Sean McGowan

Glasgow Caledonian University, Networked Systems Engineering

Sean Mcgowan portrait

Positive impression

In my third year at university, I visited Baillie Gifford’s Data Centre and was surprised by their networking set up. I had already completed a network-focused placement for a firm in Cheltenham, which I assumed would have state-of-the-art structure. However, they were only beginning to implement the networking architecture Baillie Gifford already used (and were about to upgrade). The technology here is already cutting-edge, but there is a constant push to optimise and improve existing business solutions. 

Exciting contributions

It was clear early on that my role as a placement student would not hold me back from getting involved in any projects or opportunities available to full-time employees. For example, during my time on the Service Desk, there was an opportunity to work on a project to roll out Jamf, a mobile device management tool for Apple devices. When I volunteered to help with the project, I got kitted out with everything I needed, including a MacBook. I hadn’t used Apple before, so it was really motivating to know that my colleagues had put their trust in me. In addition, I had the opportunity to travel to Hong Kong to support the office there with a different project, which was a truly amazing opportunity for anyone, never mind a student! 

Developing skills

At Baillie Gifford, it’s not just about the skills you have; it’s about your willingness to learn new ones too. You are constantly encouraged to think about how you can develop your strengths and overcome any weaknesses. For example, I’ve been on internal assertiveness courses, and during Baillie Gifford’s LearnFest week, I attended a leadership skills course and a visual thinking session. These have really changed how I behave professionally and given me a new level of confidence.  

Permanent role

At the end of the summer, I was lucky enough to be offered a permanent position. The internship was a fair reflection of what it’s like to work here full-time. It’s a very open and inclusive workplace, where trainees are a valued part of the team. For example, since re-joining, I’ve been afforded the same level of opportunity as I was before.  

Technical infrastructure caught your eye?

Learn more about this exciting internship.