A year at Baillie Gifford could transform your IT career before it even starts.
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As an independent global investment management business, cutting-edge information systems underpin everything we do. That’s why we’re constantly investing in the development of our technical infrastructure – and in the team of professionals who bring
that technology to life.
Nearly 30% of our employees work in technology roles and we’re all based here in Edinburgh, so the people in our IS teams are at the heart of the business. We don’t believe in barriers either. Colleagues co-operate and collaborate across different teams and technical specialisms. We learn from each other, which makes for a stimulating, inspiring and enjoyable working environment.
On our 12-15 month paid placement, you’ll be a key member of our team from the word go, doing real work and taking real responsibility as you get your hands on the latest technology and explore what’s emerging. And you can look forward to being part of a refreshingly open, co-operative and supportive team culture.
More than that though, the focus here is understanding how those new and exciting technologies can be applied to solve today’s business challenges. Some of the major vendors we work with are: Microsoft, Cisco, Apple, Dell EMC, VMware, Palo Alto and Splunk. So yes, we’ll help you gain the kind of experience that will make your CV stand out from the crowd.
Starting with a structured induction that’ll give you a full overview of our business, you’ll move on to the IT Service Desk and then rotate around our Data Centre & Operations and Integration & Optimisation teams. You’ll also be involved in some key projects in both teams, finishing off with a return to the IT Service Desk to consolidate everything you’ve learned.
Through all of this, you can look forward to full and ongoing training, plus support from an experienced mentor.
In the penultimate year of your studies in an IT-related discipline, we know that you’ll already have lots of ideas about how technology can support business performance, and you’ll want to see that in action. You’re also keen to be part of an ambitious and experienced team who share knowledge and encourage creative thinking.
So what else? We like people who quickly become part of our team and who enjoy taking on responsibility, under the guidance of a mentor, and developing their practical skills and commercial understanding.
We actively involve our placement students in the team from the very beginning. There’s lots of opportunity to learn and you’ll experience all the different aspects of technical infrastructure with us. You’ll also discover the wide range of career opportunities we offer here.
Your placement here within our IS team provides the important skills which employers value and will definitely support your future career choices.
“There’s a lot of opportunity to learn and be exposed to new, emerging technologies and to experience all the different aspects of technical infrastructure.”
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 one of our Technical Infrastructure professionals and a member of the HR team. 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.
The final stage will involve some teamworking and technology related practical activities.
Baillie Gifford and some recent interns gave a presentation at my University. They spoke so passionately about how positive their experience at the company had been and explained how they had been able to put their lab and theory work to practice in a real business environment. I was also able to join a student visit to their Data Centre and was amazed that we were given the opportunity to see their servers and how the technology behind the scenes worked. We were made to feel really welcome and I chatted with many of the department heads.
I was quite nervous when I started here as I’ve not really had any professional work experience before, but they take you under their wing. I’m able to join colleagues as they work on various projects. During my induction I also had a series of one-to-one meetings with the team managers in the Information Systems departments. I’m now working on the Service Desk, which is fun because I’m always doing something different.
One of my jobs has been to establish a new area within the office setting up equipment, I was also given a project regarding MacBook’s to ensure they remained compliant and functional within the business. I’ve not been here long, but I’ve already worked with so many pieces of kit. The Service Desk is the main point of collection and distribution for any new tech that comes into the firm, so I’ve dealt with everything from headphones and laptops to iPads and phones.
They really make an effort here to make you feel part of the firm. In my first week, I was given a ticket to the TEDX conference in Glasgow. About 15 of us from across the firm attended. I also went to the Service Desk away day, during which we discussed how improvements could be made to our service, took part in team-building exercises and completed an escape room. It was really fun, and I feel like I’ve been part of the team for ages.
In the first week of joining we were given an introduction to the firm and then began our placement on the Service Desk. It was great to be given real responsibility straightaway, and we were eased in with simple tasks to build our confidence. If we had any questions, everyone was very approachable and no one’s ever said they were too busy to help us. Guiding people is always high up on the agenda here and it has really helped me develop my skillset.
I’d say time management is key. In terms of delivering tasks, I’ve learnt that even though the Service Desk can be fast paced, it’s more important to do things well and not as fast as possible. You have to trust that things take time. I’ve also had to develop my communication skills. I’m speaking to people every day in the team and have also answered service desk calls. I’ve already seen an increase in my confidence and technical knowledge.
The Service Desk is within the same building as the rest of the firm, so I’ve had the opportunity to meet lots of people throughout the business. It’s also given me exposure to lots of Baillie Gifford’s technologies, which made me feel really comfortable about my rotations within the Security & Access Management and Internal Platforms teams. My tasks have involved installing new monitors, setting up video conferencing equipment, security permissions modelling and liaising with third-party suppliers to set up and remediate servers.
There is a real focus on self-development, with plenty of training available. Within the first couple of weeks, I’d already attended a course on how to give powerful feedback. Managers are very supportive of your learning and development, but they also don’t expect you to know everything about all the technologies, which is very reassuring. It’s not a place where you have to worry that you’re saying everything right. It’s more like a family than a big corporate entity.
I had received placement offers from other firms, but it was Baillie Gifford that stood out. The people I met throughout the application process were friendly and informal, which gave me a glimpse of the culture I’d be joining. The rotational scheme also appealed to me. It would give me the opportunity to see the whole process from a variety of angles, letting me explore different potential career options and discover where I’d be best suited.
Baillie Gifford is quite different from university. You’re not just handed the information – here you have to work out what the problem is and find the solution. But it’s not daunting as there’s always someone more experienced with you. Everyone is happy to answer questions or show you how things work. I like this way of working as it’s rewarding when you solve a problem yourself, and yet you don’t feel worried when you can’t find the right answer.
There are many different applications and technologies to learn, and they are all linked together in different ways. It can be challenging to remember it all and how they work together. Not to mention that everyone in the firm has different levels of permissions for the systems they use. It’s a learning curve to get up to speed with that level of knowledge, but we always sit next to someone with more experience. Asking questions isn’t just acceptable; it’s actively encouraged. It’s how we learn.
Living and working in Edinburgh has been a real perk of the position. Edinburgh is the perfect size, as it’s big enough to have everything you’d expect from a capital city, but small enough to get around easily. One of my favourite things about the role is that it only takes me 20 minutes to walk to work every morning. Plus, the office is so central, you can enjoy the city after work.
In my third year at university I visited Baillie Gifford’s Data Centre and was surprised by their networking set up. I had previously done a placement in a technology research company in London. They were only just starting to install the networking kit that Baillie Gifford currently use and are about to upgrade. The technology here is already leading edge, but they continually strive to find even better solutions for the business.
During my time on the Service Desk, I saw an opportunity to work on a project to roll out Jamf, a mobile device management tool for Apple. When I volunteered to help with the project, they kitted me out with everything I needed, including a MacBook. I hadn’t used Apple before, so it was important to see first-hand how everything worked. It was really motivating to know that my colleagues had put their trust in me.
I was lucky enough to visit Baillie Gifford’s Hong Kong office for 12 days. It was fantastic to be given that level of responsibility, as I was the only member of the team there to handle a domain migration. I was selected to go as I had volunteered for many projects. It was great to see that even though I was a placement student, they were interested in how I was progressing and wanted to offer me this invaluable experience.
The skill that has helped me most is my eagerness to get involved. You need to have the tenacity to get stuck in and grasp opportunities. But it’s not just about the skills you have; it’s about your willingness to learn new ones, too. I’ve been on assertiveness and plain English courses, and during Baillie Gifford’s LearnFest week, I attended a leadership skills course and a visual thinking session. These have really changed how I behave professionally and given me a new level of confidence.