Amy Smith

Joined Baillie Gifford in 2022 went to Balwearie High School

Amy Smith stood in the Baillie Gifford office.

Another path

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left school in early 2020, so I ended up on the traditional route to university. But I found the early stages of the pandemic disruptive to the whole experience, and after an uncertain year, I decided to leave. I knew I wanted to continue learning, so I researched apprenticeships and found Baillie Gifford. I thought my short time at university might hinder my career options, but the firm was more interested in me than my past education, which was so refreshing!

First steps

When I joined, I had little to no knowledge of finance. But all the apprentices took part in a training programme within the first four months, which guided us through all the basics of investment management and finance industry terms. We also had various training sessions to give us an insight into how Baillie Gifford operates – covering everything from our clients and funds to Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG), and investment approaches.

Supporting transitions

I work on the Transitions team, which is the central point of contact between clients moving to or from the firm and our colleagues across the organisation involved in the process. My role is to provide operational and administrative support – from monitoring a mailbox and dealing with all sorts of client queries to updating client information, taking minutes, and a range of other admin tasks. Right now, I’m working on a project to decommission an old application we used to monitor client transitions. It’s been a good way to expand my knowledge of the wider department, meet new colleagues and work with some of our graduate trainees.

Paving a future

After six months I feel like I’m already paving my future within the company. Coming into a big firm like this could feel daunting, but nobody here expects you to know everything. There are lots of training opportunities and people to guide you through the programme – everyone wants you to succeed and is more than happy to share their knowledge. It’s a friendly place where you’re treated as an equal, even at all the social events. I’ve just been to the annual dinner dance, which was an amazing evening! If you’re thinking of applying, my advice is to be open to challenge, be willing to learn and ask lots of questions.

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