I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I graduated, but I knew what I wanted out of a career: intellectual stimulus, variety, travel and a holistic view of how the world works. Investment management at Baillie Gifford ticked all of these boxes.
Before I joined Baillie Gifford, I’d spent my summers doing a lot of charity and community work and worked abroad in various capacities. I also had political experience in the House of Commons, and I come from a musical background. I didn’t have any financial or investment experience, which is commonplace at Baillie Gifford but unusual for the broader industry.
There is a huge amount of variety in my role. A large part of it is carrying out in-depth research into a wide variety of companies. This can involve travelling to their HQ and meeting management, opening discussions with competitors, suppliers and customers, as well as attending industry conferences to build up a holistic picture. Now that I’ve been promoted to Investment Manager level, I consider how the complexities and idiosyncrasies of each individual investment case fit together within the context of the portfolio.
Finding the right balance
What’s important here is that your curiosity is not constrained. Every company you research gives you the chance to learn something new about the world. Achieving a healthy work/life balance is a key priority for the firm too. We’re encouraged to find that balance as it helps us to make better decisions when we are in the office.
All of our training is ongoing and kept in house. The firm has a flat structure – graduate trainees sit alongside partners with 30 years of experience, so they can learn and benefit from their wealth of knowledge on a daily basis. I’ve also passed the Chartered Financial Analyst Level 1 exam, for which Baillie Gifford provided the tutors, books and study time.