I found the position advertised on the university careers service website. It stood out to me as I’d always enjoyed web development and saw I’d be working with C#. I was also really excited about the technology that Baillie Gifford use. And even though I didn’t have experience of all of it, the training was well explained, so I was reassured that they would teach me any additional technical skills required.
After three months of initial training we started our graduate project. This was an opportunity to see a project through from start to finish, everything from gathering requirements and full stack development through to testing and deployment. Our project was to build an application for a code release form, replacing an old system. It’s fantastic to have already created something that people are using on a daily basis throughout the department.
Teamwork and communication skills are key here. We work in an Agile project environment and have daily stand up meetings to discuss our progress. Another vital skill is problem solving. A requirement comes in and you have to think ‘why is that being asked?’ Is there a better solution? It’s important to question whether they need something new, or whether they can use an existing application to achieve their aim. I consider myself a developer rather than a programmer.
There’s a real learning culture at the firm. We all get the chance to study for the IOC qualification, (Investment Operations Certificate), which Baillie Gifford fully supports. There’s a joke here that nobody leaves and you can see why – they treat you so well! Social activities include the Dinner Dance, the Office Outing (where you can choose from 20 different activities from chocolate making to mountain biking) and Christmas parties, as well as lots of graduate trainee get togethers.