When I was in my final year of university, I realised that a job in the Oil and Gas industry wasn’t for me, however, I had picked up a lot of transferable skills from my degree. I looked at a few graduate programmes and saw that Baillie Gifford’s Business Operations scheme offered a unique opportunity to rotate through a number of different areas of the business. It was a chance to use my skills and to find out what I really enjoyed doing.
So far, I have had placements in a number of different departments, ranging from Client Administration and Dealing to Settlements and even Systems. There’s been a huge variety of work and things to learn. Whilst I was in the Systems department I was involved in testing new software applications which were about to be launched, so I wrote test scripts and led project meetings.
One of the most challenging things about the scheme, but also one of the most enjoyable, is switching between departments. You join a team and build good relationships but before you know it, you’re off to your next secondment. However, this means that I’ve already made a lot of contacts around the business. You also get a lot of support. We have our mentors and a line manager, and we also have a lot of contact with graduate trainees from past years.
There’s a flat culture in the firm and it’s not unusual to be sitting next to a manager in your team. The company also organises a lot of social events, such as the Annual Dinner Dance and nights out for all the graduate trainees. I’ve recently got back from an Outward Bound course, where we spent four days completing team building tasks and working on our own self-development.