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Baillie Gifford & Co

Baillie Gifford & Co

Employee profile

Zara Lavery

Zara Lavery

Business Operations Graduate Trainee

Changing Career Path

I finished my masters in 2013 and began working for the retail arm of a large bank. However, when I had my son in 2016, I was inspired to find a new career path. I found out about the good reputation Baillie Gifford has for looking after their staff through friends and family and was lucky enough to meet up with one of the previous Business Operations graduates. Our conversation quickly made me realise that Baillie Gifford is full of really open and friendly people.

Autonomy with Support

You get a lot of autonomy with your workload; however if you don’t know where to start, there are lots of people to ask for help. As the graduate trainees in other years have first-hand experience of similar projects, they’ve been an invaluable source of guidance and support.

Key Skillset

Curiosity is fundamental to your role here, as you have to ask ‘why’ all the time. You shouldn’t just press the button if you’re asked to, you should always ask why that needs to happen. Before I started at Baillie Gifford I didn’t think I was a very social or communicative person, however on the scheme you meet so many people that you have to be able to ask questions and build relationships. So now I’ve really developed my communication skills and enjoy meeting new people all the time.

Collaborative Culture

In terms of culture, we’re very fortunate. In one of my first placements, I ended up sitting next to two partners in the firm. Although this might sound intimidating and wouldn’t happen in most other big firms, here the partners sit within the teams and are really friendly and happy to answer questions. As a company, they’re also very understanding about my responsibilities as a mother, which couldn’t be more reassuring as a full-time, working parent.