Jack Keating

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Joined Baillie Gifford in 2020
University of Aberdeen, History & Politics

Brilliant minds

I went to the careers fair at university and picked many brochures, including Baillie Gifford’s. I then choose the companies I was interested in and followed them on LinkedIn. I was a bit cynical about financial services at first, but the articles Baillie Gifford posted on social media were thought-provoking and helped shift my understanding of what investing is all about. I genuinely think that the investors here have brilliant minds, and this shines through in the firm’s social media content. You always feel like you’re learning something new, and that’s what drew me in.

Professional training

We had a month-long induction to the Business Operations Programme that included lots of professional skills training. There was a ‘design for success’ module, with external trainers teaching us skills like time-management, leadership, and effective communication. We also received coaching on presentation techniques from a retired actor, which really helped during our graduate project. We had to work together to create a presentation about the firm’s Shared Belief: ‘We are an engaging and progressive place to work’. At the end of the induction, we also began studying for our IOC and IMC qualifications with one of the best teachers I’ve ever had!

Being proactive

When I was at university, I started two businesses – one running student events and the other selling popcorn during the Edinburgh Festival. From this, my interest in businesses and how they work grew. I am interested in learning about processes and designing new ways of doing things. If you only want a job where you turn up and get told what to do, you won’t make the most out of this opportunity. You must be willing to add value. Senior people in the firm are happy to give you their time and share their knowledge, but you need to be proactive.

The bigger picture

There are a lot of transferable skills from my degree. For example, studying causation (why things happened and how they happen) is crucial to understanding why certain business decisions are made. With a Humanities degree, you learn to join the dots between lots of different pieces of information to understand the bigger picture. Similarly, during the Business Operations programme, you’re learning about so many different things. You’re doing placements in various teams and trying to understand their place within the wider business.