilities in more detail through some practical exercises including a technology related scenario. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and meet our IT professionals, including other graduates who are currently on the programme.
I applied to lots of different 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 never felt out of place and my colleagues always make themselves available to answer any questions I might have or help me through any difficulties.
Having spent time on rotation with the Infrastructure Service Delivery team, where tasks have included setting up and configuring Cisco IP Phones and adding new policies to firewalls, my next rotation will be in the Security Access Management team, which is more akin to what I studied at university. With all the experience I’m gaining, it’s really easy to see myself developing over the long-term here, and I’m looking forward to contributing to the growth of the firm.
One of the most challenging aspects of the programme has been 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 is always there if I need someone to talk to, either on a personal or professional level. There’s also ongoing support from my Programme Manager, who I meet regularly and the line managers on each specific rotation. You’ll always get what you need if you ask the right questions of the right people.
Perhaps my biggest challenge has been 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. The help I’ve received with the move, though, has really made a difference. I’ve been given some great pointers about finding a place to live and have met graduates from all the other training programmes. We all had lunch together, which was a great way to get to know people before I officially started at the firm. With Edinburgh you get the best of both worlds – peaceful green spaces, as well as the buzz of a capital city. I’m really enjoying exploring my new home.
The application process at Baillie Gifford was very simple. There were no stressful aptitude or numeracy tests and the interviewers seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me as a person and seeing how I would fit into the team. My interview involved some questions from senior members of the company and a technical test. I was also asked to give a short presentation on a technology that I thought would assist Baillie Gifford. The whole process felt very positive and welcoming.
My first few weeks were spent completing training courses in soft skills and learning about the technologies we would be using, such as Palo Alto and VMware. After this, I completed two months on the Service Desk, meeting lots of colleagues and managing support calls. I was also put on a project to roll out 150 new iPads, which was a real logistical challenge to achieve in the time! Subsequently, I was able to take ownership of the project and create a process that the Service Desk could use in the future.
I’m now working in the Infrastructure Service Delivery team, which has been an opportunity to hone my networking skills. From the moment you start a new placement you feel like a valued member of the team with real responsibilities. So far, I’ve helped with tasks such as port patching, getting involved with change initiatives and taking support calls. The other members of the team are very generous with their advice and expertise, so I’ve always felt comfortable with what’s asked of me and there’s someone on hand to help if I ever feel out of my depth.
There’s a real emphasis on social relationships at Baillie Gifford. There’s no sense of ‘them and us’, just a really pleasant and focused working environment with plenty of areas to talk to colleagues throughout the office. I’ve also been on our annual ‘office outing’ where I enjoyed an afternoon of watersports, followed by a party in a marquee at the Gallery of Modern Art. You don’t realise that you’re building valuable relationships with colleagues when you’re having fun, but you are!
When I think about it, I’m amazed at how much I’ve achieved during my time here. I enjoy pushing myself and I’ve challenged myself on C# and SQL in particular. I’ve found that there are lots of opportunities to learn about new technologies, as well as build from scratch. Unlike what happens at university where it’s all just theory, it’s great to see something that’s going to be used within the business.
I recently had the opportunity to work in our small New York office on a three-month secondment. That was an amazing experience at every level. I was the face of IT, and didn’t want to let the team down! I worked closely with a third-party support vendor, as well as implementing new tech including Cisco Meraki and an ACS server. It was interesting work and I learned a lot in a short time. I would thoroughly recommend this to any future graduate.
Back in Edinburgh, I’m working on rolling out the cloud networking Meraki system to this office and beyond. I’m also part of a project team rolling out Bomgar for remote support. It’s really good to be the networking team member on these kind of projects. I enjoy pushing myself and I’m pleased at the breadth of day-to-day tasks generally. I want to continue to learn about technologies used within the server or networking teams and improve my trouble-shooting skills.
It’s easy to get too focused on big employers when you’re about to graduate. You want a job in tech so you look at the big names. But if you speak to people who’ve joined these kind of companies, you often find that they feel like cogs in the machine. At Baillie Gifford, I’m definitely a name, not a number, and I work with people right around the business, at all levels.
When you’re a student, you want to work with the latest kit. What I didn’t realise then was that I could also work with big names like Cisco, Dell or VMware right here at Baillie Gifford. We’ve got new systems from these manufacturers coming in all the time for proof of concepts and implementations, and we can enjoy working with a wide variety of these different products.
You do need to get out of your comfort zone though: I couldn’t even programme before I joined Baillie Gifford but soon I was in a team developing an application that’s widely used in the business. Last year I wouldn’t have thought that was possible but as long as you’re willing to learn, you’ll have all the training and support you need.
I first started working with the Service Desk team and learnt a lot of practical skills which I could put to work right away - everything from keyboard issues to in-depth tech questions. Since then, I’ve worked in a number of our infrastructure teams, gaining a wealth of experience and knowledge with the systems that we currently manage and new ones that we are implementing. I always say I learnt more in my first six months here than a year and half in uni, and after a number of years, I’m still continuing to learn.
The training is abundant and second-to-none. In the first three months, we had technical training on things like databases and aspects of SQL. We also had soft skills training on networking, assertiveness and presenting. After my degree, it was really refreshing to do something different and learn such diverse skills. Since the induction I’ve also had comprehensive training on Palo Alto firewalls and Microsoft System Centre Configuration management.
When I first joined the Data Centre & Operations team, there was lots of technology that I had never used before. However, my manager was supportive and allowed me time to research and ask any questions about the new technologies. I then led a project to set up new video conferencing systems. I’d never worked with that technology before, so it was great to be given the responsibility of rolling it out.
Every day here holds something new and interesting. A recent highlight was doing some concept testing with one of my team leaders. In simple terms, we took some new technology that Baillie Gifford are thinking of adopting and tried to break it. It’s part of the process we do here to make sure this is something Baillie Gifford really wants to implement. It was challenging but exceptionally rewarding to know our tests will decide if the firm chooses to invest in this technology.
With every new project, I learn something new. When I was on the Service Desk, I was part of a project to role-out new iPads to all the firm’s users. This involved explaining the new features to over 200 people. I’ve also been part of a much bigger project to install a completely new cutting-edge infrastructure throughout Baillie Gifford. I’ve been here just under a year and the amount I’ve been able to learn has really exceeded my expectations.
I did a work placement during my third year at university, then continued to work for the company while I completed my degree. With the knowledge I had gained, I was worried that I would go backwards by joining a graduate training scheme but that wasn’t the case at Baillie Gifford. The training is tailored to your level of experience. They give you support where you need it - or if you’re looking for more responsibility, it’s there for the taking too.
After my induction, I joined the Service Desk team for three months, and then moved on to the Operations area. I started off shadowing people but now I’m now carrying out key tasks and being given real responsibility. I’ve felt like a full member of the team from day one. Even though I have technical experience, it’s still been challenging to learn about all the systems used in Baillie Gifford. You can ask lots of questions and everyone is always happy to answer them.
We have an annual Office Outing where the whole firm takes the afternoon off to go and do team activities. I went to Glentress and did some mountain biking, which was great fun. Things like this help us all feel that we’re part of one firm.
To succeed at Baillie Gifford you need good soft skills - the ability to communicate well with others for example, and to work collaboratively. You can learn the technical skills, especially with all the support we get here. As a graduate you’re learning all the time.