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Application Development : An interview with Natalie McLaren

Book open Reading time: 2 mins

We caught up with Natalie, who is on the Application Development graduate scheme at Baillie Gifford. She graduated from the University of Kent with a degree in Web Computing and joined Ballie Gifford in 2018.

Advanced Technology

I was impressed by the wide array of advanced technologies that Baillie Gifford were applying to the applications used within the firm. Some of the languages are used widely within web development today and weren’t introduced to me as part of my degree course, so that really piqued my interest. Reading up around the company, I also discovered that Baillie Gifford are researching the different applications of AI. This is an area that really interests me, so I decided to apply to their graduate scheme.

Intelligent Thinking

I’m currently working in the Emerging Technologies Team on a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) project. The team are trialing a number of different processes which they believe could benefit the firm if automated. In some cases, repetitive manual tasks are involved and over 32 spreadsheets must be populated, and so bot technology is used to collect data, then format and upload it. This project has been of particular benefit to the Marketing Intelligence team as the data being collected directly affects many operations in the firm.

New Programming Skills

The most interesting part of RPA has been developing and deploying solutions alongside an offshore team, as well as learning a new development tool - Blue Prism. It’s also been really useful to see how all the different departments in Baillie Gifford link together and feed into each other. The RPA software allows you to create processes, underpinned by business logic, rules and programming fundamentals, and it’s being used across various teams, including Compliance and the European Funds Operations Department.

Industry Conferences

There’s a really great support network at Baillie Gifford and you’re always being encouraged to get involved in industry events. If you want to attend a particular event or training course, then you just need to ask. I’m really interested in blockchain technology and recently attended a conference in London on the topic.  


To find out more about Baillie Gifford and view their opportunities, click here.