Spend the summer gaining real world experience.
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Business Operations teams are often described as the ‘oil in the machine’, not seen on the outside but keeping everything within the firm running smoothly. Made up of over a dozen interconnected functions that are critical to the success of our business, their responsibilities include liaising with clients directly on accounting and administration matters, and reconciling trades with custodian banks or analysing operational risk.
Our 8-12 week summer placement offers a range of opportunities in several different functions so you can select the opportunity that best matches your skills and aspirations. All provide tailored training and support including a comprehensive induction, access to training courses and an individual learning plan. You’ll also benefit from your own learning journal so you can record your achievements and the skills you’ve gained. Whichever area you choose, you’ll be seen as a real member of the team, contributing to live projects and exploring how the business works.
Client Administration is the first port of call for our clients on all operational and administrative matters. They cover a range of key areas, including recording all investment activity and income for institutional clients, and reporting back to clients using a bespoke in-house system. In addition, the department is responsible for billing and credit control.
Our Communications and Marketing Operations department is made up of six teams that provide key operational support to the Clients department and the wider firm. Their focus is on developing all of our communication and marketing activity to clients, consultants and prospects on a global basis.
Our Finance team delivers financial reporting for the firm including the preparation of partnership and statutory accounts, along with regulatory financial and capital reporting, tax filings, payment management, payroll, expenses and more. It also provides full support on all finance matters including business development initiatives, as well as financial modelling.
Our Compliance department protects our clients, the firm and our staff by fostering compliant and ethical outcomes. The team’s aim is to minimise the likelihood of compliance risks while managing regulatory risk within the agreed risk appetite. The department is made up of four teams: Monitoring, Ethics and Conduct Assurance; Regulatory Developments & Advisory; Policies, Training & Regulatory Reporting; and Anti Money Laundering.
Our Business Improvement team’s mission is to deliver a dedicated resource that supports the firm’s Client Servicing, Administration and Operational areas in the continuous improvement of their business functions. We also work on product development, liaising closely with business users and developers to implement tailored applications.
This department’s role is to support the wider business by identifying and managing all legal and regulatory risks. Our activities focus on contract negotiation and facilitating investment management agreements to support segregated business, unlisted investments and dispute resolution, and data protection compliance – as well as pooled funds work including product development and analysis, product governance and company secretarial services.
We’re looking for go-getters who can grasp this outstanding opportunity and learn everything they can about their business area, Baillie Gifford and the wider investment management industry. First-rate communication and organisation skills are essential, so you’ll need to show evidence of these in your application.
In the past, some of our students have been finishing their penultimate year, while others were finishing their first or second years. We’ve also welcomed people from a wide range of subject areas including geography, physics and engineering. The most important thing is that you’re enthusiastic, ambitious and keen to learn about our business.
“I was given the freedom to manage my own time on a project I was working on and it was very satisfying to see that my work was valued by experienced professionals.”Claire Maginnis,
Complete a short online application form covering your educational history, and some competency skills. We will review your application to find out more about you and assess whether you have the ability, attributes and curiosity to take on a placement.
If you are successful in the first phase, we will invite you to our offices in Edinburgh for an interview with our Operations professionals. They will look at your application with you and discuss the academic and professional choices you have made so far. They will also ask you to answer competency-based questions that assess your abilities and experience.
By the time I finished my law degree, I knew that I didn’t want to work in the profession but I wasn’t sure what else I could do. While researching potential new areas I found out that Baillie Gifford offers summer placements open to any degree background. I was offered a placement in the Mandate Compliance department, which I thought would be an interesting opportunity to use my legal skills in a different way.
It was good to be given the freedom to manage my own time on a project, but also have a supportive team around me who were always happy to answer any questions I had. I was also able to meet with lots of other departments that interact with the team, which was a great way to learn about the wider business.
After I finished the placement in the summer, I joined the firm permanently in November 2015 within the Mandate Compliance team and have since moved to the Governance and Sustainability team. When I first started back, one of the things I noticed was that the team was using and referring to the document I created for my project! It was very satisfying to see that all my work was valued by experienced professionals.
I was surprised by the culture at the firm. Everyone is really happy to spend time with you and impart knowledge. But also, even when I was on the placement, they were interested in finding out about me. The partnership structure of the firm makes a big difference, as you feel like everyone here has a vested interest in what they’re doing and wants to succeed.
I hadn’t heard of Baillie Gifford until an acquaintance who’d completed a placement here recommended them. Even though I applied to a range of employers, I was attracted to Baillie Gifford because they welcome applications from any subject area and have a very client-focused approach. Many of the other firms also had very lengthy, complicated application processes, whilst Baillie Gifford’s was more straight-forward and people-focused.
Classics may not seem like an obvious entry point into finance, but it’s a versatile subject. You have to be logical, analytical, write well and put together considered arguments. The summer placement here was an ideal opportunity to explore the transferable skills that I’ve attained through my degree and see how they can be applied in the financial services industry. Baillie Gifford look for people from all sorts of academic backgrounds, so I never felt that the focus of my degree limited my options here.
The placement is carefully structured to ensure everyone is getting the most out of it. At the moment, I’m working on some analysis of the onboarding process. However, once I’ve got a grounding in the basics, I’ll be able to focus on the specific areas that interest me. For example, I’ve spotted a project on Blockchain that I’d like to get involved with.
The working parameters are respected here. There is no automatic expectation that you need to stay in the office after five. Everyone is trusted to get on with their work within working hours. You’re then encouraged to go and enjoy Edinburgh and I want to make the most of this, especially during the Fringe Festival in August. The office has a really friendly atmosphere, and it’s easy to meet people both socially and to help with your work.
My placement at Baillie Gifford has been a great opportunity to find out what type of law I actually enjoy and help me make the right decision further down the line. Many people I know want to go into commercial law, but I’m keen to find out what that involves and the different opportunities available. Baillie Gifford offers one of the few in-house legal placements in Scotland and it’s much longer than many similar schemes offered by law firms. You can really get your teeth into things, working on real tasks and projects.
Currently I’m working on contract reviews, checking to see what changes can be made and what the boundaries of certain agreements are. I’ve also just started a project with a US firm in Boston that work on Baillie Gifford’s US funds. I research different challenges and try to solve various legal problems. It’s a great environment in which to hone my skills and learn from the people around me - I really feel like part of the team.
I thought a financial institution like Baillie Gifford would be very formal, but it’s much friendlier than I expected. As one of two legal interns, I work across all the teams in the department, including Contracts, Funds & Derivatives and Unlisted Investments. Before I joined, I didn’t even know what a derivative was! Undergrad Law is quite theoretical, so it’s been refreshing to gain some hands-on, practical experience, and learn about all the different sections of the legal team.
The placement has been a great opportunity to hone my communication skills. It’s important to ask lots of questions so you can make the most of the experience and work effectively with the other intern to share and manage workloads. We have a weekly meeting with our supervisor to monitor our workloads and see how we’re getting on. You can also check in any time with the people giving you work, to ask questions and make sure you are on track. The support and encouragement I’ve received has been great.
I applied to a number of different summer internships but what really stood out with Baillie Gifford was their Corporate Social Responsibility agenda. I was interested to see what the firm could offer beyond the usual perception of a financial services organisation. The culture here is all about continuous development. There’s a lot of e-learning and the opportunity for interns to complete courses and go to conferences. It’s also a very inclusive environment and I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a multicultural meeting after the firmwide ‘multicultural awareness week’.
I opted for a placement in HR and am working with the Talent Development team on their company-wide “Aspiring Managers” programme. It’s about helping those who have the potential to be managers to develop their skills in areas such as self-awareness and emotional intelligence. I’ll be interviewing colleagues to see where they’d like to develop, and which resources could help them do this. It’s been a fascinating process, as I’ve got a real interest in human development and learning about how people interact with each other.
Everyone is very friendly and welcoming. A typical day is getting into the office for nine and checking my emails, before starting on my project work. I can use the on-site library in the office for my research, which is great. I was given a book called “Drive” by Daniel Pink, all about motivation, so I’ve been dipping into that too. At lunch, there’s a great restaurant here which is a good place to meet and share ideas with colleagues.
Edinburgh is a very appealing city and has a very relaxed atmosphere. Already a student at the University, I wanted to see what the city was like outside of term. I love spending time in the library and frequenting the Meadows with friends – a great green space in the heart of Edinburgh. Since starting my placement, I can really see myself both living and working here in the future.