As a Computing Science student at the University of Glasgow, Sara joined Baillie Gifford in 2019 on the Application Development Summer Internship. She offers some incredible insight into the firm and her role.
Open and encouraging
The firm’s approach to the assessment process was open and accommodating. For example, my first-round interview was scheduled in December, but I had already returned home for Christmas – thankfully, the interview team were happy to conduct the interview via a video call. I enjoyed the recruitment process as the interviewers were enthusiastic and encouraging.
From the start, I was keen to try a different kind of working environment. Previously, I had completed an internship at a small charity that employed about ten people, so I wanted to work in a larger organisation, interacting with different teams and departments. So far, it has been rewarding and the open, friendly culture I experienced throughout the interview process has proven to be a reality here at the firm.
Even though I am just one person within a large organisation, I still feel like I have an important part to play in the business. There’s a real sense that we’re all “in it together”. When my Project Lead was on holiday, so many people came over to offer help. There’s plenty of input from other teams if we need it. We have been working closely with the Client Department Support team, who are the internal clients for our internship project, Application Platform Development and the UI/UX team. Although I like the theoretical aspects of my degree, I have enjoyed creating an application that will improve someone’s life by simplifying their everyday tasks.
Agile project management
I have been putting the Agile project management skills I learnt at university, such as stand-ups, sprints and retrospectives, into practice. They allow us to prioritise the most important parts of the project, so deadlines are easier to meet. A real highlight for me so far has been spotting that one of the elements we are trialling wasn’t working. I brought this to the attention of one of the specialist teams, who were then able to fix the problem. I found it very satisfying when a member of the team said it was a good catch and that not everyone would have spotted it!
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