Baillie Gifford & Co

Baillie Gifford & Co 2022 graduate opportunities

Baillie Gifford & Co

About Baillie Gifford & Co

This is your opportunity to join Baillie Gifford, a leading independent global investment management partnership. Today, with in excess of £352 billion under management and more than 700 clients across the globe, we have over 1,400 employees working at our head office in Edinburgh.

Let’s forget about your degree for a moment, and instead focus on you. Are you an inquisitive thinker with the imagination to see the world differently? Do you have the curiosity to explore new possibilities and the desire to create solutions that drive future development? Then we’d like to meet you. We think our investments aren’t all that different from the graduates we look for – it’s all about potential. If you join one of our graduate programmes or internship opportunities, our next investment will be you.

We’re proud of our company culture– whether that’s our focus on client service, the support we offer our employees or the impact we have on the world as a whole. Below is just a short introduction to who we are, but you can find out more about us and our Early Careers opportunities at bailliegifford.com/earlycareers

Client focus

Everyone at Baillie Gifford, regardless of their role, is focussed on delivering the very best for our clients. To do this, we need to be forward thinking, open to change and prepared to evolve. This means never just following the crowd and always seeking new and better ways to do things.

Learning culture

We champion continuous curiosity and believe that everyone within the firm (partners included) should be encouraged to expand their learning at every opportunity. That’s why we regularly invite world-renowned academics, business leaders and authors to engage with the firm and continually challenge our thinking.

Diversity and inclusion

We seek diversity in all its forms and recognise that an inclusive workplace is fundamental to our success as a business. Fostering a culture of inclusivity enables us to attract, develop and retain diverse talent, encourage the free exchange of ideas, and enhances our relationships with clients and companies across the world. We work to ensure that all our colleagues feel valued, and that their work is always recognised and rewarded.

Social responsibility

Our approach to community engagement and charitable work aligns with how we approach investment. We like to partner with organisations over the longer-term and gain a deeper understanding of their work and goals. When we consider supporting organisations we assess their potential in a purely philanthropic way, looking to make long-term contributions to help them deliver services and drive change that’s sustainable.

Wellbeing

Good mental and physical health is vital for us all. That’s why we’re always working to ensure our staff feel supported – through open conversations, social networks and policies that make people feel valued. The wellbeing of our colleagues is a top priority for us. If we want to have healthy, happy, motivated people who take pride in working here, then we have a responsibility to ensure we’re taking their wellbeing seriously.

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Case Studies

[casestudy]
  • Name: Alice Stretch
  • Joined: 2018
  • University: King’s College London, Political Economy

Description:

Learning from others

I’m currently working on the Credit team that is part of the MA&I stream on the Investment Research Programme. This year, I have researched companies across auto manufacturing, clothing, mining, airports, entertainment, and education. I’m new to looking at companies’ debt rather than shares, and my team is very experienced and eager to share their knowledge. Credit has many different facets and brings together different ways to understand the world – from competitive resilience to macroeconomic trends and market analysis. Companies move quickly to issue bonds, so the work is also at a faster pace. Even though I’m new to this type of analysis, my team value my fresh perspective on company discussions and complex issues.

Cognitive diversity

All the graduates bring different experiences, and the learning curve is steep for the first five years. Nevertheless, there’s a genuine belief in cognitive diversity, furthered by being exposed to new areas via conferences, graduate feedback sessions, partnerships with academia, or consultants teaching us about the industry and thinking frameworks. Baillie Gifford also invites many fascinating speakers to the investment floor, where we can learn from their experiences and viewpoints. I’ve attended talks by Helen Sharman (the first Briton in Space) and by Serhii Plokhii (author of Chernobyl).

Courses & inspiration

During our induction, we received an introduction to the firm and investment management. We then progress to the first of our teams, rotating to a new team each September. There is a real focus on encouraging our creativity and breadth of thinking. For example, there is a project in our second year where we research an area of healthcare that we think will see dramatic disruption or innovation over the next five to ten years. A year later, we have a placement in the Client Services Department and, in our fourth year, we get the opportunity to do a three-month project. Previous trainees have used this project to meet companies whilst travelling the Silk Road or work at a food app start-up.

Social mobility

My preconceptions meant the investment world did not appeal to me initially. I didn’t grow up knowing people who worked professional jobs, and investment seemed a world away from what I had known. I received maintenance grants and worked thirty-hour weeks to support myself throughout university, but Baillie Gifford is unique and welcomes you into its culture. Here it is not about ‘fitting in’ but seeing what you can bring to the table whilst keeping up the enthusiasm to learn. Through networks such as Women in Banking and Finance, Future Asset and the Social Mobility Foundation, I have received support from Baillie Gifford to talk to cohorts of people from similar backgrounds and share the experience of starting a career here.

[casestudy]
  • Name: Caroline Prigg
  • Joined: 2010
  • University: University of Strathclyde, French & Marketing

Description:

First impressions

You shouldn’t come in with any preconceptions about the job or the Business Operations programme – keep an open mind. In other organisations, graduates might have more limited options, yet the nature of our rotational programme means that there’s always change, giving you different experiences. You definitely need to take opportunities as they come.

Constant variety

It’s the variety that’s kept me here. After finishing the Business Operations graduate programme, I started with Corporate Actions and then moved to the Cash and FX Settlement team before joining the North American Fund Operations Department (NAFOD). I’ve been here for seven years now and worked in fund administration, client dealing, financial reporting, and fair value pricing (pricing our funds). I’m currently overseeing the intermediary firms that we use to facilitate the investments of our North American clients. I’ve definitely not been bored!

Creating leaders

For the last two years, I’ve been a manager in the Business Operations programme. A key part of this has been reviewing its structure and aims. As Baillie Gifford continues to grow and the size and responsibilities of our investment operations increase, we hope the programme will deliver us the technical specialists, project managers and team leaders of the future. Our new structure will have longer, more in-depth secondments to ensure the trainees have a sound grounding in certain departments and get involved in significant pieces of work.

Key attributes

I’ve been involved in the graduate programme interview process for several years. We look for team players who can build relationships quickly. We need good communicators that can strike up a conversation with people. You need to be flexible and show you can change your approach depending on who in the business you’re working with. When you apply, you don’t’ have to be 100% certain about what you want to do, but you must be curious and open to exploring the options.

[casestudy]
  • Name: Olivia Maude
  • Joined: 2020
  • University: University of York,

Description:

Science to accountancy

I was drawn to the rotational aspect of the Accountancy programme, as it allows me to gain a deep understanding of how the firm operates and helps me build a diverse network. Without a business or finance degree, having the opportunity to explore different accountancy roles within the business was appealing. In addition, my background in science has been advantageous, particularly the development of strong critical-thinking skills, which have proven to be invaluable when analysing large data sets.

A different process

The application process at Baillie Gifford is refreshingly different. Many other firms have multiple online interview and test stages, whereas Baillie Gifford is much more personal. The interview was about getting to know the firm and for them to understand you too – it went both ways. Having had a stammer since primary school, I’ve found it best to be open and upfront about my disability. The recruitment team at Baillie Gifford were very inclusive and accommodating throughout the process. For example, they scheduled my interview at the end of the day to avoid any time pressure on the discussion.

Time to study

The ICAS qualification is challenging, but fortunately, Baillie Gifford is understanding and supportive. We always get the maximum ICAS study leave allowance for exams, which helps our chances of success. I’ve also had great support from the teams I’ve been working on, with countless offers of help. In my previous placement, the team were also mindful of my workload, even in busy periods, enabling me to finish promptly and study for the CA in the evenings.

Placements

My latest placement was in Financial Control in the Expenditure and VAT team. In my four months there, I became immersed in the team and had my own responsibilities to fulfil. These included preparing VAT returns, processing invoices, and performing expense analysis for various areas across the business. I also had the opportunity to shadow the Deputy CFO as the firm prepared a response to an FCA consultation paper. During this time, I was fortunate enough to experience two year ends, the subsidiary’s in March and the partnership’s in April, which were great opportunities to learn and apply my ICAS knowledge.

[casestudy]
  • Name: Elise Craig
  • Joined: 2019
  • University: Glasgow University

Description:

The bigger picture

When researching the Application Development Summer Placement at Baillie Gifford, the opportunity to take a project from start to finish was what attracted me. I liked the long-term approach of the firm and how they see the bigger picture. When I applied, the interview process was very relaxed. It was less about my technical ability and more of a conversation. I thought if I enjoyed the interview, I’m sure I’ll enjoy working there.

Time to prepare

A couple of months before I started my placement, I met with some of the people I would be working with to find out about the project I’d be involved in. The task was to create an interactive investment game to explain investment management for schools, inductions and university events. That meant I had a month before the placement to prepare and do some online tutorials in the tech skills I’d need. It felt great to be working on such an interesting project and hit the ground running.

Variety and structure

Although every week was full of new things to learn, there was a clear structure to keep you on track. At the beginning of the week, I would meet with my mentor to go through my current tasks. I also got to meet people from different teams two to three times a week which helped me understand the business on a broader level and helped us develop the content of the investment game we were building. Then, at the end of the week, I’d have a retrospective with my project supervisors to review the work and plan where to go next.

Learning curves

One of the most challenging things for me was learning to ask for help. My instinct had always been to work things out myself, but I can’t afford to spend a lot of time on a small problem during a big project. Asking for help is encouraged here – it’s how you learn. My team is supportive and always there to help me with anything I don’t understand or to just point me in the right direction. Learning this lesson has made me better at what I do.

Innovative technologies

It was great to choose some of the technologies we used on the project. As well as React and Redux, I got the chance to use Django for the back end and worked with Docker for deployment. I also worked on APIs and really consolidated my understanding of connecting front and backend systems. After the summer placement, I felt the company was a great fit for me, so I was delighted when I got a place on the graduate programme. Two years on, I’m now coming to the end of that programme and looking back, the summer placement was a great indicator of what it’s like to work at Baillie Gifford full time.

  • Application Procedure

Do I need to have studied a particular degree?

We welcome applicants with degrees in any subject for all our graduate programmes. We expect a minimum 2:1 degree across our programmes. You will also need a Higher/A-level or equivalent in Maths for the Accountancy programme.

Do I need to have graduated within the last three years?

There’s no time limit on how long ago you gained your degree, and we welcome applicants who have gained postgraduate work experience. For our Investment Research programme, we encourage applications from Masters and PhD students.

Can I apply for more than one than one programme or placement?

We encourage you to think carefully about which opportunity is right for you and to apply to one programme or placement. Find out as much information as you can and attend one of our virtual events to hear from the programme leaders and current graduate trainees.

What do I do if I have a special requirement and need help applying for a programme?

Just get in touch. We’ll do everything we can to make our application process accessible for you. So, if you do need our support, please contact us at hr@bailliegifford.com and we’ll be happy to help.

Where are your offices based?

As all of our UK graduate programmes are based in our head office, if you accept a place, you’ll need to either relocate to Edinburgh or be able to commute to our Edinburgh office.

Do you reimburse the travel and accommodation costs for interviews?

We will reimburse expenses related to the recruitment process. Our interviews will be conducted remotely in 2021-22. However, should you incur expenses related to attending your virtual interview, we will reimburse these. Subject to local restrictions at the time, we will also invite candidates who are made offers to visit our offices should they want to see our working environment and meet people face-to-face. In these instances, we will reimburse expenses including travel, accommodation, and reasonable food expenses. Please retain any receipts.

How long is the application process and when are the interviews?

You’ll receive an automated response when you submit your application to confirm that we’ve received it. We aim to get back to you within eight weeks of your application. However, depending on the number of applications we receive, timescales may vary. We begin screening applications from September. Interviews are scheduled and offers are made on an ongoing basis, so we’d encourage you to apply sooner

Apply: Baillie Gifford & Co