I applied to lots of different firms because I wanted to find the right fit, but Baillie Gifford really stood out. The whole interview process is very personal and, since I’ve joined, it’s like being a member of an extended family. I never felt out of place and my colleagues always make themselves available to answer any questions I might have or help me through any difficulties.
Having spent time on rotation with the Infrastructure Service Delivery team, where tasks have included setting up and configuring Cisco IP Phones and adding new policies to firewalls, my next rotation will be in the Security Access Management team, which is more akin to what I studied at university. With all the experience I’m gaining, it’s really easy to see myself developing over the long-term here, and I’m looking forward contributing to the growth of the firm.
One of the most challenging aspects of the programme has been getting to know all the internal processes at the firm. It takes time to learn how everything fits together, but there are always people on hand to help. My mentor is always there if I need someone to talk to, either on a personal or professional level. There’s also ongoing support from my Programme Manager, who I meet regularly and the line managers on each specific rotation. You’ll always get what you need if you ask the right questions of the right people.
Adjusting to the move
Perhaps my biggest challenge has been adjusting to living and working in the UK. Especially the cold weather! That was definitely a bit of a shock when I got off the plane. The help I’ve received with the move, though, has really made a difference. I’ve been given some great pointers about finding a place to live and have met graduates from all the other training programmes. We all had lunch together, which was a great way to get to know people before I officially started at the firm. With Edinburgh you get the best of both worlds – peaceful green spaces, as well as the buzz of a capital city. I’m really enjoying exploring my new home.
Israel Iduoku-Ben joined Baillie Gifford in 2018.