Joined in 2021 after studying Mathematics and Northumbria University, PGDE at the University of Manchester
Soft skills matter more
Before I joined Baillie Gifford, I worked as a Maths teacher. I had no prior technical experience so the opportunity to train in a technical role without requiring experience really appealed to me. It was clear that the firm looks at your potential and is keen to develop you as a person. The grads alongside me on the programme also come from a range of different disciplines with degrees in everything from Computer Science and Physics to Philosophy and Japanese.
The assessment centre was very well organised and the timetable was sent out in advance so we knew what to expect. On the day I was surprised to discover that it was only me and two others being assessed; any other assessment centre I had attended had at least ten other people. Being in a smaller group meant it felt like we were being heard and had the chance to really showcase ourselves. All of the interviewers were friendly and supportive, which gave a great impression of the culture.
Discovering skills and confidence
Before joining I had huge doubts about my coding ability, as I had no previous technical experience. However, the graduate team project showed that my fears were unfounded: not only did I learn to code but I really enjoyed it! Working as a team of graduate trainees, we built an order simulation app to help the testing team move from manual testing over to automated processes. That involved using .NET Core, C#, Angular, Typescript, PL/SQL, Docker and Kubernetes, together with Git, Azure DevOps, Postman and Swagger – all of which were new to me. I learned so much, more than any course had ever taught me, and my confidence increased hugely as a result.
A healthy balance
The firm is very generous in the way they look after their people. You can progress and do well while maintaining a healthy work-life balance – something that was challenging in my last career. The culture is genuinely open, friendly and sociable, too. Social events are a frequent occurrence here: I’ve butchered songs at karaoke, taken part in human-hungry hippos and sampled international cuisine at a Multicultural Network drinks event.